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Theological Seminary, 


Case, Division. ^.^jC.(^i5,P 

SheJt\ .?.?.?] I® n . j,X^\ZD. h^„ 

Book, No, y , 1 





Vol. I. 








Vol. L 

" Affer animum rectum et simplicem, veritatis supra ccptera amantentf 
" preejudiciis vacuum. Ne protinus tanquam nova, tanquam inaudiia et 
*' absurda damnaveris, qua; tibi nova, tibi inaudita, et absurda occurrent. 
*' Ea qucB dicimus, non C2im aliorum judiciis, non cum vulgi inveteratis 
" opinionibus compone, ut inde rem <estimes, sed cum autoris diviiii verbis, 
*' scopo, ipsogue rationis Jtlo. Hinc tibi Veritas petenda est : hinc de nobis 
**ferenda sententia. Eqiiidem nos sicubi lapsi, aut D. Autoris mentem non 
*' 50^15 assecuti siimus, amice admoniti, ultro manus dabbnus, gratesque in- 
" iuper accumulabimus." Slichtingius Praef. ad Heb, 



(^Successor to Mr. Johnson,) 
NO. 72_, ST. Paul's churciiyaru. 




While the Author of the following Work 
officiated as Divinity Tutor in the Acade- 
mical Institutions at Daventry and Hack- 
ney, it was his custom to deliver Lectures 
on the Epistles of Paul. These Lectures 
were chiefly critical; and the design of 
them was to instruct his pupils in Mr. 
Locke's manner of studying and expound- 
ing the Epistles. They were delivered, ac- 
cording to his usual custom, from brief hints 
and imperfect notes. 

When the Institution at Hackney was 
suspended, and the Author had the honour 
of being chosen to succeed his venerable 
friend Dr. Priestley in the pastoral office 
there, he was anxious to supply to the best 


of his ability the loss of his illustrious pre- 
decessor; and, among other methods of 
instruction, by adopting Dr. Priestley's 
plan of expounding the Scriptures. This 
accordingly constituted a regular portion 
of the morning-service every Lord's day. 
An Exposition of this kind would of course 
be of a more popular cast than what he had 
been accustomed to deliver to his pupils. 
It included all that appeared necessary for 
illustrating the sense and analysing the ar- 
gument of the sacred writer ; it traced out 
the train of thought and reasoning ; criti- 
cal remarks were sparingly introduced, and 
only where they appeared to be indispen- 
sably necessary ; and such practical reflec- 
tions were interwoven as naturally arose 
from the subject, without a formal intro- 
duction of them at the close of every sec- 
tion ; it being the wish of the Author ra- 
ther to give the whole Exposition a practi- 
cal turn, than to interrupt the train of ideas 
and the course of the argument by reflec- 
tions which, however useful in their place, 
^re not always relevant to the subject. 


It was the expressed desire of many of 
the Author's friends who heard, and of some 
who read the Exposition ^ that he would 
give the Work to the public. Nor was he 
himself averse from the proposal, consider- 
ing how very few Expositions of the Scrip- 

* JVho read the JLipositiorh'] Among these was the late 
Rev. Timothy Kenrick of Exeter; with whom the Author 
had the honour to be intimately connected for many years 
in office, in affinity, and, which is of still greater import- 
ance, in similarity of sentiment, upon almost e\ery im- 
portant topic in theology, metaphysics, and morals ; and 
with whom, as long as his life was spared, he held a most 
confidential and unreserved correspondence upon all those 
topics which are interesting to man as a reasonable being, 
formed for immortahty. At Mr. Kenrick's request the 
Expositions were sent to him after being delivered in pub- 
lic : and both the plan and the execution so far met with 
his approbation, that he not only expressed his wish for 
the pubhcation, but he commenced an Exposition of the 
Gospels nearly upon the same plan : which, since his la- 
mented decease (being cut off by a sudden stroke in the 
midst of health, hfe, and usefulness), has been published 
to the world. Excellent as that Exposition is in itself, and 
most acceptable as it has been to all the friends of piety 
and rational Christianity, how much more valuable and 
acceptable would it have been had he lived to complete 
his plan, and to enrich his Exposition with notes! The 
Author is happy to announce, that a second edition is in 
contemplation, which will be greatly enhanced in value 
by additional corrections and notes by his son the Rev. 
John Kenrick, M.A. of York; of whose distinguished ta- 
lents and attainments in theological, as well as in many 
other branches of literature, there are few scholars who 
now need to be informed. 


tures by Unitarian Divines had lately ap- 
peared ; and, more especially, since the 
Epistles of Paul, as they are usually inter- 
preted, are regarded as the strong holds of 
Orthodoxy, or rather, of that enormous com- 
bination of errors which assumes the name. 
In furtherance of this design, the Author, 
repeating the course of his Exposition in 
public, availed himself of the opportunity 
of revising and correcting it, of transcribing 
it for the press, and of adding notes which 
were judged necessary for justifying either 
the translation or the paraphrase. He also 
often inserted the sentiments of learned and 
pious expositors even where they differed 
from his own ; that the reader might have 
an opportunity of selecting the interpreta- 
tion which he might best approve. In this 
way the Author had completed and tran- 
scribed the translation, commentary, and 
notes of the Epistles to the Thessalonians, 
of those from Rome, and of that to the He- 
brews, when, in the year 1805, he received 
an invitation from the Trustees of Essex- 
street chapel to succeed Dr. Disney in the 


office of minister, which invitation he was 
induced to accept, and to become con- 
nected with a Society which he has now 
had the honour and happiness of serving, 
upwards of seventeen years. 

This change of situation, however, sus- 
pended the progress of the Work, and had 
nearly induced the Author to lay it aside 
altogether. For the mode of conducting 
public worship by a Liturgy not easily ad- 
mitting, at least as he then thought, the 
introduction of an Exposition of the Scrip- 
tures, that custom was discontinued. The 
Author now thinks differently, and regrets 
that he did not pursue his original practice. 
Still, however, he had thoughts of resuming 
it at a future period : but the Improved 
Version of the New Testament ^ under the 

* The Improved Version of the New Testament,'] The 
Author of the present Work regards it as an honour to 
have been one of a Committee appointed by the Unitarian 
Society for publishing the Improved Version of the New 
Testament. He was indeed the party chiefly concerned 
in carrying it through the press. He is also responsible 
for the whole of the Introduction, and for many, perhaps 
the major part, of the Notes : but whatever credit may 
be due to the alterations in the Primate's text, to this he 
can lay but a very limited claim. It having been deter- 


auspices of the Unitarian Society, having 
been published a.d. 1808, and the Author 
having given up much of his time to that 
publication, and declining fast into the vale 
of years, not to mention that many of his 
leisure hours were occupied with various 
publications in defence of the common 
cause, he laid by his papers and relin- 

mined to adopt Archbishop Nevvcome's text as the basis 
of the Improved Version, it was his own wish, in no case 
to have departed from that text, excepting in those in- 
stances in which the learned I^relate's predilection for 
system might be supposed to have given a bias to his Ver- 
sion. Others, however, members of the same Committee, 
thought differently; and many contributed, some in a 
greater and others in a less degree, their corrections of 
the Primate's Version; which corrections were admitted 
and published. It was, however, agreed, that every varia- 
tion from the Primate's text should be noted in the mar- 
gin, and that his own words should be inserted there; 
that so his character might be protected from every sha- 
dow of responsibility for any alteration that was intro- 
duced. This rule was invariably observed, except in very 
few instances, owing to inadvertency, which candour, not 
indeed always exercised, would readily excuse. This being 
the state of the case, it is surely no great breach of deco- 
rum in the Editors to have given the Work the title of the 
Improved Version, at whicii some have taken such great 
offence. No biblical scholar can deny the great superiority 
of Archbishop Newcome's Version, with all the helps and 
discoveries of the last two centuries, over that of King 
James's translators, which was made in the beginning of 
the seventeenth century, and, for the time in which it ap- 
peared, is no doubt excellent, but wiiich makes no preten- 
sions to be either inspired or immaculate. 


quished all intention of sending them out 
into the world. 

Nevertheless, being occasionally urged 
by his partial friends to perform the pro^ 
mise which he had made at a time of life 
when he had greater confidence in his own 
powers and qualifications than he now pos- 
sesses, being also more at leisure from theo- 
logical controversy, and enjoying a better 
state of health, and a greater capacity for 
mental exertion than he was entitled to ex- 
pect at his advanced period of life, he at 
length surmounted his reluctance, and un- 
dertook to revise his papers for publica- 
tion : and having been kindly assisted by a 
young and amiable friend now deceased \ 
in transcribing the remainder, and every 
objection of a prudential nature being over- 
ruled by the great and unexpected libe- 
rality of his friends, who volunteered a mu- 
nificent subscription to a quarto edition, 
the whole of which they took off his hands, 

' A friend now deceased.'] The much lamented and 
reverend Thomas Biggin Broadbent, son of the reverend 

William Broadbent of Warrington 


he engaged to send the Work immediately 
to the press, and it was hoped that it might 
have appeared, at the latest, by Christmas, 
A. D. 1821. 

But the Work, upon review, requiring 
much correction and improvement, and 
many additional Notes, it was soon disco- 
vered that it could not be carried through 
the press with that celerity which was first 
expected. The Author being very desirous 
to render his Work as worthy of the accept- 
ance of his friends and the public as might 
be in his power, regarded the delay of a 
few months as nothing in comparison with 
the benefit which it might derive from his 
latest corrections and improvements : and, 
in fact, this delay has afforded him an op- 
portunity of adding at least one-fourth to 
the Notes, besides numerous corrections of 
the translation, and many alterations and 
recompositions of passages in the commen- 
tary. He may indeed truly say, that could 
he have foreseen all the additions and al- 
terations which it has been necessary to 
introduce, and the time and labour which 


it has occupied to bring the Work to its 
present state, he should have been so inti- 
midated by the prospect, that no considera- 
tion would have induced him to undertake 
to prepare it for the press. But he now 
thanks God that he has been spared to 
finish his arduous but pleasing task ; and 
that this Work was not permitted to go forth 
into the world in that very imperfect state 
in which it existed when he first consented 
to the publication. 

The Author has allowed himself in this 
long personal detail, in order to account, 
if not to apologize, for the form under 
which the Work now appears. Having 
been originally drawn up as a practical 
paraphrase, to be used in public worship, 
the commentary is often extended to a much 
greater length, and comprehends a greater 
variety of observations and reflections than 
would be needful, or even allowable, if he 
had proposed to limit himself to a close and 
dry expression of the meaning of the text, 
in the manner of Locke, or Taylor, or 
Sykes. In fact, Dr, Priestley, of v/Iiose in- 


teresting method of interpreting the Scrip- 
tures from the pulpit he had for some years 
been an attentive and highly gratified hearer, 
was, at the beginning at least, more his mo- 
del than any other expositor. 

When, however, the Author determined 
upon publication, it occurred to him that a 
body of Notes would be highly requisite 
for the vindication both of the translation 
and the exposition; and particularly to 
show that many interpretations, which to 
some readers will give offence, and which 
have the appearance of novelty and singu- 
larity, have been advanced, and ably sup- 
ported, by critics and expositors of high 
reputation for learning and judgement, and 
therefore, that they are at least entitled to 
a candid hearing. 

To conclude, in the words of the learned, 
pious, and venerable Bishop Pearce, " It 
may seem no recommendation of the fol- 
lowing Work, for the Author to inform his 
readers that it was drawn up above thirty 
(the liishop says fiftij) j^ears ago, unless at 
tjic siime time he could inform them, that 


it has received some alterations, which he 
hopes are improvements, as in the advance 
of his age his judgement increased, and as 
he met in his reading things worthy of being 
observed for the purpose. And such as the 
Work now is he offers it to the public, as 
what he hopes will make the true meaning 
of the apostle, in many places of his Epi- 
stles, better understood than they have been 
generally hitherto K" 

* See the Preface to a New Translation of the First 
Epistle to the Corinthians, with a Paraphrase and Notes, 
by Dr. Zachary Pearce, Bishop of Rochester, written eight 
months before his decease. The venerable prelate had kept 
this Work by him upwards o^Jifty years. He died June 
29, 1774, in the eighty-fourth year of hi? age. 

Essex-House, May 31, 1822. 


1 HE design of the following sheets is to 
exhibit a clear and distinct view of what 
appears to the Author to be the true sense 
and scope of that invaluable portion of the 
sacred writings, the Epistles of Paul. 

Of these celebrated compositions, it has 
long ago been remarked by very high au- 
thority, that " they contain many things 
hard to be understood/' And so greatly 
and so generally have they been miscon- 
ceived, and misinterpreted, and so nume- 
rous and glaring have been the errors pro- 
fessedly derived from them, that not a few 
have thrown them aside in despair : and 
some have rashly presumed to hazard an in- 
sinuation, that it might have been as well 
if the Epistles of Paul had never formed a 
part of the Sacred Canon. But as no be- 
liever in the Christian religion can possibly 

VOL. I. b 


deny the conversion and mission of the 
apostle Paul, so it cannot reasonably be 
doubted that he was eminently qualified for 
the important office to which he was ap- 
pointed; and therefore, that his writings, 
if genuine, must contain a very important 
meaning. And the Author of the following 
Exposition is greatly mistaken indeed, if it 
should not appear, that these masterly com- 
positions, when studied with diligence and 
impartiality, and in the way that other an- 
cient writings are, may like them, generally 
speaking, be well understood; and if, when 
so understood, they should not be found to 
comprehend a mass of instruction of the 
most interesting and useful kind, which will 
amply reward the labours of the biblical 


Of a Correct Text, — Fidelity in Translation. 
— Bias of Si/stc?n. 

Th e first object of the Author of the pre- 
sent Work has been to attain, as nearly as 
possible, a correct text : and to this end he 


has generall}^ adopted the text of the second 
edition of Griesbach, in whose accuracy 
and impartiality all biblical critics, of any 
consideration, are agreed ; and he has, for 
the most part, carefully noted any material 
deviation from the received text ; which de- 
viations are indeed, comparatively speak- 
ing, not very numerous. 

In translating, the Author has endea- 
voured to exhibit the true meaning of the 
apostle, in plain, simple, and intelligible 
language : and, with this view, he has made 
no scruple of availing himself, not only of 
the words of the Public Version, which are 
often the best that can be chosen, but of all 
other versions to which he has had access, 
whether those of Pearce or Chandler, of 
Doddridge or Worsley, of Newcome or 
Wakefield, or any other which have fallen 
in his way ; not even excepting the Liberal 
Translation of Dr. Harwood, which, though 
generally affected and in bad taste, some- 
times hits upon a happy phrase. So that 
the Translation here offered to the public 
might perhaps wath greater propriety be 
called an Eclectic, or Select Version, than 
a new one. And, in very many instances, 
after having introduced into the text the 




word which was judged preferable, the 
translations of other critics have been given 
in the Notes, leaving the reader to his own 
judgement in the selection. 

Where a word in the original is ambigu- 
ous, it is right, if possible, to translate it by 
a word which has the same ambiguity, and 
not to make that definite which the original 
leaves indefinite : but where an expression 
occurs which, being ambiguous in the ori- 
ginal, does not admit of ambiguity in the 
translation, but must be rendered by a 
word of definite signification, the Author 
does not hesitate to avow that in such cases, 
where the context does not supply the mean- 
ing, he is governed in his choice by the a?ia- 
logy of faiths or, in other words, by what he 
apprehends to be the genuine doctrine of 
the sacred writer ; presuming that it is quite 
impossible that the apostle should contra- 
• diet himself. This principle lias been ex- 

* " I have looked into it with care," says the candid and 
learned Bishop Watson in a Letter to the Duke of Graf- 
ton, who had made him a present of a copy of the Im- 
proved Version, " and ha\e met within it what I expected, 
and wliat indeed nnist ever accompany all translations, 
many places in which the sense of the author still remains 
ambiguous. Murphy's transhttitju of 'I'ac:itus differs from 
Gordon's, though both these writers were free from the 


claimed against by unthinking persons, as 
a corrupt warping of the text from attach- 
ment to system. But to act otherwise is 
impossible ; and those who have boasted 
most of their impartiality have failed in the 
attempt. Least of all can the Public Ver- 
sion pretend to perfect freedom from this 
bias. Nor are King James's translators, 
nor any other, to be censured on this ac- 
count. No doubt, all believe their own sy- 
stem to be the true doctrine of the apostles : 
and when they come to a passage which 
must be translated in a sense favourable or 
unfavourable to their own system, they will, 
and ought to translate it in the favourable 
sense, which must necessarily appear to 
them to be the true sense. Who can blame 
a Trinitarian for translating Titus ii. 13, 
" the glorious appearance of our great God 
and Saviour Jesus Christ V Who can con- 
demn an Arian for rendering Ileb. i. 4, 
" being made so much better than the an- 
gels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a 
more excellent name than they ? '' And 
who ought to take offence at a Unitarian 

bias of preconceived opinions, Avhich must almost neces- 
sarily occupy the minds of translators of the New Testa- 
ment." Bishop Watson's Life, p. 49-. 



because he prefers " the church of the Lord 
(Acts XX. 28), which he has purchased with 
his own blood/' a reading supported by all 
the best manuscripts, to " the church of 
Gocl^" Sec. which is only supported by the 
modern copies of the Vulgate, and by the 
iEthiopic, which is avowedly corrupted 
from the Vulgate ' ? Being, therefore, de- 
cidedly convinced, that the simple hu- 
manity of Jesus Christ is the clear indis- 

* See Improved Version in ioc; also Griesbach, ed. 2. 
in he. ; and Bishop Mansh's i\Jichaelis, voL ii. p. 96. 

As a further illustration of the observation we may refer 
to I Cor. xi. 10: *' For this cause ought a woman to have 
power (a veil) on her head, (Sia rovs otyysXovg) because of 
liie arigels.^^ The word, though ambiguous in the origi- 
nal, must be rendered definitely in the translation : viz. 
either angelsy in allusion to the supposed presence of ce- 
lestial beings in places of worship ; or, rtiesseugeis, in re- 
ference to the custom of sending a deputation from the as- 
semblies of the men to those of the women. 

A much more important case occurs Heb. i. 4, which 
in the Public Version is rendered, " being made so much 
better than the angels :" a translation which expresses the 
superiority of Christ to celestial spirits, as the text is com- 
monly understood.: — Mr. Wakefield's version, instead of 
angels, renders the words those messengers : i.e. the pro- 
phets of the old dispensation, alluded to in the context, 
ver. 1. The original is (tmhiguous; it expresses bodi 
senses. The translation is necessarily (/r/i?iifc, there being 
no English word which has the same ambiguity. Every 
one, therefore, is induced to translate accoi ding to what 
he believes to be the true sense of the writer: that is, ac- 
cording to his own system of belief. And neither paity i- 
to blame. 


putable doctrine of the New Testament, 
the Author makes no hesitation in avowing 
that he translates passages which admit 
equally of two senses, in that which is most 
favourable to this plain and important doc- 
trine : exactly as Dr. Doddridge and the 
authors of the Public Version translate with 
a bias favourable to the deity of Christ ; or 
as Dr. Chandler and Dr. Harwood trans- 
late with a prepossession in favour of Arian- 
ism. To pretend the contrary would be 
folly and affectation : and the Author hopes 
that he shall meet with the same candour 
and indulgence in this respect as his Arian 
and Trinitarian predecessors. In fact, to be 
destitute of a bias of this kind is both un- 
desirable and unavoidable : for what must 
we think of the translation of an author by 
one who professes that he does not under- 
stand his general scope and design ? and if 
he does understand it, how is it possible for 
him to avoid paying regard to it, in giving 
the sense of an ambiguous passage? Trans- 
lators are then only to be censured when, 
through the bias of system, they are induced 
to give a turn to the translation which the 
original does not warrant. 

It has been <dreadv observed, that where 


the original is ambiguous the translation 
ought, if possible, to be alike ambiguous ; 
and that it is only under the circumstance 
of a necessarily definite translation of an 
ambio'uous orioinal, that the bias of a cor- 
rect translator will appear. Jn Exposition 
the case is altered. The expositor professes, 
to give what he sincerely believes to be the 
true meaning of his author, and to explain 
passages which the author himself has left 
ambiguous. This has been attempted in 
the following Exposition, in w^hich the Au- 
thor has, to the best of his judgement, in 
every instance, given what he conscien- 
tiously believes to be the true sense of the 
apostle, without pretending to infallibility, 
and leaving it to his reader to determine 
how far his interpretation is just. 


Inspiration of the Epistles. 

From the history of Luke, and from the 
testimony of his own epistles, it appears 
evident that the apostle Paul was a man of 


great zeal and unblemished integrity ; who, 
haying been educated in all the supersti- 
tions, and in all the rigour of the Pharisaic 
discipline, and having been originally a 
cruel persecutor of those who believed in 
Jesus, had been converted to the faith by a 
miraculous appearance of Christ to him on 
the road to Damascus, whither he was goinir 
v/ith authority from the chief priests to raise 
a persecution against the believers in that 
populous city. Having been chosen and 
appointed by Christ to be his apostle, and 
to preach his gospel to the Gentiles, imme- 
diately after his conversion he went into 
Arabia, where he resided two years, during 
which period he was favoured with personal 
intercourse, more or less, with Christ him- 
self, and was by him fully instructed in the 
whole doctrine and scheme of the gospel, 
and in the nature and duties of the aposto- 
lic ofhce, and particularly of his mission to 
the Gentiles : he was also endowed with a 
large portion of the gifts of the holy spirit, 
and with that privilege in particular which 
was peculiar to the apostles, the power of 
communicating spiritual gifts to the new 
converts : so that, as he himself declares, 
he was not beliind the very chief of the 


apostles. See Gal. i. ii. 2 Cor. xi. xii. In 
addition to this, it appears that the apostle 
was favoured with occasional interviews 
with Christ, and revelations from him du- 
ring the course of his ministry, and that in 
his various missionary journeys he shaped 
his course not only under the general su- 
perintendence, but occasionally under the 
immediate direction of Christ himself. See 
Acts xiii. 2, xvi. 6 — 9, xviii. 9, 1 Thess. 
iii. 11. From all these circumstances, it 
may be justly concluded, that the apostle 
carried in his mind at all times, in all places, 
and to the end of life, a complete and infal- 
lible knowledge of the doctrine of Christ, 
so that whatever he taught, or wrote, upon 
that subject is to be received as true, and 
as of divine authority ; nor is it of the least 
consequence to ascertain whether that which 
he delivers be in any other sense inspired. 
For the doctrine which had been revealed 
to the apostle by Christ in Arabia, and which 
he could never forget, is as truly divine, as 
if it were communicated at the instant by 
the immediate inspiration of Cod. The 
same observation will apply to prophecy, 
which the apostle either spoke, or wrote. 
'Ihv prediction is eriually of divine autho- 


rity, whether it were originallj'^ revealed to 
the apostle by Christ in Arabia, or super- 
naturally suggested to his mind at the in- 
stant of his dictating an epistle to the Thes- 
salonians, or to Timothy. AVhether it were 
the one, or the other, it is not always easy 
to distinguish, nor in the least degree ma- 
terial. AVhatever the apostle teaches as 
Christian doctrine, whatever he announces 
as dictated by the spirit of prophecy, must 
be received as such by all who admit the 
claim of Paul as an apostle of Jesus Christ. 
Whether revealed or inspired^ the authority 
is the same '. 

* The vulgar and loose idea of inspirntion which regards 
every sentence of the Old and New Testament as an in- 
spired aphorism, must be abandoned by every one who 
allows himself to reason justly upon this subject: inspira- 
tion, that is, the supernatural communication of truth to 
the mind, being a miracle, is not to be admitted in any 
case but upon the clearest evidence. The apostles by their 
miracles exhibited the most satisfactory proofs that they 
were divinely instructed and authorized to teach the doc- 
trine of Christ; whatever, therefore, they advance as 
such, must be received as a revelation from heaven. 
When the apostle Paul announces to the Athenians that 
" God will judge the world in righteou5ness by the man 
whom he hath ordained," or, when he teaches the Corin- 
thians that " this corruptible must put on incorruption, 
and this mortal must put on immortality," he speaks with 
authority ; he is to be received as a messenger of God : 
he teaches what he could only learn from inspiration or 
revelation. Inspiration teaches with a tone of authority : 
** Thus saith tlie Lord," ^c. Reasoning is an appeal to 


Further than this the claim to inspiration 
does not extend. There is no reason to be- 

the understanding : " Judge ye what I say." Whoever 
appeals to reason waves, quoad hoc, his claim to inspira- 
tion. Still the doctrine may be from heaven, while the 
argument is inconclusive. That believing Gentiles were 
admitted to equal privileges with believing Jews, was a 
revealed truth. That all the arguments used by the apostle 
Paul in the Epistles to the Romans and the Galatians to 
establish this principle were inspired, or even that they 
were all conclusive, cannot reasonably be maintained. 

Upon the whole, an approved prophet, or an apostle, is 
to be received as inspired, or divinely instructed, First, 
when he asserts it ; Secondly, when he utters a prophecy ; 
Thirdly, when he speaks authoritatively upon the subjects 
of his mission, viz. the mission of Christ, the resurrection 
of the dead, the final judgement, &c. 

If it be inc^uired, How is it to be known when a prophet 
or an apostle is speaking upon the subject of his mission ? 
the answer is, From his own declaration, or the nature of 
the subject, the scope of the context, or the circumstances 
of the case. These considerations will generally lead to a 
right conclusion. But if error be involuntarily adopted 
after using the best means of information, it may be safely 
concluded that such error will not be imputed as a crime. 

These or similar views of inspiration were favoured by 
Erasmus and Grotius; they were published by Le Clerc 
in his celebrated Five Letters upon the subject ; and the 
most important of them have been supported by many emi- 
nent divinc*< both in and out of the Established Church. 

Erasmus says, " Non est necesse ut (fuhv/uid fuit in apo- 
sto/lSf protinus ad miraculum vocemus. Fassus est errare 
suos Cluistus, eliam post acccptum parncletum, sed iron 
us(jue ad fidei pericuhim,'' Erasmi Kpist, lib. ii. tom. 3. 
ed. IJasil. (irotius has the following passage in his lot. 
pro pace Kccles. torn. iii. p. (372, ed. Ltmd. 1(37^, fol. : 
" A spiritu sanclo dictari historias nihil fiiit opus, satis 
fait scriptorcnt tnemorid valerc,'' Le Clerc di\ides the 
sacred writing*^ into three classes, prophecies, hisloiics, 

SECT. II.] DTSSKiriATIOX. " xrfx 

lieve that the apostle was inspired to write 
a certain number of epistles and no more, 

and doctrines : in the first he admits inspiration, in the two 
last he absolutely denies it. Vid. Sentimem de qiie/gucs 
Theologieus HollandoiSf Lett. U, 12. See Marsh's Notes 
upon Michaelis, ch. iii. sect. i. note 10, vol. i. p. 379. 

*Itis possible," says Michaelis, "to doubt and even to 
deny the inspiration of the ISew Testament, and yet be 
fully persuaded of the truth of the Christian religion ; and 
many really entertain these sentiments, either publicly or 
in private, to whom we should render great injustice if 
we ranked them in the class of unbelievers." Marsh's Mi- 
chaelis, vol. i. p. 72. " Had the Deity inspired not a 
single book of the New Testament, but left the a])ostlcs 
and evangehsts without any other aid than that of natural 
abilities to commit what they knew to writing, admitting 
their works to be authentic, and possessed of a sufficient 
degree of credibility, the Christian religion would still re- 
main the true one." Michaelis, ibid, p, 72. Upon which 
Bishop Marsh remarks, " Here our author makes a di- 
stinction, which is at present very generally received, be- 
tween the divine origin of the Christian doctrine, and the 
divine origin of the writings in which that doctrine is re- 
corded." Ibid. p. 379. 

" The wdsdom contained in the Epistles of Paul," says 
the late learned Dr. Powell of Cambridge, Master of St, 
John*s College, " was given him from above, and very 
probably the style and comi>osition were his own." 

^' He is changed at once from a declared enemy to a 
teacher of our religion. But how did he learn the doc- 
trines which he undertook to teach ? Let him answer for 
himself. 1 neither received it of man, neither was I taught 
it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Gal. i. ]6. The 
doctrines of Christianity and his appointment to be a 
preacher of it were immediately revealed to him ; or, as 
the same thing may be otherwise expressed, his know ledge 
of them was inspired. For there seems to be no intelli- 
gible distinction between original revelation and inspira- 
tion : whether we sav that the new doctrines were revealed 


or, that he was prompted by immediate di- 
vine suggestion to write every, or any one, 

or inspired, the meaning is exactly the same. They whose 
understandings were furnished by the holy s^jirit with 
more than human knowledge ^vere inspired : they who 
committed such knowledge to writing made inspired 

" The natural faculties of the human mind enable it to 
retain the knowledge it has once acquired, especially if 
that knowledge be clear and important. None could be 
more important, or more justly claim attention, than the 
suggestions of the holy spirit. But as long as the memory 
retained the divine communications, so long did the inspi- 
ration continue ; and this we may presume was usually as 
long as the apostle lived. — But this wisdom consisted not 
in enticing words of human device. Of whatever kind the 
language be, it probably had no other source than the na- 
tural abilities of the writers. The form and character of 
St. Paul's Epistles we shall find to have been derived from 
the circumstances of his early hfe." "It has been said 
that the holy spirit suggested not only the religious wis- 
dom, but every sentence and word which the sacred writers 
delivered : this can never be proved. And could it be proved 
that the holy scriptures were thus dictated, it does not ap- 
pear that any important conclusions would be deducible 
from it. That which is important is also clear: whatever 
be thought of the colouring, the substance of these writings 
was from heaven." Dr. Powell's Sermons, No. xv. 

" The difficulty," says Dr. Paley, " which attends the 
subject is contained in this question : If we once admit 
the fallibility of the apostolic judgement, where are we to 
stop, or in what can we rely upon it ? To which question, 
as arguing with unbelievers, and as arguing for the sub- 
stantial truth of the Christian history, and for that alone, 
it is competent to the advocate of Christianity to reply, 
Give me the apostles' testimony, and I do not stand in 
need of their judgement." 

" But I do not think this the only answer of which the 
objection is capable. The two following cautions will 


of the epistles which are now extant : he 
puts in no claim to inspiration in his rea- 
sonings, in his illustrations, in his narra- 
tives of fact, in his typical and figurative 
arguments from the Old Testament, in his 
application of scripture language, in his in- 

exclude all uncertainty which can be attended with dan- 

" First, to separate what was the object of the apostohc 
mission, and declared by them to be sb, from wlrat was ex- 
traneous to it, or only incidentally connected with it." The 
learned writer illustrates this by the case of demoniacal 
possessions ; in which " the malady was real, and the cure 
was real, whether the popular explication of the cause was 
well founded or not." 

"Secondly, that in reading the apostolic writings we 
distinguish between their doctrines and their arguments. 
Their doctrines came to them by revelation properly so 
called; yet in propounding these doctrines they were w^ont 
to illustrate, support, and enforce them by such analogies, 
arguments, and considerations, as their own thoughts sug- 
gested. The doctrine itself must be received ; but is it 
necessary, in order to defend Christianity, to defend the 
propriety of every comparison, or the vahdity of every ar- 
gument, which the anosde has brought into the discus- 
sion ? '\ 

" When divine writers," says Bishop Burnet (Expos. 
Art. 6), " argue upon any point, we are always bound to 
believe the conclusions that their reasonings end in, as 
parts of divine revelation ; but we are not bound to be able 
to make out, or even to assent to, all the premises made use 
of by them in their whole extent, unless it appear plainly, 
that they affirm the premises as expressly as they do the 
conclusions proved by them." Paley's Evid. of Christ. 
vol. ii. p. 301 — 305. Dr. Priestley also has some excel- 
lent observations on Inspiration in the TheoL Repos. 
vol. iv. 

XXxii phi: Lf Al i N AlfY j^SECT, II. 

terpretations of the sacred writings, in his 
appropriation of Jewish prophecy. In all 
these cases the apostle speaks and writes as 
any other person of similar abilities and in- 
formation w^ould in similar circumstances^ 
with similar habits and prepossessions : and 
his writings are to be examined, discussed, 
and discriminated, like those of any other 
author ; with the same freedom and the 
same candour. 

This way of considerins; and treatins: the 
apostolic writings emancipates the mind 
from the bondage in which it is held by the 
popular but unfounded supposition, that 
every epistle was written by a divine sug- 
gestion, and that every sentence in every 
epistle, and ever\r word in every sentence, 
w^as dictated by the holy spirit. Under 
these circumstances, in which the author is 
nothing but the passive instrument of the 
holy spirit, the expositor finds himself un- 
der the hard but imperious necessity of jus- 
tifying every fact, every doctrine, every ar- 
gument, every proposition, and every ex- 
pression. Whereas, upon a rational and 
judicious theory of inspiration, ample pro- 
vision is made for the support of the apo- 
stle's authority in every case in which it 


can be necessary, while at the same time 
sufficient scope remains for liberal and can- 
did criticism. Upon this principle, an Ex- 
positor will not feel himself bound to warp 
and strain a text from its plain and obvious 
meaning, because that meaning is errone- 
ous, and to adopt some unusual and far- 
fetched interpretation in order to reconcile 
it to truth, because at all events the propo- 
sition must be justified ; but he will endea- 
vour to find out the true meaning of the 
author according to the established and ap- 
proved rules of interpretation, leaving the 
whole responsibility, whether for the sense, 
the truth, or the reasoning of the passage, 
upon the author himself, without any pain 
for the result ; being justly confident that, 
whatever error may be discovered, it will 
not be of such a nature as to diminish anj^ 
reasonable confidence in his authority as an 
apostle of Christ, and an authorized mis- 
sionary of the Christian religion. 

In this way, both the reader and the ex- 
positor of the writings of Paul will acquire 
an interest, both in the author and his 
Works, far beyond what it would be pos- 
sible to feel if the writer were considered 
merely as the organ of the holy spirit. — ^ 

VOL. I. c 


When the language of the apostle is under- 
stood as the natural and unaft'ected expres- 
sion of his own thoughts, views, and feelings, 
in the very extraordinary circumstances in 
which he was placed, and in the arduous 
and hazardous ministry with which he was 
charged, it gives a life, a spirit, a raciness, 
to his compositions, which they would not 
otherwise possess ; it inspires an interest in 
them which it would be impossible to excite 
in any other way, and renders these Epistles 
the most impressive, as well as the most im- 
portant, of any that were ever written or 
dictated by man. 


Obscurity of the Epistles of Paul. — Mr. 
Locke's Method of investigating their true 
Meaning. — Dr. Taylor s Key. 

In his Exposition of the Epistles, and in 
the investigation of the true meaning of the 
apostle, the Author of the following Com- 
mentary has followed the judicious advice 
and the excellent example of Mr. Locke, 


whose solidity and correctness of judge- 
ment, and whose comprehension of mind, 
are no less conspicuous, in his ' Paraphrase 
and Notes on the Epistles of Paul,' than in 
his celebrated ' Essay on the Human Un- 
derstanding,' and his admirable publications 
in defence of Civil and Religious Liberty ' . 
Discarding all attention to the modern di- 
visions of the Epistles into chapters and 
verses, which are of themselves sufficient to 
envelop the most perspicuous writer in con- 
fusion and obscurity ^, and persuaded that 

* Religious hiherty.'] See Mr. Locke's Essay for the 
understanding St. Paul's Epistles by consulting St. Paul 
himself * " That great man," says the late Bishop Wat- 
son, speaking of Locke, " has done more for the enlarge- 
ment of the human faculties, and for the establishment of 
pure Christianity, than any author I am acquainted with." 
Life of the Bishop of Llandaff, p. 407. 

^ Confusion and obscurity.'] Among the " causes which 
keep us from an easy and assured discovery of St. Paul's 
sense," Mr. Locke mentions " the dividing the episdes 
into chapters and verses, whereby they are so chopped and 
minced, and as they are now printed stand so broken and 
divided, that not only the common people take the verses 
usually as distinct aphorisms, but even men of more ad- 
vanced knowledge, in reading them, lose very much of the 
strength and of the force of the coherence, and the light 
that depends upon it. These divisions also have given 
occasion to the reading of these epistles by parcels and in 
scraps . . . and I doubt not that every one will confess it 
to be a very unlikely way to come to the understanding of 
any other letters to read them piecemeal, a bit to-day, an- 
other scrap to-morrow, and so on by broken intervals.'* 
Locke's Works, vol. iii. p. 277, 278. 

C 2 


no person in the apostle's situation would 
write or dictate epistles of considerable 
length to churches, or to individuals, with- 
out meaning to convey important instruc- 
tion in language that would be intelligible 
and impressive, his first concern, agreeably 
to Locke's advice, was, by careful and re- 
peated perusal of the apostle's Letter, to 
discover his main object and design, and 
then to trace the method by which he ef- 
fected his purpose. 

With this view, it was necessary that the 
Author should make himiself familiar with 
the apostle's style ; so as to be able to pursue 
his thoughts throuo;h their various divisions 
and ramifications ; to mark the nature of his 
transitions, often very pertinent when ap- 
parently most abrupt; to notice his long 
parentheses, his frequent personifications, 
his various digressions, and his method of 
returning to the subject in hand, sometimes 
after a long interval ; and the application 
of his observations to the case of v/hich he 
is treating, which shows that he had never 
lost sight of the question, and that he was 
not the loose and rambling writer which 
many imagine '. 

* Which mamj J/nagiue.] " After 1 found by long expe- 


The apostle Paul was a Jew, a Pharisee, 
who had been educated in the most rigo- 

rience/' says Mr. Locke, ibid. p. 281, " that the reading 
of the text and comments in the ordinary way proved not 
£0 successful as 1 wished to the end proposed, 1 began to 
suspect that reading a chapter as usual, and thereupon 
sometimes consulting expositors upon some hard places 
of it which at that time most affected me, was not a right 
method to get into the true sense of these epistles. I saw 
plainly, after I began once to reflect on it, that if any one 
now should write me a letter as long a^ St. Paul's to the 
Romans, concerning such a matter as that is, in a style as 
foreign, and expressions as dubious, as his seem to be, .if 
I should divide it into fifteen or sixteen chapters, and read 
of them one to-day, another to-morrow, it was ten to one 
I should never come to a full and clear comprehension of 
it. I'he way to understand the mind of him that writ it, 
every one would agree, was to read the whole letter 
through, from one end to the other all at once, to see 
what was the main subject and tendency of it : or, if it 
had several views and purposes in it, not dependent one 
of another, nor in a subordination to one chief aim and 
end, to discover what those different matters were, and 
where the author concluded one and began another ; and, 
if there were any necessity of dividing the epistle into 
parts, to mark the boundaries of them." 

" In prosecution of this thought, I concluded it neces- 
sary for the understanding of any one of St. Paul's epistles, 
to read it all through at one sitting, and to observe as well 
as 1 could, the drift and design of his writing it. If the 
first reading gave me some light, the second gave me 
more; and so I persisted on, reading constantly the whole 
epistle o\er at once, til! I came to have a good general 
view of the apostle's main purpose in writing the epistle, 
the chief branches of his discourse wherein he prose- 
cuted it, the arguments he used, and the disposition of the 

Such was tlie excellent method pursued by this truly 
great man, who at the same time discarded all attachment 


rous observation of the ceremonial law. 
This gave a cast to his ideas, and a tinge 
to his language, which always adhered to 
hirn. These circumstances led him to in- 
vent, as it Avere, a phraseology of his own, 
and to use classical words in a sense which 
they never bear in classical writers. He 
not unfrequently changes the meaning of 
his words in the same discourse without 
giving notice : he sometimes assumes diffe- 
rent persons, writes under different charac- 
ters, states and replies to objections, with- 
out giving his reader any hint of the tran- 
sition. This abruptness in the apostle's 
style often creates great obscurity, and 
makes it very difficult to ascertain his 
meanino'. Other difficulties also occur, 
which are necessary consequences of the 
epistolary style; such as alhisions to cus- 

lo popular system, and sought for nothing in the writings 
of Paul but what l^aul himself intended, making him for 
the most part his own interpreter. By these means he not 
only liimself exhibited to the public an exposition of these 
diihcult compositions, far more rational and intelligible 
than any which preceded, but he also supplied succeeding 
expositors with a clue for the more judicious interpretation 
of these invaluable writings, of which they have not failed 
to make use. And if the EpisUes of Paul are better un- 
derstood in the present age than in any which preceded it, 
this honourable })re-emincnce is almost whollv owing to 
that distinguished philosopher and Christian, John Locke. 


toms and manners not now existing, nor 
well understood ; also, to facts and occur- 
rences, both with regard to societies and 
individuals, which, though perfectly fami- 
liar to the writer and his correspondents, 
are utterly unknown to modern readers, 
and can only be imperfectly guessed, per- 
haps from hints incidentally dropped in the 
epistle itself. Hence arises great and fre- 
quent obscurity ^ in the Epistles of Paul, 

* Great andfreqnent obscurity ] " Besides the disturb- 
ance in perusing St. Paul's epistles," says Mr. Locke, 
" from the plenty and vivacity of bis thoughts, the fre- 
quent changing of the persona^ge he speaks in renders the 
sense very uncertain, and is apt to mislead one who has 
no clue to guide him. Sometimes by the pronoun / he 
means himself, sometimes any Christian ; sometimes a 
Jew, and sometimes any man, &c, His use of \\\e Jirst 
parson plural is with a far greater latitude, sometimes de- 
signing himself alone, sometimes those with himself whom 
he makes partners to the epistles; sometimes with himself 
comprehending the other apostles or preachers of the go- 
sjx"!, or Christians : nay, sometimes in that way he speaks 
of the converted Jews, other times of the converted Gen- 
tiles, and sometimes of others, in a more or less extended 
sense ; every one of which varies the meaning of the place, 
and makes it to be differently understood." Locke's florks, 
vol. iii. p. 277. 

" The form and character of St. Paul's Epistles," says 
Dr. Powell, " we shall iind to have been derived from the 
circumstances of liis early lite. Tarsus, where he was born, 
was in that age a celebrated seat of learning. The Tarsic 
eloquence was employed in sudden and unpremeditated 
harangues; and St. Paul, long accustomed to composi- 
tions of this sort, transferred the style and manner from 


which can never be perfectly explained ; 
but which the Author of the followino; Ex- 
position, to the best of his power, and with 
the aid of his learned and pious predeces- 
sors in the field of investigation, has endea- 
voured, in his humble measure, to eluci- 

It is after mature consideration that the 
Author has adopted that theory of interpre- 
tation of the Epistles of Paul which was 
first suggested by Mr. Locke \ and after- 
wards amplified, confirmed, and illustrated, 
by the late learned and laborious Dr. John 
Taylor of Norwich, in his celebrated ' Key 
to the Apostolic Writings,' prefixed to his 
Paraphrase on the Epistle to the Romans. 

The general principle of which theory is, 
that, the children of Israel, who had been 

speaking to writing. Little solicitous about method, he is 
often drawn from his design by the accidental use of an 
expression or a word ; and neither when he quits his pur- 
pose nor when he returns to it again, does he employ the 
usual forms of transition. Sometimes he assumes another 
person, and introduces a kind of dialogue in which it is 
not always easy to distinguish who is speaking. Lastly, 
he abounds with broken sentences, bold figures, and hard 
far-fetched metaphors.'^ Powell's Sermons, p. 250. 

* Suggested hy Mr. Locke.'] See Locke's long and ;id- 
mirablc note upon Rom. v. (i — S ; where he distinctly but 
briefly lavs down the principles of interpretation nftcrwards 
adopted by Dr. Taylor, and ro judiciously applied by him 
in his Exposition of the I'.pistle to ilm l^omans. 


formerly the chosen people of God, having 
been cast off* by him because of their great 
wickedness, and particularly for their re- 
jection of the Messiah, believers in Christ, 
whether Jews or Gentiles, are now admit- 
ted into the same relation to the Deity which 
the Israelites once held ; and those terms 
which were formerly applied to the state 
and privileges of the Israelites are now used 
to express the state and privileges of Chris- 
tian believers. For example. 

The Israelites having been selected by 
God from all other nations to be his pe- 
culiar people, are for that reason said to 
be chosen or elected; being placed in anew 
state of moral existence, they are said to 
be created; being separated from the rest 
of mankind for the service and worship of 
the true God, they are consecrated or lioly ; 
having formerly been heathen idolaters, they 
were then aliens and enemies; being become 
worshipers of the ixwe God, they are recon- 
died ^nd friends ; having been promised an 
inheritance in Canaan, they are made sons 
and children of God ; having been reco- 
vered from the bondage of Egypt, they are 
redeemed^ delivered^ purchased ; having been 
put into possession of Canaan, and favoured 


with a divine institute, they are the servants 
and subjects of God, in covenant with him, 
and bound by their allegiance to him. On 
the other hand, God is represented as sus- 
taining the correspondent relations of a 
Creator^ a Redeemer^ a Saviour, a Father, a 
Sovereign, a Judge, a reconciled God, and 
a God in covenant. He requires homage, 
worship, love, confidence, unlimited obe- 
dience to his laws and statutes, and, above 
all things, that they should abstain from 
idolatry. And upon these conditions he 
promises to be their protector and friend, 
to defend them from their enemies, and to 
continue them in possession of the land of 
Canaan, and of all the privileges and bless- 
ings they enjoy. But on the contrary, if 
they violate the covenant, if they disobey 
his law, if they reject his authority, if they 
swerve into idolatry, he also threatens to 
disown them as his people, to cast them out 
of covenant, to visit them with judgements, 
to expel them from the land of Canaan, and 
to deliver them over to their enemies. 

Now this language applied not so much 
to the moral conduct and to the personal 
character of the Israelites, as to their exter- 
nal state, as a cammunity separated by a 


peculiar ritual from the rest of the world, 
consecrated to the service of God, and the 
main design of which was to support in the 
world a standing memorial and testimony 
against idolatry. 

But the apostle teaches, that the Jews 
having rejected Jesus as the Messiah, are 
therefore themselves as a community re- 
jected by God; they are no longer a holy 
and peculiar people ; they are cast out of 
covenant, and in a national view the}^ stand 
upon the same footing as the Gentile world. 

He further teaches, that Jesus of Naza- 
reth, who was crucified and who rose again, 
is the true Messiah promised by the pro- 
phets, the mediator of a new and better 
covenant ; that Jews and Gentiles are alike 
invited to enter into its engagements and 
to accept its blessings ; and that all who be- 
lieve in Jesus as the Messiah, and who enter 
themselves as members of that community 
of which he is the head, are introduced into 
the same state of grace and privilege in 
which Israel formerly stood, and are enti- 
tled to the same honourable distinctions. 
Believers in Christ are acknowledo-ed as the 
spiritual Israel ; the true people of God, his 
servants, his children. They are chosen. 


holy, redeemed, called, and saved : having 
once been enemies, they are now recon- 
ciled : they are new created, new born. 
God is their creator, their redeemer, their 
governor, their father : they are ' translated 
out of darkness into light,' and ' from the 
kingdom of Satan,' a state of idolatry, into 
that ' of God's dear son,' the Christian com- 
munity : they are become ' fellow-citizens 
with the saints,' heirs of the promises and 
' of the household of God \' 

* Of the household of God.'] " Certain maxims of in- 
terpictation," says Dr. Paley, *' have obtained authority 
without reason, and arc received without inquiry. One 
of these is the expecting to find in the present circum- 
stances of Christianity a meaning for, or something an- 
swering to, every appellation and expression that occurs in 
scripture. Or, in other words, applying to the personal 
condition of Christians at this day those tides, phrases, pro- 
positions, and arguments, which belong to the situation 
of Christianity at its first institution." 

The learned author gives several instances of this mis- 
application of scripture language : amongst others, that 
baptism and converaiojt, though almost synonymous in the 
apo'-tolic age, are by no means essentially connected in 
the present. He adds : 

" The community of Christians were at first a handful 
of men connected among themselves by the strictest union, 
and divided from the rest of the world by a real dilference 
of principle and persuasion, and by many outward pecu- 
liarities of worship and behaviour. This society, consi- 
dered collectively, were set apart from the rest of man- 
kind for a more gracious dispensation, as well as actually 
distinguished by a superior jnirity of life and conversation. 
Jn Uiis view, and in o])position to die unbelieving world, 


All these high and honourable titles are 
applied to them in consequence of their 
having become members of the Christian 
community ; and do not generally express 
moral character so much as an external 
state, a state of privilege and profession, 
which if they duly improve, they shall ob- 
tain the promised blessings, they shall at 
the appointed season be raised from the 
grave to a new and endless life : and " v/hen 
Christ, who is their life, shall appear, they 

they were denominated in scripture by terms of great seem- 
ing dignity and import : they were elect, called, saints, in 
Christ, a chosen generation, a roj/al priesthood, a peculiar 
people. That is, these terms were employed to distinguish 
the professors of Christianity from the rest of mankind, as 
the names of Greek and Barbarian, Jew and Gentile, 
distinguish the people of Greece and Israel from other na- 
tions. The application of such phrases to the whole body 
of Christians is now become obscure ; and we resort to a 
sense and an appUcation of them easier, it may be, to our 
comprehension, but extremely foreign to the design of their 
authors, to distinguish individuals among the professors of 
Christianity from one another : agreeably to which idea 
the most flattering of these names, the elect, called, saints, 
have by bold and unlearned men been appropriated to 
themselves and their own party, with a presumption and 
conceit injurious to the reputation of our religion amongst 
them that are without, and extremely disgusting to the 
sober part of its professors." 

The learned and pious author further notices the strong 
expressions used in scripture to express the change from 
heathenism to Christianity, viz. regeneration, new birth, 
alive from the dead, a new creation ; and goes on to re- 
mark, " No such change can be experienced by any one 


also shall appear with him in glory/' He 
who reads the Epistles of Paul with atten- 
tion will plainly see that this is the general 
ineanin(>: of his lani>;ua2:e. Without this clue 
it will be almost impossible to understand 
his admirable writings, but with it there are 
few passages which do not admit a simple 
and easy interpretation : or, to say the 
least, the judicious application of this prin- 
ciple elucidates many passages which would 
otherwise be involved in inextricable ditfi- 

educated in a Christian country, yet we retain the same 
language. And what has been the consequence ? Some 
conclude that the expressions only indicate the enthusiasm 
of their authors. Others understand the phrases as signi- 
fying nothing more than a gradual amendment of life and 
conversation ; which degrades too much the proper force 
of the language. A third sort have imagined certain per- 
ceptible impulses of the Holy Ghost, by which in an in- 
stant they are regenerated and born of the spirit. If it be 
said, If such expressions of scripture do not mean this, 
what do they mean i we answer, They mean NOTHING : 
nothing, that is, to us : nothing to be found or sought for 
in the ])resent circumstances of Christianity." Paley's Cau- 
tion recommended in the Use and Application of Scriptural 
LanguagCf \n a Sermon before Bishop Law. Sermons and 
Tracls, p. (33. 



Authenticity of PaiiTs Epistles, — The irre- 
sistible Evidence which they bear to the 
Truth of the Christian Religion, 

Of the thirteen epistles which bear the 
name of the apostle Paul, it may truly be 
said, that there are no writings of equal 
antiquity, the genuineness of which is so 
clearly ascertained. The name of the apo- 
stle is prefixed to each ; and they contain 
nothing that is unv/orthy of his character, 
inconsistent with what is known of his his- 
tory, or incongruous with his mission. The 
claim to apostolic authority is indeed amply 
supported by internal evidence. The sub- 
jects upon v/hich these epistles treat, the 
spirit which they breathe, the tone of au- 
thority which they assume, the controver- 
sies which they discuss, the ardent zeal for 
truth which they exhibit, the faith, the for- 
titude, the patience, the piety, the charity, 
which they display, the entire devotedness 
to the cause in which the v/riter is em- 
barked, the joy in its success, the indigna- 


tion against malignant opposers, the grief 
at the misconduct of professors, and the 
glorious anticipation of a final triumph, are 
all in perfect unison with the apostle's cha- 
racter. The incidental allusions to persons, 
manners, and customs, which existed in the 
age and country in v/hich the apostle wrote, 
and the undesigned coincidences ^ and ac- 
cidental discrepancies with the history of 
the Acts, and with other portions of the 
New Testament, are strong confirmations 
of the genuineness of the epistles. 

The genuineness and authenticity of the 
thirteen Epistles have been admitted with- 
out controversy from the earliest age. The 
learning and inquisitive spirit of Eusebius 
of Cesarea, who appears to have examined 
the question thoroughly, could not discover 
that they had ever been disputed" : and cita- 
tions from tliese epistles ^ have been made 

^ Undesigned coincidences,'] See upon this subject Dr. 
Paley's Horrc Paulina;. — This celebrated work exhibits 
perhaps the best model of reasoning from indirect evi- 
dence in this or in any language. Many excellent hints to 
the same jHirpose are contained in Flardey's Observations 
on Man, vol.ii. partii. chap. ^1. 

^ Euseb. Hist. Eccl lib. iii. c. 24, lib. vi. c. (25. 

^ Citations from these epistles.'] For the exteinal evi- 
dence of the genuineness of tl\e Epistles of Paul, as well 
as of the other books of the New Testament, the reader 


by ecclesiastical writers from the age of 
Clement, contemporary and companion of 
the apostle, to the present da)^, in every 
successive generation, more numerous and 
full than those from any profane author, 
however celebrated or popular. And these 
citations are made by men who held very 
different systems of faith, and who all ap- 
peal to the authority of the apostle, and 
w^ould consequently keep a very vigilant 
eye upon each other, that no one might cor- 
rupt the apostle's text in favour of his own 
system, even if he should be so disposed. 
Also, the Epistles of Paul were very early 
translated into a great variety of languages, 
and many of these ancient versions are still 

may consult the incomparable Work of Dr. Lardner on 
the Credibility of the Gospel History. This learned and 
candid writer has completely exhausted the subject, and 
has brought together a mass of evidence in favour of the 
Sacred Writings, which will in vain be sought after to 
estabhsh the genuineness of any profane author. " There 
are," says Dr. Lardner in his article upon Tertullian, 
sect. 23, " perhaps more and larger quotations of the small 
volume of the New Testament in this one Christian au- 
thor, than of all the works of Cicero, though of such un- 
common excellence for thought and style, in writers of all 
characters for several ages. And there is a like number 
of quotations of the New Testament, in St. Iren^us and 
St. Clement of Alexandria, both writers of the second 
century." Lardner's Worksj vol. ii. p. 287, Kippis^s edi- 

VOL. I. d 


extant and agree with our present copies. 
Many manuscripts of great antiquity are 
still in existence, some of which are be- 
lieved to have been written as early as the 
third or fourth century, and have been 
found in very different parts of the world. 
These, within the last century, have been 
very carefully collated together ^ and, with 
a very small number of exceptions, they 
have been found to aoree. It is therefore 
next to impossible that evidence so various 
and accumulated should be fallacious. No 
such evidence can be produced in favour 
of the Epistles of Cicero or Pliny, of the 

* Carefully collated.'] Dr. John Mill of the University 
of Oxford had the honour to lead the way in this most la- 
borious and useful task of collating manuscripts and ver- 
sions. Hisgreat work was published at Oxford, A. D. 1707» 
He was succeeded by Kuster in Holland and Bengal in 
Germany, and eminently so by Wetstein in his most 
learned and valuable edition of the Greek Testament pub- 
hshed at Amsterdam A.D. 1751, 17o2, in two foiio vo- 
lumes. Their successors in the same field of laborious 
inquiry were Alter at Vienna, Matthaiat Moscow, Birch 
at Copenhagen ; and last of all, that industrious and very 
accurate critic, Professor Ciriesbach of the university of 
Jena in Saxony, whose revision of the text of the New 
Testament, founded upon a collation of manuscripts, of 
ancient versions, and of ecclesiastical writers, is now uni- 
versally received by biblical scholars as approximating the 
nearest to the purity of the sacred originals, of any which 
has yet been published. See Introduction to the Improved 
fasfON of the Neic 'Jesla/iienf,&v.ct.. vi. 


Commentaries of Julius Caesar, or the An- 
nals of Tacitus : and yet the most learned 
and the best informed men receive these 
Works as genuine : and he would be 
laughed to scorn who should express a 
doubt upon the subject. Much more then 
may we receive as unquestionably genuine 
the Epistles of Paul, the evidence of which 
is so much brighter and more decisive than 
that of any classical writer. And it is a fair 
and undeniable conclusion, that a person 
is fully justified in sitting down to read the 
Epistles of Paul Avith as complete a con- 
viction that they were written by him, as if 
he had been present while the apostle was 
dictating, or had even been himself the 
apostle's amanuensis. 

This is a principle which it is extremely 
desirable to bear continually in mind while 
we are reading the epistles. For it seems 
next to impossible that a person should 
admit the existence of such a man as Paul 
of Tarsus, and that he was verily and in- 
deed the author of the epistles which bear 
his name, and at the same time, after a se- 
rious and attentive perusal of the epistles, 
that he should remain an unbeliever in the 
Christian revelation. 



And tliis, no doiibt, is the true design 
and the most important use of these inesti- 
mable writings, though not often or sufG- 
cientl}' adverted to. Far indeed were they 
from being intended to incumber the phiin 
and simple doctrine of Christ, with an ad- 
dition^d mass of curious speculations con- 
cerning election and predestination, ori- 
ginal sin, vicarious suffering, irresistible 
grace, imputed righteousness, and final 
perseverance, to none of which do the epi- 
stles, when rightlj^ understood, give the 
least countenance. These invaluable re- 
cords are calculated to convey to the latest 
generation the most substantial evidence of 
the truth and divine original of the Chris- 
tian religion : and thisthej^do, by exhibit- 
ing a very fair and most interesting repre- 
sentation of the character, the views, the 
feelings, and the exertions of one of the 
principal leaders and teachers of the new 
religion, of the very extraordinary circum- 
stances in v/hich he was placed, and of the 
integrity, the zeal, the courage, the forti- 
tude, the patience, the prudence, and t)ie 
perseverance, which he manifested in tlie 
discharge of liis mission, in the labours 
which he undertook, in the dangers which 


he encountered, and in the suSerings vrhich 
he endured. They also display the disposi- 
tions, characters, and views, the feelings, 
the prejudices, the imperfect information, 
the partial reformation, the errors, the 
faults and irregularities, the frequent wa- 
vering and instability, of the first professors 
of the Christian faith : also, the dangers to 
v/hich they were exposed, and the joyful 
and faithful adherence of many to the apo- 
stle, and his doctrine, in the midst of suf- 
ferings and persecutions. These Epistles 
m.anifest in particular, the violent preju- 
dices of the Hebrew believers against the 
apostle on account of his liberality to Gen- 
tile Christians, and how^ constant!}^ they fol- 
lowed his steps v/herever he had founded a 
Gentile church, insisting upon the absolute 
necessity of subjection to the yoke of the 
ceremonial law, and denouncing the apo- 
stle as an unauthorized preacher of the go- 
spel, and one whose doctrine and authority 
were disowned by the original and genuine 
apostles of Christ. These charges imposed 
upon the apostle the indispensable obliga- 
tion of defendino; his character and autho- 
rity by such direct appeals to the miracu- 
lous powers which he possessed and ex- 


erted, and the supernatural gifts which he 
had even communicated to many converts, 
as must have silenced all objection if his 
appeal were just; and must have involved 
himself, his writings, and his doctrine, in 
eternal disgrace, if it were not so. In fact, 
the appeal was such as no man in his senses 
could have made, had he not known that it 
v/as true and unanswerable. So that, if the 
Epistles are genuine and the apostle was in 
his right mind, the reader may be as certain 
of the truth of the miracles and of the di- 
vine authority of the Christian religion as 
founded upon them, as if he had actually 
been an eye-witness to the extraordinary 
events related in the gospel, or had seen 
our Lord himself raised from tlie dead. 

To those readers who consider the sub- 
ject in this light, the Epistles of Paul will 
appear an inestimable treasure ; and instead 
of being, as they have hitherto often been, 
neglected by many as obscure and of little 
value, and abused by others as the inex- 
haustible source of animosity and bitter 
controversy, they will become a delightful 
occasion of concord and harmony through 
the whole Christian world, being received 
by all piuties as containini; tlx^ most ir- 


resistible evidence of their common faith. 
And if what is now offered to the public 
for the purpose of elucidating this import- 
ant portion of the Sacred Writings, is made 
effectual in any degree to the accomplish- 
ing this desirable end, the Author will be 
happy in the reflection that he has not lived 
or laboured in vain. 




[Chicjly taken from Lardnei^s Works, vol. vi. ch. xi,] 


5. The apostle Paul, descended pro- 
bably on both sides from Jewish pa- 
rents, of the tribe of Benjamin, and 
by birth a Roman citizen, was born 
at Tarsus, an opulent city of Cilicia, 
perhaps a few years after the birth of 
Christ », Acts xxi. 39, xxii. 3; Phil, 
iii. 5. 
30. Christ suffered at the Passover in 
March, in the fifteenth year of the 
reign of Tiberius. The holy spirit was 

* A feic years after the birth of Christ.} Paul is called 
a young man Acts vii. 58 ; and in the Epistle to Philemon, 
ver. 9, he calls himself Paul the aged, A.D. 62, imless for 
the word Trgsav-jTYjC aged we read Trg^a-^svTYig ambassador, 
which is perimps liie more probable reading, though it is 
only supported by conjecture. See Lardner, vol. vi. ch. xi. 
sect. 4. 




30. poured out upon the apostles at the 
Pentecost in May. See Priestley's Ob- 
servations on the Harmony of the Evan- 
gelists, sect. 2. 

35. September, or October. Pilate re- 
moved ^ : no successor appointed till 

* Pilate removed.^ In oHer to retain a distinct idea of 
the order of events in the public life of the apostle, it will 
be of use to bear in mind certain dates which are pretty 
well ascertained, and which form, as it were, landmark* 
for tlie arrangement of principal facts. 

1. The first is the recall of Pilate, by ViteUius the heu- 
tenant of Tiberius, at the solicitation of the Jews, a year 
and half before the death of Tiberius, September or Oc- 
tober A.D. So, Lardncr, vol. i. p. 374. After wdiich no 
governor with povv'er of hfe and deadi was sent into Judea, 
till Petronius was appointed by Caligula, i. e. for three or 
four years. Hence it is concluded, that Stephen was mar- 
tyred in the latter end of A.D. 35, as it does not appear 
that the Romans took oflence at so irregular an act. 
John xviii. 31. 

2. The second event is the attempt of Petronius to intro- 
duce the image of Caligula into the sanctuary A.D. 40; 
whicli by the universal consternation it excited is supposed 
to have put a stop to the persecution, and to have produced 
that rest to the churches which is mentioned Acts ix. 31. 
But this did not take place till after Paul had escaped from 
Jerusalem to Tarsus, Acts ix. 30, more than three years 
after his conversion, Gal.i. 18: which must therefore have 
liappcned A.D. 36 or 37. Lardner, vol. vi. p. 24C. 

3. The death of Herod Agrippa haj^pened A.D. 44, 
Acts xii., and the famine predicted by Agabus, Acts xi. 
27 — 30, soon followed it. Lardncr, vol, i. p. 240, vol, vi. 
p. 2()8. This fixes the time when Paul and l^arnabas vi- 
sited Jerusalem with the collection from Antioch, Acts xi, 

4. Pourlccn years after hi? conversion, Pnul and Bar- 



35. Petronius. Paul at Jerusalem. Ste- 
phen martyred 2 in December. The 
gospel preached in Samaria. Philip 
baptizes the Ethiopian eunuch, Acts 
vii. viii. 

nabas visited Jerusalem to settle the question concerning 
circumcision, Gal. ii. 1 ; which therefore must have hap- 
pened A.D. 49 or 50. It is mentioned by Luke Acts xv. 
and by Paul Gal. ii. 1 — 10. This se:tles the date of the 
Jerusalem decree, \vhich the apostles took back with them 
to Antioch the latter end of the year. Lardner, vol. vi. 
p. 274. 

5. The decree of Claudius to banish the Jews from 
Rome was issued A.D. 51. Lardner, ibid. p. 280. When 
the apostle came to Corinth, he there found Aquiia and 
Prisciila, who had been banished by that decree : proba- 
bly, therefore, he reached Corinth at the latter end of that 
year, where he staid a year and six months, that is, till 
March or April A.D. 53. Acts xviii. Lardner, ibid. p. 279. 

After this period the chronology is tolerably clear. The 
aposde remained at Ephesus about three years. Acts xx. 
31. He left that city in die spring of A.D. 56^ passed 
two years in ^lacedonia, &:c., and the winter of A.D. 57 
at Corinth, which he left in the spring of A.D. 58, and 
kept the Passover at Philippi : he hastened to Jerusalem 
at the feast of Pentecost ; where in a few days he was 
seized in the temple, and confined a prisoner at Cesarea 
for two years. He was sent to Rome A.D. 60, where he 
arrived in the spring of A.D. 61, and was released A.D. 63. 
Lardner, vol. vi. ch.xi. sect. 11, 12. 

Li this manner we obtain tolerably correct dates of 
many of the principal events. But there are some at 
which we can only guess ; and difficulties attend every hy- 
pothesis. These are principally the date of the aposde's 
visit to Crete, of the First Epistle to Timothy, and of the 
journey to illyricum. 

^ Stephen marli/red.'] The death of Stephen was an 
irregular act, yet no notice was taken of it by the Romans : 



36. November. Paul converted on the 
way to Damascus, Acts ix. 1 — 22 ; and 
invested with the apostolic office ' . 

37. Paul visits Arabia, Gal. i. 17. 

38. Paul in Arabia; is instructed by Christ 
in the doctrine of the gospel, ibid. 

S9. Returns to Damascus ; preaches in 
the synagogues ; is persecuted ; let 
down in a basket from the wall, and 
escapes to Jerusalem-, Acts ix. 23 — 
2o, 2 Cor. xi. 31, 32; spends a fort- 
night with Peter, Gal. i. 18 ; falls into 
the trance mentioned Acts xxii. 17; 
goes down to Cesarea Philippi, and 
from thence to Tarsus, Acts ix. 25 — 
30, Gal. i 


hcMice it is courludud that this event took place in the inter- 
val between the removal of Pihite A.D. Vii), and the appoint- 
ment of Petronius A.D. 39 or 40; during which interval 
there was no procurator with power ot life and death. 
Lardner places the martyrdom of Stephen in December 
A.D. o.i. Lardner, vol. vi. p. '240, '241. 

' lircestcd uilh the apostolic o[iice,] A trivial contro- 
versy has been moved concerning the lime wlien Paul be- 
came an apostle, which Lardner properly dates from the 
time of his conversion, when Christ appeared to him and 
gave hii^n his commission. 'Acts xxvi. Ij — '20. Lardner, 
vol. vi. ch. :<i. sect. o. 

* Escapes to Jerusalem.] The, apostle Paul was con- 
verted A.D. :>f), and died A.u. .^(i, making the whole 
course of his ministry and apostleship '29 years ; of which 
two were passed in Arabia, two as a piisoner in Judea, 



40. Petronius attempts to set up the statue 
of Caligula in the most holy place. The 
alarm excited diverts the Jews from 
persecuting the Christians, and gives 
rest to the church. Acts ix. 31. Peter 
visits Lydda,and heals Eneas, ver.245 
— Joppa, and raises Dorcas, ver. 40, 
' — Cesarea, and converts Cornelius, 
Acts X., and returns to Jerusalem ; 
where he vindicates his conduct to- 
v/ards the Gentiles, Acts xi. Paul re- 
mains at Tarsus, or in the neighbour- 
hood, probably preaching the gospel 
in Sj^^ria and Cilicia, Gal. i. 21. 

41. Paul at Tarsus. Barnabas is sent down 
by the apostles to Antioch, in conse- 

and two in confinement at Rome : so that the whole 
course of his active ministry was no more than 23 years. 
After his conversion, he made five visits to Jerusalem, all 
of them very short. The first was three years after his con- 
version, when he escaped from Damascus, Acts ix. 26; 
and staid only fifteen days, Gal. i. 18. The second was 
in company with Barnabas, to bring a contribution from 
Antioch, Acts xi. 30, A.D. 44. The third visit was A.D. 
50, when he and Barnabas were deputed to consult the 
apostles upon the question of circumcision, and returned 
to Antioch with the Jerusalem decree, Acts xv. The 
fourth was a mere salutation in his rapid journey in the 
summer of A.D. 33, Acts xviii. 29. And the fifth and last 
was at the feast of Pentecost A.D. 58, when he was al- 
most immediately seized by the mob, and after two years' 
imprisonment was sent a prisoner to Rome^ Acts xxi. 27. 



41. quence of the great success of the go- 
spel among the Gentiles there, to con- 
firm the new disciples, Acts xi. 22. 

42. Barnabas visits Tarsus, and brings 
Paul to Antioch, ver. 25. Lardner, 
ibid, ch. xi. sect. 8. 

43. Paul and Barnabas pass a year at An- 
tioch, where the disciples are named 
Christians ', ver. 26, 27. Paul is fa- 
voured with the vision, or rapture, 
mentioned 2 Cor. xii. 

' Christians.] A designation probably imposed by the 
enemies of Christianity, who annexed no other idea to 
Christ but that of a despicable Jew who had suffered an 
ignominious death for treason and blasphemy; and among 
the Greeks and Ilomans it would sound pretty much as 
»"ibn ^nn)? {ahde tolii) did to the Hebrews, who branded the 
disciples of Christ, as the foilozoers of the }nan that was 
hanged. The word Christian occurs but three times in 
the New Testament, and always in a bad sense. The first 
is in the text before us, Acts xi. 26. It occurs secondly 
Acts xxvi. 28, " Almost thou persuadest me to be a Chris- 
tian;'' where it is observable that tlie apostle does not re- 
peat Agrippa's words, and express a wish that he and all 
who heard him were altogether Christians, but altogether 
such as himself. And lin^Uy 1 Pet. iv. Ki, where the w^ord 
Christian is evidendy mentioned as used by the enemies 
of the gospel synonymously with malefactor. — If the name 
Christian had been given by divine appointment, as many 
suppose, it would have been constantly used by the apo- 
fedes and primitive believers ; and must have occurred hun- 
dreds of limes in the New Testament. It is very true that 
the tide was soon adopted, and became die boast of the 
early believers, but not in the age of the apostles. The 
apostle l^aul never uses the word Christian in all his e.pi- 



44. A sabiis foretells a famine: Paul and 
Barnabas are sent with a collection for 
the relief of the poor believers in Ju- 
dea, Acts xi. 27 — 30. Herod perse- 
cutes the church, puts James to death, 
and imprisons Peter, who is released 
by an angel, Acts xii. 1 — 19- Herod 
dies at the end of the year. Paul and 
Barnabas, accompanied by Mark, re- 
turn to Antioch, ver. 20 — 25. Dr. 
Lardner supposes that it was at this 
time that the apostle was favoured with 
the trance mentioned Acts xxii. 17. 

45. Paul and Barnabas by divine direc- 
tion set out upon a mission, accompa- 
nied by Mark. Lardner, ibid. sect. 9? 
Acts xiii. 1 — 3. They visit Seleucia 
and Cyprus, v/here Paul strikes Ely- 
mas the sorcerer with blindness for his 
malicious opposition to the gospel, con- 
verts the proconsul Sergius Paulus, 
and takes the Roman name of Paul in 
exchang;e for his Jewish name, Saul ; 

Btles, instead of which he uses the epithets Ao/y, hrethren, 
believers^ and the hke : for which reason those words also 
have been generally adopted in the paraphrase, as it seemed 
improper to represent the aposde as using a word which 
he appears purposely to have avoided. See Lardner, ibid, 
p. 265. 

Ixiv LIFE or PAUL, 


45. and, having passed through the island 
from Salamis to Paphos, ver.4 — 12, 

46. The apostles sail to Perga in Pain- 
phylia, where they are deserted by 
Mark, ver. 13. They proceed to An- 
tioch in Pisidia, where they preach 
the gospel with great success, ver. 13 
— 51 ; but being persecuted and driven 
out by the malignity of the Jews, they 
escape to Iconium, ver. 52, 53, where 
they make a considerable stay, and 
gain many proselytes, ch. xiv. 1 — 6 ; 
but the Jews inflaming the multitude 
against them, they flee to Lystra. 

47. At Lystra Paul heals the cripple, ver. 
7 — 10, and with difficulty prevents the 
people from offering sacrifices to him 
and Barnabas as incarnate deities, 
ver. 11 — 18; but the same populace 
being afterwards instigated by emissa- 
ries from Antioch and Iconium, stone 
Paul and drag him out of the city ; but 
recovering, he escapes to Derbe, ver. 
19, 20 ; from which place, after having 
made a considerable number of con- 
verts, they return to Lystra, Iconium, 
Antioch in Pisidia, Pamphylia, Perga, 
and passing through Attalia they sail 



47. for Antioch in Syria, from whence they 
set out, and having made a report of 
their mission, they remain in that city 
a considerable time, ver. 21 — 28. 

48. Paul continues at Antioch. 

49. Paul at Antioch. Zealots from Jeru- 
salem disturb the peace of the church 
by insisting upon the necessity of cir- 

50. Paul and Barnabas are deputed to go 
to Jerusalem ^ to settle with the apo- 

' Deputed to Jerusalem.'] Luke and Paul both give an 
account of this transaction : the former Acts xv., the latter 
Galatians ii. !••— 10, but with a very different spirit. Luke 
simply reports, that in consequence of the disputes con- 
cerning -circumcision, the brethren at Antioch determine 
that Paul and Barnabas, and some others, should go up to 
Jerusalem to consult with the apostles and elders upon this 
question ; but he says nothing of the high spirit which Paul 
exemplified upon this occasion, and which we learn only 
from his own account in the Epistle to the Galatians. Con- 
scious of the high authority under which he acted, he 
would upon no account compromise his character as tlie 
apostle of the Gentiles, nor suffer his decisions to be called 
in question. And if he went up to Jerusalem to consult 
with the other aposdes, it was not as the delegate of the 
church of Antioch, but by express divine revelation. Gal. 
ii. 1. And when there, he did not seek either for informa- 
tion or advice from his apostolic brethren, but only com- 
municated to them the doctrine which he taught, in which 
they acquiesced, and to which they added nothing, but 
with the greatest readiness acknowledged his authority to 
be on a par with their own. And as to the bigots who 
would impose circumcision on the Gentiles, he treated 
them with the utmost contempt; and in defiance of their 

VOL. I. e 



50. sties the question of circumcision, Acts 
XV. 1 — 29. Paul strenuously supports 
the liberties of the Gentile church, 
and the validity of his mission is fully 
acknowledged by the other apostles. 
Gal. ii. 1 — 10. On their return they 
pass through Phenice and Samaria, 
announcing the decision of the apo- 
stles, and arrive at Antioch with the 
Jerusalem decree, accompanied by Ju- 
das and Silas, Acts xv. 30 — 35 ; Lard- 
ner, vol. vi. p. 273. Peter visits An- 
tioch, and is publicly reproved by Paul 
for his duplicity, Gal.ii. 11 — 21. Silas 
remains at Antioch. Paul invites Bar- 
nabas to revisit the churches which 
they had planted. Barnabas proposes 
to associate Mark with them, which 
Paul refuses; in consequence of which 
disagreement they separate from each 
other, and Barnabas in company with 
Mark, and Paul with Silas, pursue dif- 
ferent routes. Acts xv. 35 — 40; Lard- 
ner, ibid. ch. xi. sect. 10. 

51. Paul and Silas visit Syria and Cilicia^ 

anathemas he brought up Tiuis with him to Jerusalem, 
who was an uncircumciscd (ienitile convert, and whom he 
would not sutler to be sul»i(M:trd to the yoke of the law. 
* Paul tisils Sj/ria and Ci/iria.'] Witsius and L. Ca- 



51. ver. 41. They pass through Derbe and 
Lystra, where Paul finding Timothy, 

pellus think that the apostle went from Cihcia to Crete, it 
being very improbable that the gospel should not have been 
introduced into Crete till A.D. 63 or 64, the time assigned 
by Pearson, Benson, and others, when all the countries 
round had received it long betbre. Lardner, ibid. p. 276. 
Lardner is of opinion that the visit to Crete happened some 
time in the interval between the apostle's leaving Troas in 
the spring of A.D. 56, and returning thither again in the 
spring of A.D. 58, in his way to Jerusalem. In this inter- 
val also he places his journey to Illyricum, Rom. xv. 19, 
and his purposed residence at Nicopolis, either in Epirus 
or Thrace, Titus iii. 12. " But I cannot," says he, " di- 
gest the order of his journeys, since St. Luke has not re- 
lated them." p. 287. 

Dr. Ashworth, the late learned and respectable tutor of 
Mr. Coward's Academy at Daventry, in his manuscript 
life of the apostle conjectures that Paul took some oppor- 
tunity of visiting and preaching the gospel in Crete during 
the three years which are assigned for his residence at 
Ephesus and in its vicinity ; during which time it is al- 
lowed by critics that he did not confine himself wholly to 
that city and its environs. The mission to Crete is sup- 
posed to have occurred in the latter end of A.D. 55. And 
the apostle returning in the beginning of A.D. 56, writes 
the Epistle to Titus, directing him, when relieved by his 
successor, to come to him at Nicopolis, where he then pro- 
posed to pass the winter. But soon after he had sent this 
epistle, the apostle received the deputation from Corinth, 
which induced him materially to vary his plan ; and, in- 
stead of spending the winter at Nicopolis, he proposes to 
pass it at Corinth. And, having sent his reply to the Co- 
rinthians by the messengers who brought their letter to 
him, the apostle dispatches Artemas to Crete to set Titus 
at liberty, directing him to go immediately to Corinth, and 
that after having waited long enough to observe the gene- 
ral state of things at Corinth, and the impression made 
upon the Corinthians by his letter, he should leave Corinth 

e 2 




51. assumes him as an associate, having 
been well recommended by the elders. 
Acts xvi. 1 — 3. They pass on to Phry- 
gia and Galatia, and being restrained 
by the spirit from preaching in the pro- 
consular Asia, they proceed to Mysia, 
and being forbidden to visit Bithynia, 

in time to meet the apostle, if possible, atTroas, where he 
intended to be, soon after Pentecost, in his way from Ephe- 
sus to Macedonia. But the apostle being probably obliged 
to leave Ephesus sooner than he intended, in consequence 
of the tumult of Demetrius and the artists, did not find 
Titus at Troas; and, being impatient to receive tidings 
from Corinth, he hastened into Macedonia, where, to his 
great joy, he found the evangelist, 2 Cor. ii. 12, 13, vii. 
5 — 7' But though the tidings brought by Titus were upon 
the whole encouraging, yet the apostle, willing to allow the 
irregular members more time to reflect and to reform, de- 
termined upon deferring his proposed visit till the follow- 
ing year ; and, instead of going to Corinth at the latter end 
of A.D. oQ, he made a circuit into lUyricum, from which 
he is supposed to have returned in the spring of A.D. 57 
to Macedonia, where he probably found Timothy, who 
joined with him in writing the Second Epistle to the Co- 
rinthians ; which was carried by Titus and Luke, and in 
which he apologizes for having so long deferred his visit. 
2 Cor. i. 15 — 24, ix. 2, compared with 1 Cor. xvi. 1 — 4. 
The apostle followed this letter in person at the latter end 
of the year; and, having passed three months at Corinth 
and written an epistle to the Romans, he leaves Corinth in 
the spring of A.D. 58, and reaches Philippi at the Passover 
in his way to Jerusalem. 

This scheme is acknowledged to be only a hypothesis ; 
but such is every other way of accounting for this part of 
the apostle's missionary travels, and it is only proposed as 
aflfordinga probable solution of the difficulties which exist. 



51. they go on to Troas, ver. 4 — 8. At 
Troas a vision invites the mission into 
Macedonia. Luke joins the party, and 
begins to write in the first person, ver. 

9, 10. They sail first to Samothrace, 
and then to Neapolis ; they visit Phi- 
lippi, Avhere Lydia is converted, the 
pythoness dispossessed, the apostles 
accused, beaten, and imprisoned, re- 
leased by miracle, the jailer converted, 
the magistrates humbled, and the apo- 
stles set at liberty, ver. 11 — 40. Pass- 
ing through Amphipolis and ApoUo- 
nia,they arrive atThessalonica, where 
they make some stay, and preach the 
gospel with great success. Here Paul 
works for his subsistence, and receives 
supplies from Philippi. Philip, iv. 16. 
They are driven from Thessalonica in 
consequence of a tumult excited by 
the unbelieving Jews, Acts xvii. 1 — 

10. Paul escapes to Berea, where he 
makes many converts, and theBereans 
are commended for trying his doctrine 
by the scriptures, ver. 11,12: but, the 
Jews from Thessalonica exciting the 
populace against him, the apostle is 
conducted privately to Athens, leaving 



51. Silas and Timothy behind, ver. 13 — 
15. Timothy soon follows, and is sent 
by the apostle to visit and comfort 
the Thessalonians, 1 Thess. iii. 1. At 
Athens the apostle, moved by the 
gross idolatry of the place, remon- 
strates against it. Acts xvii. 16 — 18 ; 
and beins: brought before the court of 
Areopagus, he defends himself in the 
eloquent speech recorded Acts xvii. 2 1 
— 31 ; and, though ridiculed by the 
philosophers, he makes some respect- 
able converts, ver. 32 — 34. Paul pro- 
ceeds to Corinth; meets Aquila and 
Priscilla, banished from Rome by 
Claudius's decree ; lodges in their 
house, and supports himself by work- 
ing in their occupation, ch. xviii. 1 — 
3, being assisted occasionally by sup- 
plies from other churches, 2 Cor. xi.8. 
At Corinth the apostle is joined by 
Silas and Timothy, Acts xviii. 5. 

52. Paul continues at Corinth a year and 
a half; and from this city he writes the 
two epistles to the Thessalonians, and 
the epistles to the Galatians, Acts 
xviii. 11. 

53. The iirst three months at Corinth. 



53. Gallio the proconsul refuses to listen 
to the complaints against Paul, ver. 
12 — 17. Paul goes to Cenchrea ; vi- 
sits Ephesus for a short time ; sails to 
Cesarea ; makes a short visit at Jeru- 
salem ; spends some time at Antioch ; 
passes through Galatia and Phrygia, 
in order confirming the churches ; and, 
having made a circuit through the up- 
per regions of Asia Minor, he arrives 
at Ephesus ^ after Apollos was gone 
to Corinth. Acts xviii. 18 — xix. 1. 

54. Paul at Ephesus, where he performs 
extraordinary miracles; and where the 
sons of Sceva are beaten by the demo- 
niac, ver. 2 — 20. Claudius dies Oct. 
A.D. 54^. The apostle proposes, after 
visiting Macedonia and Achaia, to go 

' Arrives at Ephesus.'] Dr. Lardner sajs, " possibly in 
October or November ;" and adds, " I hope I have al- 
lowed time enough for all the journeys hitherto mentioned ; 
nnd that I have not brought Paul to Ephesus too soon." 
Lardner, ibid, p. 280. The learned writer certainly keeps 
the aposde pretty much upon the alert during the summer 
of A.D. 53 ; and Dr. Ashworth inchnes to allow him an- 
other year, beginning his mission from Antioch a year ear- 
lier. It is impossible to be perfectly accurate, and Dr. 
Lardner's calculations are, upon the whole, as probable 
as any. 

^ Claudius dies>'] See Lardner, ibid. p. C282. 



54. to Jerusalem, and thence to Rome. 
Acts xix. 21. 

55. Paul probably visits Crete, and thence, 
perhaps, sends his First Epistle to Ti- 
mothy. He leaves Titus to settle the 
church, Titus i. 5. Soon after his re- 
turn he writes the Epistle to Titus, in- 
tending at that time to pass the winter 
at Nicopolis, where he directs Titus 
to meet him. Titus iii. 12. 

56. The apostle proposes to remain at 
Ephesus till Pentecost, 1 Cor. xvi. 8 ; 
receives an epistle from Corinth, and 
writes the First Epistle to the Corin- 
thians in reply. — He changes his plan ; 
sends Artemas to relieve Titus, and 
directs Titus to go to Corinth to see 
the state of things there, and to meet 
him at Troas, 2 Cor. ii. 12, 13. He 
sends Timothy and Erastus into Ma- 
cedonia, Acts xix. 22. A tumult was 
excited at Ephesus by Demetrius and 
the artists, ver. 23 ; after which the 
apostle set out for Macedonia, xx. 1; 
and, leaving Ephesus probably some- 
thing sooner than he intended, he 
comes earlier than lie was expected, 
ii) Troas, 2 Cor. ii.^ 12. Not finding 



56, Titus there, and being impatient to re- 
ceive tidings from Corinth, he crosses 
the sea into Macedonia, where he finds 
the evangelist, who gave him a favour- 
able account of what was passing at 
Corinth. — From Macedonia, it is com- 
monly believed, though probably er- 
roneously, that the apostle dated his 
First Epistle to Timothy K 

* The First Epistle to Timothy.'] It seems quite incre- 
dible that Paul, if he wrote this letter to Timothy from 
Macedonia, immediately after he had left Ephesus, I Tim. 
i. 3, should have made no allusion whatever to the danger 
to which he had been exposed by the tumult at Ephesus, 
to which he so feelingly refers in the Second Epistle to the 
Corinthians, which was written a year afterwards. This 
and other considerations have led Pearson, Paley, Mac- 
knight, and others, to fix the date of this epistle after the 
apostle's first imprisonment about A.D. 64. But, besides 
that this hypothesis contradicts the apostle's assertion that 
he should never visit Ephesus again. Acts xx. ^25, it could 
hardly have been necessary at that time to have cautioned 
Timothy that no man should despise his youth, 1 Tim. 
iv. 12. On every hypothesis difficulties seem almost in- 
surmountable. It seems to me possible that the epistle 
might have been written from Crete A.D. 56, when the 
apostle was there with Titus. He might have left Timo- 
thy to superintend the church at Ephesus during his ab- 
sence, intending to return soon. The obvious objection 
against this is ch. i. 3, where he says expressly that he 
left Timothy at Ephesus when he went into Macedonia. 
This difficulty would be obviated if we could admit the 
reading of a manuscript of Hilary, " 1 besought thee to 
abide still at Ephesus {ciim ires in Maccdoniani), when 
thou wert going into Macedonia." See Gnesbach in loc. 
ed. 2. But it must be acknowledged that tiiis reading is 
not supported by any other authority. 



56. When he wrote to the Corinthians 
it was his intention to have passed the 
winter at Corinth, 1 Cor. xvi. 6. But 
the intelligence he received from Ti- 
tus, not being quite satisfactory, in- 
duced him to alter his plan, and to 
defer his visit to Corinth till the year 
following. In the mean time, after 
passing a few months in Macedonia, 
he went, perhaps in September or 
October, to preach the gospel in Il- 
ly ricum. It is believed that Titus ac- 
companied him, 2 Tim. iv. 10, 2 Cor. 
viii. 17, and Luke v. 22 ; and perhaps 
Timothy, whose name he joins with 
his own in the inscription of the Se- 
cond Epistle to the Corinthians. The 
apostle and his associates returned to 
Macedonia in the spring of a.d. 57, 
Rom. XV. 19. 

57. Ileturns to Macedonia; writes the Se- 
cond Epistle to the Corinthians, join- 
ing the name of 1'imothy with his own. 
This he sends by Titus, 2 Cor. viii. 6', 
22, accompanied by two other bre- 
thren, one of whom was probably 
Luke^ See ver. 18, I9, and P.S. to 

' Probably Jjikc] Luke iiist joined the apoiiilc at 



57. the epistle. At the latter end of the 
year he visits Corinth, and stays three 
months, Acts xx. 3. From Corinth the 
apostle writes the Epistle to the Ro- 

08. Paul reaches Philippi before the Pass- 
over, and there spends the days of un- 
leavened bread, ver. 6 ; and is again 
joined by Luke, who perhaps accom- 


Troas, and accompanied him into Macedonia, Acts xvi. 
10, 11. He seems to have parted from him at Philippi, 
Acts xvii. 1, but to have joined him again at PhiHppi 
when he quitted Macedonia on his way to Jerusalem A.D. 
08, and from that time to have been his constant associate. 
Acts XX. 1 — 6, Lardner. vol. vi. p. 105. It is remarkable 
that Luke, through his whole history, never mentions Titus, 
though they must often have travelled together in company 
with the apostle; and in this instance were associated in 
the same mission. There must have been some reason for 
this pointed neglect. Perhaps the following may be as- 
signed as not improbable: The apostle in his Second Epi- 
stle to Timothy, written probably soon after the com- 
mencement of his first imprisonment, ch. vi. 10, 11, com- 
plains of being abandoned by many of his friends. " De- 
mas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and 
is departed to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, Titus to 
Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me." Demas, it appears, 
soon repented, and joined the apostle again ; who makes 
honourable mention of him in the epistles to the Colos- 
sians and Philemon. But of Titus we hear no more. It 
does not appear that he ever returned to the apostle : his 
name is never mentioned again. And Luke, who was 
then writing his history, which closes with Paul's impri- 
sonment, might so far resent the conduct of Titus as not 
to introduce liis name. 



58. panied the apostle from Corinth. At 
Troas he raises Eutychus to life, ver. 
7 — 12' From Troas he passes by As- 
sos, Mitylene, Chios, Trogyllium, and 
Miletus, on his way to Jerusalem. 
At Miletus he sends for the elders 
of Ephesus, and delivers to them 
the beautiful and affecting charge re- 
corded ver. 17 — 38. Hence he passes 
by Rhodes, Patara, Tyre, Ptolemais, 
and Cesarea, where Agabus foretells 
his imprisonment and bonds, Acts xxi. 
1 — 14 ; and reaches Jerusalem by the 
feast of Pentecost, ver. 15, 16. Here, 
having by the advice of James joined 
in purification with four Nazarites, se- 
ven days after his arrival, an outcry 
of profaning the temple was raised 
against him by some Asiatic Jews ; 
and being seized and beaten by the 
mob, he was rescued by the Roman 
military commander Claudius Lysias, 
by whom he was permitted to address 
the people in his own defence, xxi. 18 
— xxii. 21. This harangue being in- 
terrupted by a tumult, the commander 
ordered him to be examined by scourg- 
ing ; but desisted upon being informed 



58. that the apostle was a free citizen of 
Rome, ver. 22 — 30. The next day 
being examined before the council, 
and having severely reproved the high- 
priest for ordering him to be struck 
without any provocation, the apostle, 
being reminded of the dignity of the 
magistrate, apologizes for his freedom ; 
after which he divides the council, 
by declaring himself a Pharisee, and, 
being in danger of his life, he was 
rescued by the Roman commander. 
Acts xxiii. 1 — 10, and afterwards en- 
couraged by Christ in a vision, ver. 1 1. 
Forty Jews having bound themselves 
by an oath to assassinate the apostle, 
and the conspiracy being discovered 
by a youth who was related to him, 
the Roman commander again protects 
him, and sends him by night under a 
military escort to Cesarea, to plead 
his cause before Felix, the Roman go- 
vernor, ver. 12 — 35 ; who, when his 
accusers were come, after having heard 
TertuUus's charge and the apostle's 
manly defence, defers the judgement, 
and remands the apostle into custody, 
expecting that he would offer him a 

Ixxviii LIFE OF PAUL. 


58. bribe to be set at liberty. In the 
mean time he frequently sends for the 
apostle, and hears his doctrine with 
emotion: nevertheless he keeps him in 
confinement for two years ; and when 
recalled from his government, in order 
to gratify the Jews whose resentment 
he feared, Felix leaves Paul in bonds. 
During this period we are not told that 
the apostle either wrote an epistle or 
delivered a discourse ; though we may 
be sure that he would gladly avail him- 
self of every opportunity that offered 
to teach the gospel. Acts xxiv. 

59. Paul a prisoner at Cesarea. 

60. Paul still in prison. Festus succeeds 
Felix ; visits Jerusalem, where the 
Jewish rulers allege charges against 
Paul ; he orders the accusers down to 
Cesarea, where he hears but does not 
decide the cause. Acts xxv. 1 — 4. To 
please the Jews, however, Festus pro- 
poses to the apostle to take his trial at 
Jerusalem, which the apostle, appre- 
hensive for his life, declines ; and avail- 
ing himself of his privilege as a Roman 
citizen, he appeals to Cesar ; which 
appeal is allowed by Festus and his 



60. council, ver. 5 — 12. Shortly after- 
ward, Agrippa and Berenice being 
upon a visit to Festus to compliment 
him upon his accession to the govern- 
ment, Festus states the case of the apo- 
stle, and his own difficulty in describ- 
ing the nature of the charge, ver. 13 — 
22. Agrippa earnestly desiring to hear 
Paul, Festus consents ; and the apo- 
stle being brought into court, and 
leave being granted, ver. 23 — 27, he 
makes the eloquent defence recorded 
ch. xxvi. 1 — 30; after which the king 
and the governor express their regret 
that, on account of his appeal, they 
could not immediately release him, 
ver. 31, 32. At the latter end of the 
year, perhaps in October, he sets sail 
for Rome, ch. xxvii. 1 — 13 ; and the 
weather proving tempestuous, and the 
mariners being disappointed in their 
purpose of sheltering themselves in 
Crete, the ship was wrecked on the 
coast of Malta, probably in the month 
of November, ver. 14 — 44. 

61. At Malta Paul miraculously escapes 
from the bite of a viper, ch. xxviii. 
1 — 6 ; he heals the father of Publius, 



Gl. and others, ver.7 — 10; and at the end 
of three months he sails for Italy, lands 
at Puteoli, passes a week with his 
friends, and proceeds to Rome *, ver. 
1 1 — 14 ; where, probably after an early 
hearing of his cause, he was permitted 
to reside at his own house in military 
custody, and to preach and teach with- 
out restraint, ver. 15 — 30. Soon after 
his first hearing he writes the Second 
Epistle to Timothy -. 

C2. Paul a prisoner at Rome, ver. 31, 32 ; 
writes the Epistles to the Ephesians or 
Laodiceans, the Philippians, the Co- 
lossians, and Philemon. 

6S. Paul released^, probably in the spring. 
Dictates the Epistle to the Hebrews, if 
that be his ; is supposed to have visited 
Colossa3, Philippi, Ephesus, and Je- 
rusalem ; and after this to have re- 
turned to Rome. Some have thought 

' Proceeds to Rome.] Probably in the month of Fe- 
bruary in the seventh year of the reign of Nero. See 
Pearson and Witsius apud Larthier, ibid. p. C94. 

* Second Epistle to Timothy.'] Tliis fact appears to be 
decisively estabhshed by Lardncr, vol. vi. ch. xii. sect. 10. 

* Paul re/eased.] I'or the conjectures and traditions 
concerning the apostle after his release from what is called 
his first imprisonment, see Lardner, ch. xi. sect. 13. 



6S. that he visited Spain, and even Bri- 
tain, but of this there is no proof or 

64. Rome was set on fire by Nero, who, 
to exonerate himself, charged the crime 
upon the Christians, for which they 
were cruelly persecuted, 

65. In this persecution the apostles Paul 
and Peter both suffered martyrdom ; 
it is said on the same day ; Peter by 
crucifixion; Paul, as a Roman, by de- 
capitation. He was buried in the Via 
Ostiensis, being probably about sixty 
years of age. That the apostle did not 
survive this persecution is highly pro- 
bable ; as, otherwise, he could not have 
failed to have written an Epistle of 
condolence, of consolation, and encou- 
ragement, upon this memorable occa- 


VOL. I, 



[Prefixed to Dr. Lardner's Supplement, in his Works, 
vol. vi.. Dr. Kippis's edition.] 


1 Thessalonians . Corinth 52 

2 Thessalonians . Corinth »52 

^ , . r Corinth . . . near the end of 52 

(jraiatians . . •< ^ , , , . . ^ ^ ., 

i or bphesus . the begmning ot o.^ 

1 Corinthians . . Ephesus . . the beginning of 56 

1 Timothy 1 . . . Macedonia 56 

Titus 2,in or near Macedonia . before tfie end of 56 

2 Corinthians . . Macedonia . about October . 57 
Romans , . . Corinth . . about February 58 
Ephesians3 . . Rome . . . about April . . 61 

2 Timothy . . . Rome . . . about May . . 61 

Philippians . . Rome . . . before the end of 62 

Colossians . . Rome . . . before the end of 62 

Philemon . . . Rome . . . before the end of 62 

Hebrews . . . Rome orltaly in the spring of 63 

* 1 Timothy.'] For reasons which are elsewhere assigned, 
it seems quite impossible that the I'^irst Epistle to Timothy 


should have been written in the journey which Luke men- 
tions, when the apostle went from Ephesus to Macedonia 
in the spring of A.D. 56. And the hypothesis which as- 
signs a date to this epistle in a journey which happened 
on the apostle's return to Rome A.D. 64, after his first im- 
prisonment, is liable to great, though not equal, difficulties. 
The supposition that the apostle visited Crete from Ephe- 
sus, that he then left Timothy in charge of the church at 
Ephesus, and that he wrote a letter of advice to him from 
Crete, is the hypothesis which appears to me to be at- 
tended with the fewest difficulties ; though neither this nor 
any other hypothesis is supported by much external evi- 
dence. Upon this supposition, the First Epistle to Ti- 
mothy would be dated about the latter end of A.D. 55. 

^ 2'itiis, in or near Macedonia.'] If the late Dr. Ash- 
worth's hypothesis be admitted, that " the apostle went 
from Ephesus to j^reach the gospel in Crete, where he 
left Titus," the Epistle to Titus must have been written 
from Ephesus in the beginning of A.D. 56, before the apo- 
stle had received the letter from the Corinthians. This in- 
duced him to change his plan, and to send a message to 
Titus ; that instead of meeting him at Nicopohs, he should 
go forthwith to Corinth, and, after having learned the 
state of things there, that he should return immediately to 
meet the apostle at Troas, or at least in the nearest city of 

^ Ephesiansj Rome A.D. 61.] Dr. Lardner has taken 
great pains to show that the Epistle to the Ephesians was 
not only actually addressed to the Ephesians, but that it 
was the first of all the epistles which were dated from 
Rome ; and that, together probably with the Second Epi- 
stle to Timothy, it was sent to Ephesus by Tychicus, who 
returned again to Rome in time to carry the Epistles to 
the Colossians and Philemon. Lardner, ibid. vol. vi. 
p. 327. But Dr. Paley in his HorcE PaulincE has demon- 
strated with such irresistible evidence that the Epistles to 
the Ephesians and the Colossians must have been written 
nearly at the same time ; and it is so clear, and indeed un- 
disputed, that the Epistle to the Colossians w^as written 
near the close of the first imprisonment, that Dr. Lardner's 
argument cannot be sustained. It is also equally evident, 



and demonstrated by Palcy, that the letter could not be 
addressed to the inhabitants of Ephesus; but was either 
a general circular epistle, or the Epistle to the Laodiceans 
to which the apostle alludes Col. iv. l6. At all events, 
this epistle must have been written and sent at the same 
time with that to the Colossians and the Epistle to Phi- 
lemon, and by the same messengers, before the end of 
A.D. 62. The Epistle to the Philippians was probably 
written somewhat later; Epaphroditus, the bearer of it, 
Phil. ii. 25, being with the apostle at Rome when he sent 
the Epistle to the Colossians, Col. iv. 12. 

The following, therefore, appears to be the most 
bable order of the Epistles, from 1 Timothy : — 


1 Timothy . . . Crete . . 
Titus Ephesus 


the latter end of 
beginning of . . 

1 Corinthians . Ephesus . . . spring of ... . 

2 Corinthians . . Macedonia . about October . 
Romans . . . Corinth . , about February 

2 Timothy . . . Rome .... about May . . 
Ephesians . . Rome .... before the end of 
Colossians. . . Rome .... before the end of 

Philemon . . . Rome 62 

Philippians . . Rome .... near the end of ... 62 

ews • • • L Italy ... in the sprin^ of . . 63 
(writer unknown) J •' ^ 


Vol. ii. page 2, line 13 from top, for musical rend mechanical. 







1 HE Apostle Paul is supposed to have left 
Ephesus about Pentecost, a.d. 56, and to have 
spent the following winter in Macedonia. It was 
his design to have visited Corinth in the spring ; 
but it appears probable that he deferred his journey 
a year longer than he intended, see 1 Cor. xvi. 
1 — 8 compared with 2 Cor. i. 15 — 24, ix. I — 4, 
and that he availed himself of this opportunity to 
preach the gospel in Illyricum and the neighbour- 
ing regions. Rom. xv. 19 — 23. 

From Macedonia tlie apostle came to Corinth, 
probably in the latter end of the year 57 ; and, 
having passed three months in that city^, he re- 
turned to Macedonia in February a.d. 58, on his 

VOL. I. B 


way to Jerusalem : but he did not leave Philippi 
till after the passover. 

During his residence at Corinth the apostle wrote 
his epistle to the Romans. This appears from the 
recommendation which he gives, ch. xvi. 1, of 
Phebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchrea, a 
sea-port in the neighbourhood of Corinth : this 
person was probably intrusted with the epistle. He 
also mentions Gaius as his host, Rom. xvi. 23 ; 
who was an eminent disciple at Corinth, and one 
of the very few whom the apostle himself had bap- 
tized, 1 Cor. i. 14, That the epistle was written 
by Paul at the time assigned as its date, is manifest 
from the circumstance of his being engaged to carry 
to Jerusalem a contribution which at his recommen- 
dation had been made for the poor believers there, 
by their more opulent brethren in Macedonia and 
Achaia, Rom. xv. 25 — 31 . Comp. 1 Cor. xvi. 3,4. 
Upon which occasion it appears, that several per- 
sons, whose names are mentioned as sending their 
salutations to their brethren at Rome, were his 
companions from Greece. Rom. xvi. 21; Acts 
XX. 4. 

It is uncertain when, or by whom, the gospel was 
first preached at Rome. It seems evident that no 
apostle had yet been there ; it being probable, from 
Rom. i. 1 1, that no spiritual gift had hitherto been 
conferred on the Roman believers, as the apostle 
expresses his wish to visit them for this very pur- 
pose. It is certain, however, that the number of 
believers at Rome at the time when the epistle was 


written was very considerable, and their character 
extensively and deservedly celebrated through the 
churches, Rom. i. 8. Nor is it at all surprising or 
improbable, that a numerous body of believers 
should then exist at Rome. The imperial city was 
the metropolis of the world, and the resort of im- 
mense numbers from all quarters. Many Jews re- 
sided there as sojourners or inhabitants ; and among 
these, no doubt, were many believers in Christ, 
whose persecution by their countrymen probably 
occasioned those tumults for which the Jews were 
banished by the decree of Claudius, a.d. 50. This 
decree expired with him three years afterwards, 
when the Jews were permitted to return. Aquila 
and Priscilla, natives of Pontus, who had left Italy 
on account of Claudius's decree, v/ere found by the 
apostle at Corinth, Acts xviii. They accompanied 
him to Ephesus ; and at the time when the apostle 
wrote they had returned and were resident at Rome, 
Rom. xvi. 3. It cannot admit of a doubt, that 
many heathen converts also resorted thither ; and 
among them were probably some persons of di- 
stinction, and philosophers. These might have ac- 
cess to persons of rank at Rome, some of whom 
might be captivated with the simplicity of the 
Christian faith, and the benignity and perfection 
of christian morals, and might upon these grounds 
be induced to profess their faith in the doctrine of 
Christ. When the apostle was a prisoner at Rome, 
there were saints even in Cesar's household. Aris- 
tobulus and Narcissus, Rom. xvi. 10, 11, are sup- 

B 2 


posed to be persons of consequence, who, if not 
believers themselves, connived at the profession of 
Christianity by their domestics and dependents. 
Epapbras, or Epaphroditus, so often mentioned 
with applause by the apostle Paul in his epistles, 
is believed by some to have been the celebrated 
freedman of Nero K And even Burrhus, the pre- 
ceptor of Nero and governor of the city, is by many 
thought to have been partial to the Christians, if 
he was not himself a believer. These facts are 
mentioned to show that it is not at all incredible, 
that a numerous and flourishing society of believ- 
ers should have existed at Rome, though no apos- 
tle had been there to raise it ; and that the men- 
tion of such a society is no presumption, as some 
have thought, against the authenticity of the epis- 
tle to the Romans. 

This is one of those epistles, the genuineness of 
which, as Eusebius attests, was never called in 
question in the primitive ages of Christianity ; and 
such are the internal characters of its authenticity, 
that it can hardly be disputed by any who are ac- 
quainted with the apostle's train of thought, or with 
his style of writing 2. 

The piincipal design of this excellent epistle is to 

' See Philip, i. 13, iv. 22 3 also Dr. Jones's Series of Impor- 
tant Facts, chap. iv. This learned writer supposes Seneca like- 
wise to have been a Christian. 

* The argument in favour of the genuineness of llie Epistle 
to the Romans, from undesigned coincidences with facts related 
in Luke's History, is beautifully and irresistibly stated in Dr. 
Paley's Hone Paulm<3P : but it does not admit of abridgement. 


exhibit and magnify the great mercy of God in the 
dispensation of the gospel to Jew and Gentile ; to 
illustrate the excellence of that dispensation, to 
justify the measures of the divine government, and 
to induce the believers at Rome to adorn their 
Christian profession by the practice of universal 

The epistle is distributed, as most of the apos- 
tle's writings are, into two great divisions. Doc- 
trinal and Practical. The Doctrinal, or 
argumentative portion, extends through the first 
eleven chapters ; the remainder of the epistle is 
chiefly occupied in Practical exhortation and 

The apostle, after a suitable introduction ex- 
pressive of his apostolic authority, his good-will, 
and his earnest desire to visit them in person, chap, 
i. 1 — 17, enters upon the argumentative portion 
of his epistle, which, without any formal distribu- 
tion, he arranges under four heads — the Unmerited 
Goodness of God in communicating the gospel dis- 
pensation both to Jew and Gentile, chap. i. 18 — v. ; 
the efficacy of the motives of the gospel for the 
Sanctification of believers, chap. vi. — viii. 17; also 
for their Consolation and encouragement, chapo 
viii. 18 to the end; and, finally, the apostle states 
and justifies the conduct of Divine Providence in 
the present Rejection of the Jewish nation from a 
covenant state, and in the Invitation of the Gen- 
tiles, chap. ix. — xi. 

In pursuing this train of argument, under the 


First head, the apostle shows that neither Jews nor 
Gentiles possess any claim to the blessings of the 
gospel upon the ground of merit. And here 1. he 
considers the case of the heathen, chap. i. 18 to the 
end; — 2. the case of the Jews, chap. ii. ) — iii. 
20; — and 3. the case of both united, chap. iii. 21 
to the end^ — The apostle then states at large, that 
Abraham was justified by faith without merit, and 
that his justification was a pattern for all who be- 
lieve in Christ, and who are admitted into the 
Christian covenant without any claim of right on 
their part, chap. iv. — The apostle further illustrates 
the privilege and happiness of those who are admit- 
ted thus freely, and from pure undeserved mercy, 
into the gospel covenant, chap. v. 1 — 11, — and 
finally, he argues his proposition, from the curse 
entailed upon the posterity of Adam by the lapse 
of their first parent, and states the vast extent of 
the blessings of the gospel beyond the miseries of 
the Fall, chap. v. 12 to the end. 

The apostle, having thus established the mercy 
of God in the free gift of the gospel to those who 
had no antecedent claim to its blessings, proceeds 

Secondly, to prove that the motives of the gospel 
are effectual to promote the renunciation of sin and 
the love and practice of universal virtue ; 1 . with 
regard to Gentile believers, who by the profession 
of the gospel are raised to a new life, chap. vi. I — 
11, and entered into a new service, chap. vi. 12 
to the end. — And 2. with regard to the Jewish be- 
liever : he is first released from a dead and united 


to a living principle, chap. vii. I — 4; and secondly, 
as the law, by its severity, goaded those who were 
under its yoke to desperation and to vice, so the 
gospel, by the promise of forgiveness, encourages 
hope and animates to virtue. This the apostle il- 
lustrates by a beautiful allegory, in which he repre- 
sents the awakened Jew, not yet released from the 
law, as suffering under the domineering tyranny 
of guilty passions, which were subdued and slain 
by the grace and mercy of the gospel, which set him 
free from the tyranny of the law, and inspired him 
with life and energy to obey the commandments of 
God, chap. vii. 5 — viii. 17. 

In his Third argument the apostle shows, that the 
principles and discoveries of the gospel are amply 
sufficient for the Consolation and encouragement of 
believers, whether Jews or Gentiles, under all their 
trials and persecutions, chap. viii. 18 to the end. 

The Fourth argiunent treats of the present rejec- 
tion and ultimate restoration of the Jews, and of the 
invitation of the Gentiles into the privileges of the 
covenant. And First, he introduces the subject with 
great reluctance, chap. ix. 1 — 5; — he obviates ob- 
jections, ver. 6 — 24 ; — he shows that these impor- 
tant events were foretold by the prophets, ver. 28 
to the end; — he laments that his countrymen 
should reject the gospel, the easy requisitions of 
which he clearly defines, chap. x. 1 — 13; — and he 
vindicates the mission and the success of the apos- 
tles of Christ, notwithstanding the foreseen rejec- 
tion of the Jews, ver. 14 to the end. Secondly, 


concerning the restoration of his countrymen, he 
first shows that the present rejection of the Jews 
is not total, chap, xi.l — 10 — and, further, that it 
is woX, final — and that in the mean time it accom- 
phshes the wise and beneficent purposes of the di- 
vine government, as their ultimate restitution also 
will, ver. 11 to the end. 

The apostle, having thus closed the Argumen- 
tative portion of this epistle, now proceeds to the 
Practical part. 

And First, he exhorts believers, in consideration 
of the freedom of their admission to the privileges 
of the gospel, to adorn their profession by the 
practice of christian virtue, and by a faithful per- 
formance of the duties of their respective stations 
in the Church, chap. xii. 

Secondly, upon Christian principles he enjoins 
the practice of all civil and social duties, chap. xiii. 
Thirdly, the apostle recommends mutual candour 
to those who hold different opinions concerning 
things in their own nature indifferent, and parti- 
cularly concerning the holiness of times, and the 
distinctions of food, chap. xiv. 1 — xv. 1.3. 

Fourthly, the apostle apologizes for the freedom 
of his address ; he pleads his privilege as the apos- 
tle of the (icntiles ; he modestly reports his great 
success ; he expresses his intention to visit Rome 
in his way to Spain, after having finished his com- 
mission at Jerusalem ; he is confident that his visit 
will he a mutual blessing; lie requests their prayers 


for bis safety and success, and concludes with his 
benediction, chap. xv. 14 to the end. 

Fifthly, by way of postscript, the apostle recom- 
mends to their protection the person who was in- 
trusted with the conveyance of the epistle ; he sends 
various salutations to friends at Rome ; he cautions 
them against the artifices of those who would disturb 
the peace of the church ; he transmits the saluta- 
tions of believers at Corinth to their brethren at 
Rome ; he annexes a suitable doxology ; and con- 
cludes with repeating his apostolical benediction. 

The Postscript containing the date, which in 
many cases is of no authority, in this epistle hap- 
pens to be true. The letter was written at Co- 
rinth, and intrusted to the care of Phebe, a Chris- 
tian of respectability at Cenchrea, 



CHAP. I. 1—17. 

I. 1 HE apostle introduces the epistle with an Ch. J. 
appropriate salutation, in which he hints at the ar- 
gument for Christianity from the accomplishment 
of prophecy, ver. 1,2; and from the resurrection of 
Christ, ver. 3^ 4 ; and in the course of which he also 
asserts his own apostolic mission to the Gentiles, 
ver. 5 — 7. 

Paul a servant ^ of Jesus Christ, invited to be Ver. 1. 
an apostle, separated to the gospel of God, (which 2. 

he had promised before by his prophets in the holy 
scriptures,) concerning his son (luho by natural 3. 
descent was of the lineage of David, but with re- 4. 

spect to his inspiration, was miraculously distin- 
guished as the son of God by his resurrection from 
the dead,) even Jesus Christ our Lord; through 5. 

whom we have received the favour of an apostle- 

' Paul a servant] '' AbXos is a servant who is the absolute 
property of his master, and bound to him for life." — Dr.Taylor. 

12 R O M A N S. [the apostle's 

ship, for preaching obedience to the faith among 
all the Gentiles, for the sake o/' spreading his name: 
Vcr. 6. among which are ye also invited by Jesus Christ : 
7. To all in Rome, ivho are beloved of God, invited, 
and holy, favour be to you and peace from God our 
Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 

This sentence is a memorable example of that 
involved and intricate style which so much distin- 
guishes the apostle's writings, and which, being 
very difficult to counterfeit, constitutes one consi,- 
derable internal proof of the genuineness of Paul's 
epistles. It arises from the warmth and fulness of 
his heart, which often prevented him from paying 
attention to accuracy of method and perspicuity 
of expression. The main design of the apostle is 
to represent the gospel dispensation as the free un- 
merited gift of God, both to Jews and Gentiles ; 
and authoritatively to establish the full equality of 
the Gentile believer with the believing Jew. With 
a view to this, in the very first sentence, and in the 
introductory salutation of the epistle, he asserts the 
divine authority of the gospel revelation as founded 
upon the prophecies of the Jewish scriptures ; the 
claim of Jesus to be the true Messiah established 
by his resurrection from the dead; and his own 
apostolic mission for the conversion of the heathen 
world. And he addresses the whole body of Chris- 
tians at Rome, consisting of converts both from 
Jews and Gentiles, as all equally entitled to those 
high and honourable ai)pellations which under the 


old covenant were appropriated to the Jiiws alone, Ch. i. 
as the peculiar people of God. 

Pau/ a servant, a slave, or bondman, of J^es?/s Ver. 1. 
Christ; to whom his whole life was d^^voted, and 
from whose authority he had neither inclination 
nor power to emancipate himself. 

Invited to he an apostle^. Not nominated by 
Christ during his personal ministry, nor, like Mat- 
thias, admitted by lot; but invited to the apostolic 
office by Jesus after his resurrection, who for this 
purpose appeared to him in the way to Damascus, 
and invested him with power and authority in no 
respect inferior to any of his colleagues. 

Separated to the gospel of God. By divine di- 
rection, solemnly set apart with Barnabas for the 
ministry of the gospel to the Gentiles, and re- 
commended by the brethren to the blessing of God. 
Acts xiii. 2 2. 

It is observable that the apostle here calls the 
Christian revelation, the gospel of God. It origi- 
nated in the mercy of God : from whom Christ re- 
ceived his commission. And the doctrine of the 
gospel is the best gift of God to man : it is glad 
tidings to an ignorant, an idolatrous, and a sinful 
world. It brings life and immortality to light. 

This gospel had been promised before by the 2. 

' lnvited\ '' and therefore a true apostle ; as an invited guest 
is a true and proper guest." — Taylor. See Acts ix. 1 — 22, 
xxvi. 16—18. 

^ Separated, &c.] Or, by a divine designation from his birth. 
Gal. i. 15, 

1 ROMANS. [thjg apostle's 

Ch. I. prophets hi the holy sci'iptures i. This observation 
is with great propriety introduced by the apostle, 
in order to excite the attention of those of his 
countrymen at Rome who might see or hear this 
epistle. It was no new doctrine which the apostle 
taught, nothing inconsistent with that religion 
which they had received from their ancestors ; on 
the contrary, it had been repeatedly attested by the 
prophets under the Mosaic dispensation, who had 
foretold that the Messiah should appear and suf- 
fer, and that he should be the first who would be 
raised from the dead to an immortal life. The 
apostle calls the books of the old Testament the 
holy Scriptures, or the holy Writings, not because 
he regarded them as being all divinely inspired, but 
because they were preeminently distinguished from 
all other books which then existed, as containing 
upon the whole a faithful narrative of divine coni- 
munications to the Jewish nation. 

Ver. 3. 71ie gospel of God conccnting his so?i 2 ; that 

' Promised hij the prophets, &c.] *' An observation well cal- 
culated to conciliate the attention of his Jewish readers. It 
woulfl put the Jew u])on inquiring." — Taylor. 

* Concerning Im ao;/.] Christ is called the Son of God for 
two reasons : first, because this title is equivalent to that of 
Messiah, and was so understood l>y the Jews. See John i. 50. 
** Thou art the Son of God ; thou art the King of Israel." Com- 
pare Mark i. 1, Luke iv. 41, xxii. 07, 70. Secondly, because 
he was raised from the dead and put into possession of an im- 
mortal life. See Acts xiii. .'3.'], Ileb. v. 5. In this view Christ 
is called the Jirst-bor?!, having been the first human being who 
was raised to immortality from tiie grave. Col. i. 15, 18, 
Hcb. i. 6, Rev. i. 5. All believers, as heirs of the same inhe- 
ritance, arc also sons of God. Jo!m i. 12^ Horn. viii. 14 — 17, 


is, concerning the Messiah : for that is the appel- Ch. I. 
lation by which the Messiah was to be distin- 
guished from other prophets. They were only 
servants, but he was a son. Heb. i. 1. 

Who by natural descent was of the lineage of Ver. 4. 
Daind^ hut with respect to his inspiration, ivas 
miraculously distinguished as the Son of God^ 

1 John iii. 2. Hence they are co-heirs with Christ, and he is 
the first-born among many brethren. Rom. viii. 29. These 
are the only senses in which the title Son of God is applied to 
Christ in the genuine apostolical writings. 

^ Who by natural descent, ^rc] Literally, '^ according to the 
flesh," — *' according to the spirit of holiness," &c. The anti- 
thesis between y.ccrx cxoy.cil, according to the flesh, and >cara 
i{vzv\LOL dyicufTvvrjg, according to the spirit of holiness^ is ob- 
vious to every attentive reader. Some have supposed, that by 
the former the apostle means what is called tlie Imman na- 
ture of Christ, and by the latter his divine nature. But Dr. 
Doddridge justly rejects this interpretation, because, even upon 
orthodox principles, it is not agreeable to the style of the scrip- 
tures to call the divine nature of Christ the holy spirit. Mr. 
Locke by the "^ spirit of holiness " understands '' that spiritual 
part of Christ which, by divine extraction, he had immediately 
from God," and in this interpretation Dr. Taylor concurs. But 
this by no means suits the connexion, nor the scope of the 
apostle's argument ; for how can the resurrection of Christ 
prove, that the soul whicli animated his body was of a nature 
diff'erent from other human souls ? The expression, spirit of 
hoHness, or holy spirit, must therefore be taken in its common 
acceptation, of divine inspiration. The apostle's meaning then 
will be clear and obvious. By natural descent Christ is of the 
lineage of David, but by his inspiration he is the Son of God. 
q. d. As a man he is descended from David, agreeably to the 
predictions of the Jewish scriptures j but as n prophet he is di- 
stinguished {opic-Qsvrog, accurately marked out and defined. 
See Schleusner) from all others, as being entitled to the appel- 
lation of Son of God, or the promised Messiah. Bat what is 
the circumstance which so deci.sively demonstrates his right 
to this high distinction ? It is the wonderful exertion of divine 
power in raising him Irom the dead. This extraordinary tact 


Ch. I. by Ids resurrection from the dead This illus- 
trious person, the head of the new dispensation, as 
a man was descended from the family of David, as 
it was foretold that he should ; but as a prophet to 
whom the holy spirit was imparted without mea- 
sure, he is entitled to the high distinction of Son 
of God. He is ihe very Messiah whom we have 
been taught by the prophets to expect. And if 
any inquire how this fact is to be ascertained, the 
answer is, By his resurrection from the dead. It 
is this wonderful act of divine power, exerted upon 
this eminent person, which clearly distinguishes 
him from all the prophets who were his predeces- 
sors, and elevates him to that matchless pre-emi- 
nence which entitles him to the rank and charac- 
ter of the Son of God ; being the only one of the 
human race who has been raised from the grave, 
and put into possession of a glorious and everlast- 
ing inheritance. 

This appears to me to be the true meaning of 
the distinction which the apostle makes between 

abundantly proves the great superiority of Jesus to all preced- 
ing prophets, and establishes his claim to the character of the 
Messiah. Acts xiii. 33, " God hath fulfilled his promise in that 
he hath raised up Jesus again, as it is also written in the se- 
cond Psalm, ' Thou ari my son, this day have I begotten thee.' " 
And after his resurrection the former prophets are, by a bold 
and sublime figure, summoned to do homage to him, and to 
acknowledge him as their superior. See Heb. i. (), Improved 
Version ; also Wakefield m loc. See likewise Mr. Lindsey's 
Second Address to the Youth at the Universities, p. 27(j, where 
the learned writer justly observes, that the words by natural de- 
snmt will be found a more just translation of the apostle's words 
than the literal rendering of them, according to ihefesh. 


Christ being the son of David according to the flesh, ch. i. 
and the Son of God according to the spirit : an 
expression from which some would, without suffi- 
cient reason, infer, that the body of Christ was de- 
scended from David, but that the spirit which ani- 
mated his body vi^as of a rank superior to mankind ; 
an interpretation which by no means suits either 
the connexion or the argument. 

Even Jesus Christ our Lord. This distinguished 
messenger of God is no other than Jesus of Naza- 
reth : he is the true Messiah, and him we acknow- 
ledge as our honoured master. 

Through ivJiom lue have received the favour of 5. 

a7i apostleship i. The apostle, Hke his master, was 
a messenger from God. It was indeed the privi- 
lege of Jesus to receive his commission immediately 
from God himself; but the apostle derived his au- 
thority through the medium of Jesus Christ, who 
appeared to him in the way to Damascus, and in- 
vested him with that honourable office, which he 
justly represents as a great favour, considering with 
what violence and malignity he had persecuted the 

For preaching obedience to the faith among all 
the Gentiles y for the sake of spreading his name ^, 

' Through ivhom the favour of an apostleship?^ See Gal, 

i. 1. In the original, " favour and the apostleship," a common 
hendiadys. See Grotius and Wakefield. — Hence xcnoi;, grace 
or favour, is put for the apostolic office. Rom. xv. 1 5, 1 6 j 1 Cor. 
iii. 10 3 Gal. ii. 9 ; Eph. iii. 2, 7, 8. See Grotius and Taylor. 

^ For preaching obedience, &c.] This is archbishojD New- 
come's version of the text. He observes that " St. Paul na- 

VOL. I. C 

18 ROMANS. [the apostle's 

Ch. I. The apostle's elliptical and abrupt manner of ex- 
pressing himself makes the construction of his sen- 
tences obscure ; but it is plain that he means to re- 
present, that the great object of his apostolic mis- 
sion was to preach the gospel to the heathen, and 
to invite them all, without any exception, to believe 
in Christ, and to accept and secure the blessings 
of the gospel by a faithful compliance with its re- 
quisitions. Thus he was employed to spread the 
name, that is, to extend the authority of Christ 
through all nations. 
6. Among which are ye also invited by Jesus Christ * . 
The church at Rome probably consisted chiefly of 
converts from heathenism. They had formerly been 
as ignorant, as idolatrous, and as immoral as any 

turally calls the gospel the faith, as it was his chief purpose in 
this epistle to prove that faith was the sole condition of being 
admitted into the gospel covenant." For the sake of his name. 
See Acts ix. 16. To advance his cause, to promote his glory. 
Luke xxi. 12, Mark xiii. 9. — Newcome. Taylor. 

' Among which are ye, &c.] Hence it appears, tliat the great 
body of Christians at Rome were converts from l.eiithenism, 
who were probably instructed in the principles of Christianity 
by visitors from the Greek or the Asiatic churches. The con- 
verts at Rome, therefore, might be both numerous and of great 
renown (see ver. 8), though the Jews residing at Rome might 
know very little about them, and might hold tiiem in great 
contempt. Acts xxviii. 21, 22. This consideration obviates 
Mr. Evanson's principal objection to the genuineness of this 
epistle. ?]vanson's Dissonance of the P>angelists, p.^^O?, second 
edition. It seems quite frivolous to ask, as this ingenious 
writer does, j). ^^01), Who ])reached the uospel at Rome before 
the a])ostle ? Among the innumerable multitudes wliich were 
continuully flowing to Rome from all j)arts of the world, some 
must have been Christians. These would undoubtedly be zea- 
lous in making proselytes, and in some instances probably suc- 
cessful. Quo cuncia undiquc conjtmint, cdcbranturrjuc. — ^1 acitus. 


of their neighbours ; but they had been invited by ch. i. 
Christy through the medium of his faithful messen- 
gers, to participate in the privileges of the gospel : 
they had accepted the invitation, and were entitled 
to all the privileges of the Christian community. 

To all in Homey who are beloved of God, invited, 7. 

and holy ^, favour he to you and peace ^ from God 
our Father a?id from the Lord Jesus Christ^, 

Beloved of God, in the apostle's language, ex- 
presses persons who are favoured with pecuUar ex- 
ternal privileges. In this sense Jacob is said to be 
beloved, and Esau to be hated, even before they 
were born, God having intended to impart privi- 
leges to the one which he would deny to the other, 

* Beloved— invited — //o/?/.] '' These are but different expres- 
sions for professors of Christianity." — Locke. " That the word 
saints comprehends the whole body of Christians, appears from 
Acts xxvi. 10; Rom. xii. 13 ; 1 Cor. vi. 1; Eph. iii. 8, and many 
other places. All Christians are thus called, because they are 
dedicated to God, 1 Cor. vii. 14, and because they profess a 
religion which tends to make them holy, I Cor. vi. 11. But 
those who were thus denominated might fall from personal holi- 
ness."— Newcome. See also Dr. Taylor's judicious and ex- 
cellent Key to the Epistles, chap. vi. 

' Favour and peace.'] " %a,i<^ >ia< siprivrj, favor et prospera 
omniay — Grotius. ''all favour and felicity." — Taylor. But the 
word %a^;; (gTace) is often used to express the Christian reli- 
gion, which is the best gift of God to the world. John i. 1/3 
Actsxiii. 43; Rom. vi. 14, 15; 2 Cor.i. 12, vi. 1. See Schleus- 
ner. The words, therefore, are probably a hendiadys, by which 
the apostle expresses his earnest desire that the Christians at 
Rome might all, without distinction, participate in all the bless- 
ings of the gospel covenant. 

* From God — a?id from Jesus Christ.'] From God as the pri- 
mary cause, and from Jesus Christ as the great instrument and 
honoured messenger of the gracious purposes of God to man. 
Or '' from God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." See 
Erasmus in loc. 

c 2 

20 R O M A N S. [tiik apostle's 

Ch. L Rom. ix. 13. The invited^ ox called, are those to 
' '* whom the blessings of Christianity have been pro- 
posed^ and who have professed their acceptance of 
these gracious offers ; and the holjj, or saifits, are 
those who, by a pubhc profession of their faith in 
the Christian rehgion, sanctify, that is, separate 
themselves from the idolatrous and unbelieving 
world, as a community consecrated to the one living 
and true God. 

To all the members of this holy community who 
were then resident at Rome, without distinction of 
Jew or Gentile, the apostle in his introductory salu- 
tation Vvdshes grace or favour, that is, the continual 
possession of the gospel, which is so called because 
it is the gratuitous gift of God ; and peace, which 
includes all the blessings which accompany, or 
which flow from, the sincere profession of Chris- 
tianity. These inestimable blessings are derived 
from God, who acknowledges the endearing rela- 
tion of a Father to all v/ho believe in the Christian 
religion, for whom, if they are obedient, he has pre- 
pared an everlasting inheritance ; and they are 
transmitted to us by Jesus Christ, whom we honour 
as our master, and who is the faithful messenger of 
these joyful tidings. 

The apostle's words might be rendered, " who 
is the Father of us and of the Lord Jesus Christ.'* 
Christ is in a peculiar sense the Son of God, being 
the first-born from the dead ; and all who believe 
in him are also sons of God, because they are co- 
heirs with Christ of the same glorious patrimony, 


into possession of which they shall in due time be Ch. i. 
introduced, ^^' '' 

2. The apostle thanks God for their honourable 
profession of the Christian faith, and for their high 
reputation in the churches, and expresses his ear- 
nest desire to visit them, ver. 8 — 10. 

In the first place, I tliank my God through 8. 

Jesus Christ on account of you all, that your 
faith is celebrated through the luhole luorld. For ^• 

God, whom I serve luith my spirit i in the gospel 
of his So7i, is my luitness hoiv incessantly I make 
mention of you, Aliuays in my prayers entreating 10. 

that by some means^ I might now at length, by the 
will of God, have a prosperous journey to visit 

Your faith is celebrated through the whole world, g. 

This circumstance proves that there were many 
Christians at Rome at the time when this epistle 
was written ; that these were not all of them per- 
sons of mean rank and indigent circumstances, and 
that their character and conduct were creditable to 
their Christian profession. 

The apostle *' thanks his God" for the prosper- 
ous state of the Christian doctrine at Rome : he 
rejoices in the prosperity of the Roman church. 

' Whom I serve with nuj spirit,'] " to whom my mind payeth 
its religious service." — Wakefield. " with my whole spirit." — 

^ That by some means'] Gr. '' if by any means." '' that I 
may by some means at leng'th. throudi the will of God," &c. — 

22 ROMANS. [the apostle's 

Ch. I even though he had not himself been honoured as 
the instrument of planting it. 

Ver. 8. / thmik my God through Jesus Christ on account 
of you all. The doctrine of Christ had taught him 
to extend his charity to all mankind, and to rejoice 
in the goodness of God to the believing Gentile, 
manifested in the dispensation of the gospel, equally 
with the believing Jew. 

9. God ivhom I serve with my spirit, that is, sin- 
cerely, entirely, and affectionately, in the gospel of 
his Son, The life of the apostle was one continued 
act of religious worship. He had been appointed 
by God to the ministry of the gospel, and this was 
the great object to which his whole heart and soul 
was elevated, which occupied all his thoughts, his 
cares and labours. 

God is my ivitness how incessantly I make men- 
tion of you. Ever since I heard of your faith and 
zeal, and spiritual prosperity, God knows I can 
hardly think or speak upon any other subject. 

10. Always in my prayers entreating that by some 
means I might now at length, by the will of Gody 
obtain a prosperous journey to visit you. I am 
eager to see you ; I have been importunate in my 
prayers to be permitted to visit you ; and I flatter 
myself that the time is not far distant, when my 
prayer shall be answered and my best wishes accom- 

Such was the state of the apostle's mind ; ar- 
dently desirous to be permitted to preach the gospel 
in the great metropolis of the world, but resigned 


to the disposal of Divine Providence, and waiting Ch. r. 
for the direction of heaven ; and, for the present, 
his prayer was denied, and the visit he so much 
desired to make was for wise reasons deferred. 

3. The especial reason why the apostle desired to 
visit Rome was, that he might confer upon the be- 
lievers there some spiritual gift for the confirmation 
of their faith, ver. 11, 12. 

For I earnestly desire to see you, that I may n. 

impart to you some spiritual gift for your esta- 
blishment ; that is, that while I am among you, we 12. 
7nay be comforted together by our mutual faith, tJie 
faith of both you and me^. 

Spiritual gifts, such as the gift of prophecy, the 
gift of tongue^s, and many others, which are de- 
tailed by the apostle, I Cor. xii. 8, were imparted 
by imposition of the hands of the apostles to the 
primitive converts, and were the principal means of 
converting unbelievers, and of confirming the faith 
of those who were initiated in the Christian doc- 

The believers at Rome were in general destitute 
of these spiritual gifts, a proof that no apostle had 
hitherto visited the imperial city. The Christian 

* Of both you and wie.] See Newcome, who observes, that 
"■ the apostle wishes to impart the gifts of the spirit, not to dis- 
play his own power, but to establish his converts in the gospel. 
He is cautious of assuming." The primate argues from Rom. 
viii. 9, 16, xii. 6, tliat " some of the Roman converts had re- 
ceived the holy spirit ;" rather, perhaps, some who had received 
the spirit were then resident at Rome ; such, for instance, as 
Aquila and Priscilla. 

^4 ROMANS. [the apostle's 

Ch. I. rellfifion, therefore, must have been introduced bv 

Ver. 12. . . 

some teachers of an inferior order; perhaps by some 
pious believers who were not teachers by profession, 
and who, visiting the city upon commercial or other 
necessary engagements, had availed themselves of 
the opportunity to sow the precious seed of the gospel 
in a soil so well prepared, that it had soon produced 
a copious harvest. God is not limited in his choice 
of instruments, and the meanest talents are in his 
hands equally efficacious with the most splendid ; 
nor should any proper opportunity of promoting 
the knowledge of truth and virtue be omitted even 
by those who are not teachers by profession ; for 
who can say what incalculable benefit may be de- 
rived from a hint dropped in due season ? 

Paul was desirous of communicating some spiri- 
tual gift to the believers at Rome for the confirma- 
tion of their faith. This was the privilege of an 
apostle ; but, lest he might appear to assume too 
much, he in part retracts his words, and represents 
the object of his proposed visit to be as much for his 
own benefit as for theirs : l/iai ive may he nmtually 
comforted by each others mutual faith. How pleas- 
ing is this unaffected modesty in one so highly 
gifted and of such exalted rank ! 

4. As it was the main object of his apostleship 
to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, he was parti- 
cuhu'ly desirous to fulfill his ministry at Home, and 
it had often been in liis contemplation to visit tlie 
imperial city, ver. 13 — 15. 


Now I would not have you ignorant^ brethren^ Ch i. 
that I have often purposed to come to you, though 
I have been hindered hitherto, that I might gather 
some fruit among you also, even as among other 
Gentiles. I am debtor both to Greeks and Barba- 14. 

rians, both to the wise and to the univi^e ; so that 1^- 

/ am ready, according to my ability^, to preach the 
gospel to you also luho are at Rome, 

The apostle was not his own master with respect 
to'the course of his missionary journeys, and was no 
doubt often obliged to abandon the scheme which 
would have been most agreeable, for the sake of pro- 
secuting that which would be most useful. He is, 
however, solicitous that it should be fully under- 
stood that his delay to visit Rome did not arise 
from any reluctance on his part to perform his duty 
there. He had received a commission which it was 
the first wish of his heart to fulfill ; he was intrusted 
with the gospel, which it was his imperative duty 
and his earnest desire to communicate to all who 
were willing to receive it. It contained tidings of 
equal and infinite importance to all in every coun- 
try and in every station ; to the polite and to the 
rude, to the learned and to the unlearned. The 
gospel was freely offered to the poor, but it was not 
limited to them. It was with equal freedom and 
with equal earnestness addressed to the opulent, 
the wise, the powerful, and the honourable ; and 
many of this description were professors of the Chris- 

* Ready according to my ability 7\ Gr. '^ that which is in me 
is ready." '' as much as lieth in me I am ready." — Newcome. 

26 ROMANS. [the apostle's 

Ch. I. tian faith in its earliest age. The apostle was 
willing and even eager to publish and defend the 
doctrine of his honoured master in the city of Rome 
itself, the august metropolis of the empire, and the 
residence of the imperial court. 

5. This leads the apostle to express his triumph 
in the gospel revelation, and briefly to state the 
doctrine which he proposed in the progress of the 
epistle to assert and vindicate at large, ver. 16, 17. 

16. For I am not ashamed of this gospeV ; because 
it is the power of God to salvation to every one who 
believeth, to the J^ew first and also to the Greek. 

17. For therein 2 the justification^ of God by faith, is 
revealed to faith; as it is luritten. The just by faith 
shall live"^. 

» This gospel.'] The received text adds, of Christ ; but the 
wf rd Xpira (of Christ) is wanting in the earliest copies, and is 
omitted in the text of Griesbach. 

^ For therein^ I have given Dr. Doddridge's translation of 
this clause, which affords a clear sense to an obscure passage. 
Gr. '' from fiiith to faith j" i.e." wholly by faith." — Locke : not 
so correct as Doddridge. 

' Justification^ "Aiy.aioa-vvrj, the original word, is often used 
by St. Paul for God's treating men as just or righteous, whetlier 
by admitting them into the outward privileges of the Christian 
church here, or into his heavenly kingdom hereafter." — New- 
come. I choose to retain the theological word, justification, 
though it is somewhat old-fashioned ; as, like the words faith, 
grace, and other theological words and phrases, it Is used by 
the a})0stle to C'X])ress combinations of ideas pecuhar to himself, 
and which are not comj)rehended under any other single word 
in the English language. 

"* The just by faith.] See Ilallet's Observations on Scripture, 
vol. i. p. 1;'); and Hosenmuller in Inc. The apostle here lays 
down, in brief, the main design of his epistle, viz. lliat all who 
believe in Christ are admitted into covenant with Ciod, by which 


I am not ashamed of this gospel. The doctrine Ch.r. 
of Christ at its first promulgation was an object ^'^^' ^ '' 
of contempt, because it did not, like the philosophy 
of the schools, affect subtilties which the vulgar 
could not comprehend ; nor was it set off by a stu- 
died and ambitious eloquence. But it was held in 
scorn chiefly because its founder was a crucified 
Jew. In this despised doctrine the apostle had 
long been taught to place his confidence and glory ; 
for, in his present correct estimation, it was the 
power of God to salvation to every one who he- 
lieved. — The doctrine of the gospel, however hum- 
ble in its origin, was confirmed by the miraculous 
exhibition of divine power ; it saved those who re- 
ceived it from the bondage of the Mosaic Institute, 
and from the tyranny of heathen idolatry, and 
brought them into a state of light and liberty. This 
inestimable treasure was to be first offered to the 
Jews ; who, notwithstanding their many privileges, 
and their high opinion of themselves, stood in great 
need of it. It was also to be offered to the idola- 
trous Gentile ; who in this new order of things is 
to be admitted to equal privileges with the descen- 
dant of Abraham. 

For in it, the justification of God by faith, is re- 17. 

vealed to faith. The apostle through this whole 
epistle calls that state of privilege into which men 
are brought by the gospel, justification. In the 
language of a ^^\\\ a heathen, as such, is called a 

they become entitled to eternal life, if their faith be practical 
and persevering. 

28 R O M A N S. [the apostlf/s 

Ch. i.^ Sinner, whatever liis moral character may be : he 
^' is out of covenant with God. A Jew, being in a 
state of covenant, is holy. Under the new cove- 
nant, the heathen believer, as well as the Jew, is 
admitted into this holy state : from being a sinner 
he becomes a saint, selected and separated from 
the idolatrous and unbelieving world. 

This justification, or state of privilege, is hij faith; 
for by the profession of faith in Christ, a man is 
transferred from the community of sinners and hea- 
then into the community of saints, and becomes 
entitled to the privileges of the Christian covenant. 
Tliis doctrine, so important to our peace and com- 
fort, is now 7'evealed by the gospel : it was before 
unknown even to the Jews themselves : it was a 
mystery, hid from ages and generations, though 
it may be correctly expressed in the language of 
the prophet Habakkuk, ch. ii. 4, *' He who is jus- 
tified by faith, shall Uve ;" that is. He who is by faith 
admitted into the community of believers, is already 
acquitted from the sentence of the law ; and, if he 
improves his privileges, shall be entitled to eternal 

This is one instance amongst many of the loose 
manner in which the writers of the Old Testament 
are quoted by those of the New. The passage in 
the original has no reference to the apostle's doc- 
trine of justification ; but the text is cited by him 
in a way of allusion, as the words of the prophet 
will aptly express the doctrine which the apostle 
now proceeds to establish. 


The apostle havinsr thus conciliated the attention di. i. 

. .... Ver. 17. 

of his readers by an affectionate and judicious mtro- 
duction, proceeds now to the main business of the 

A HIS Epistle is divided, in the apostle's usual 
manner, into two distinct portions — the Argu- 
mentative or Doctrinal, and the Practical. 

The Argumentajive or Doctrinal portion of 
the epistle, which extends through the first eleven 
chapters, is arranged under four heads : 

The apostle proves, I. That the gospel is the 
free unmerited gift of God to Jews and Gentiles, 
ch. i. IS, — V. II. That it is efficacious for the sanc- 
tification, and. III. for the comfort, of all who be- 
lieve, ch. vi. — viii. IV. That the Jews, as a nation, 
are for the present rejected from their covenant 
state; but that this rejection is neither total nor 
final, ch. ix. — xi. 

part the first. 


To prove this proposition the apostle argues, 
That none can claim the blessings of the gospel on 
the ground of right, ch. i. 18, — iii. Also, That 

30 Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case I. 

Ch. I. Abraham's privileges were a free gift, and not the 
reward of merit, eh. iv. He then digresses into an 
eulogium upon the excellence of gospel privileges, 
ch. V. 1 — 11. And he concludes this Part by ar- 
guing from the analogy of the Fall, ch. v. \2 to 
the end. 


The privileges oy the gospel are a free gift, because 
neither Gentiles nor Jews could make pretejisions 
to them ypon the groimd of having improved their 
antecedent privileges, Ch. i. 18, — iii. 

Case I. 

The case of the Gentiles, 

The Gentiles are not admitted to additional pri- 
vileges on the ground of right. Ch. i. 18 to the 

1 . The wrath of God is denounced against all 
who wilfully transgress his moral law, ver. 18, 
Ver. 18. For the anger of God from heaven is revealed 
against all ungodly and unrighteous men i tvho re- 
strain 2 tlic truth by nnrighteousness , 

' Gr. ^' ungodliness or unrighteousness of men." 
'■^ Restrain.] " Karey^cv, det'ineo,moror, et exadjuncto, impcdio, 
prohibeo,a)hWeo. Lukeiv.42j Philem.v. 13j 2 Thess. ii. G." — 
ISchleusner. ** When that heuven-born captive would exert its 
energy u])on their minds, jind urge them to obey its dictates." — 
Doddridge, 'lliey not only did not allow truth its proper in- 
fluence upon their own minds ; but they unrighteously con- 
cealed the trutli they knew, and deprived others of the benefit 
of its light and influence. 

Part 1. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case I. 31 

The anger of God is that just punishment which Ch. i. 
he will inflict upon impenitent oflenders. God is 
never angry ; and the severest visitations of his jus- 
tice are in every instance the result of infinite bene- 
volence, under the guidance of perfect wisdom. 
But the apostle's language is accommodated to the 
imperfect conceptions of human beings. 

The gospel is a dispensation of mercy; yet it 
reveals, in the clearest and most explicit manner, 
the righteous judgements of God upon impenitent 
sinners. This awful doctrine is revealed from heaven 
by messengers divinely commissioned for this pur- 
pose. — Or, the expression may imply, that the an- 
ger of God will descend from heaven in that day, 
when God will judge the world in righteousness by 
the man whom he hath ordained. 

The offence particularly specified by the apostle, 
is that of detaining the truth in unrighteousness ; 
of unjustly confining the celestial captive, and re- 
fusing to communicate those moral truths in which 
they were instructed, and which would be beneficial 
to mankind ; or disgracing the principles they pro- 
fessed by a vicious conduct. These charges applied 
equally both to the heathen philosophers and to the 
Jewish teachers ; and the apostle now proceeds to 
substantiate his charge against the former. 

2. The evidence of the divine existence and at- 
tributes is so clear from the works of nature, that to 
be ignorant of them was inexcusable ; ver. 1 9, 20. 

Because what is to be known of God is manifest 13- 

32 Part I. Sect. 1. R O M A N S. Case I. 

Ch. I. among them ;for God hath made it manifest to them 

Ver. 20. ^/^^^ fj^^^j j^ilgJit he inexcusahle. For his invisible 

attributes, even his eternal power and Godhead\ 

being eonsidered attentively, have been discerned 

by his works from the creation of the luorld. 

All the notions which the most enlightened of 
mankind can form of the Supreme Being must be 
comparatively poor and inadequate. Yet, imperfect 
as they must be, they are of great practical impor- 
tance ; and God has been pleased to make the evi- 
dence of his existence and attributes so conspi- 
cuous, that all persons, and especially those who 
profess to know more than the rest of mankind, 
must be inexcusable if they do not attain all neces- 
sary information upon this subject. For, from the 
very beginning of time, the eternity, the power, and 
the greatness of God are discoverable to every reflect- 
ing mind; and the beautiful structure and harmo- 
nious arrangement of the visible creation naturally 
lead to the acknowledgement of an invisible and 
eternal cause. 

How far the light of nature only, independently 
of divine revelation, would enable the honest and se- 
rious inquirer to form just conceptions of the attri- 
butes and character of the Supreme Being, is a pro- 
blem of very difiicult solution. It is plain that the 
heathen were in general grossly ignorant of God ; 
and that this ignorance was the principal source of 

* Godhead^ Mr. Lindsey transljitos " Providenci'," the word 
(indJwad being liable to be misunderstood. — Lindsey's Second 
Address, p. 27 S. 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case I. 33 

those scandalous immoralities which were the dis- Ch. i. 
grace of the idolatrous world. And, though many ^^''' ^^' 
of the philosophers were better informed, so far from 
communicating the knowledge which the)^ possessed, 
and endeavouring to enlighten and to reform the 
world, they wickedly concealed their knowledge; 
and, both by precept and example, they encouraged 
their countrymen in superstition and in vice. This 
is the conduct to which the apostle alludes, and which 
he most pointedly condemns. 

3. The inconsistency and folly of the heathen 
philosophers, in countenancing and falling in with 
the popular superstitions, were most inexcusable 
and criminal, ver. 21 — 23. 

Because that knoiving God, they have not glo- 21 . 

rified hwi as God; neither ivere thankful, hut be- 
came vain in their reasonings, and their inconsi- 
derate heart was darkened. Professing to be luise, 22. 
they became foolish; and changed the glory of the 23. 
incorruj)tible God into the likeness of an image of 
corruptible man, and of birds, and of quadrupeds, 
and of reptiles. 

The philosophers had some just conceptions of 
God ; but they did not worship him, they did not 
love him, they did not obey him. They foolishly 
reasoned themselves into the persuasion, that it 
would be better to encourage and to join in the po- 
pular idolatry. Thus, professing to be the wise 
men of the world, the lovers and teachers of wis- 
dom, they acted the part of the most consum- 

VOL. I. p 

34 Part I. Sect. I. ROMAN S. Case I. 

Ch. I. mate folly, and in their practice were gross idola- 

Ver.23. ^ 


These philosophers concealed the truth which 
they knew, and joined in the rites which they de- 
spised, because they thus escaped persecution ; and 
they valued themselves upon their superior wisdom. 
But this selfish sinister wisdom the apostle justly 
pronounces to be egregious folly. 

4. In consequence of this temporizing and dis- 
honest conduct, they were permitted to abandon 
themselves to the most dishonourable vices, ver. 
24, 25. 

24. Therefore God gave them itp to impure affec* 
tio)is, to dishonour their oivji jwrsons by them' 

25. selves; because they changed the true into a false 
God^, and offered religious worship and service 
to the creature, in preference to the Creator, who 
is blessed for ever. Amen. 

" God gave them up to impure affections," not 
by impelling them to vice, but by not interfering 
to alter the natural tendency of the course which 
they had chosen for themselves. They chose the 
worship of idols, with all its foolish and vicious 
consequences, and they were left to reap the fruits 
of their own folly : and what better could be ex- 
pected, when they acted in contradiction to their 
better judgement and deserted the worship of the 

' r/ie true, &c.] Or. " the truth of God into a lie." See 
Wakefield and Newcomc. 

Part I. Sect. L R O M A N S. Case I. 35 

great Creator, who alone is worthy of the highest Ch. i. 
adoration and homage of all creatures, throughout ^^' '^ ' 
all ages ? Amen. 

5 . For this criminal conduct God suffered the 
heathen, without excepting those who were in the 
highest reputation for wisdom, to degrade tliem- 
selves by the most abominable crimes, ver. 26,27. 

Therefore God also gave them up to dishonour- 26. 

able passions. For their females changed their 
natural use into that which is against nature. 
And likewise the males ^ leaving the natural use of 21. 
the female^ have been inflamed ivith desire towards 
each other; males ivith males doing that which is 
contrary to decency, and receiving in themselves 
the just reward of their error^. 

The crimes to which the apostle here alludes 
were the disgrace of the heathen world. They were 
practised and justified, not only by the vulgar, but 
by the learned, the wise, the polished, and the great. 
They were not only permitted, but authorized, and 
even required by their idolatrous ritual ; and that 
the apostle has not overcharged the melancholy, 
miserable picture, is known to all who have the 
slightest acquaintance with the celebrated remains 
of Greece and Rome. 

6. The apostle exhibits a sad detail of the vices 
of the heathen world, ver. 28 — 32. 

^ Error ^ i. e. idolatry. See Taylor, who refers in his note to 


so Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case t. 

Ch. I. y^?id as they did not search after God so as to 
^ ^^' ^^* acknowledge him, God gave thou up to an imdi- 
seeming mind ^,to do those thi?igs which were not 
29. expedient 2 ; being filled with all injustice, lewd- 
ness, ivickedness, exorbitant affection ^, malice ; 
full of envy, murder, contention, fraud, malig- 
SO. nity^; whisperers, slaiiderers, haters of God, vio- 
lent^, proud, boasful, inventors of evil, disobe^ 

31. dient to parents, without consideration^, violators 
of contracts, ivithout natural affection, implacable, 

32. wimerciful : ivho, acknowledging the divine rule of 
right, were not aw are "^ that they ivho practise 

Cicero T)e Nat. Deor., and to his Tusculan Questions, for proof 
of the justice of the apostle's charge. See also Bos Exercit. 
in loc. 

' Undiscerning mind.'] So Wakefield. '' Reprobate ; a mind 
not to be approved of. It is properly used of adulterated coin." 
— Newcome. 

* Not expedient.'] '' A meiosis for things most inexpedient 
and enormous." — Doddridge. 

' Exorhita?it affection.] IlXsovs^ia,. This is the sense in 
which the apostle commonly uses the word when discoursing 
concerning heathen idolatry 3 and it has been overlooked by 
the generality of translaters. Com])are p]ph. iv. 19, v. 3 ; Col. 
iii. i) ; 1 Thess. iv. 6 j 1 Cor. v. 10, 11. See Hammond's note 
on Rom. i. 29, and Locke's excellent Notes on Eph. iv, 19, v. 3. 
*' Deomni immoderata et nimia cupiditate, etiam dc lihidine ve- 
nerea quandoque voeem hanc usurpari doniit. Elsnerus Obs. Sac. 
V. 2, ]). 218." — Schleusner. 

* MaUg72iti/ .] " Kccy.orj^sicx,: it consists in putting the worst 
construction u])on every tiling." — Newcome, from Aristotle. 
^Violent.] " Injurious." — Wakefiehl. 'T^^ij, ])ersonal injuiT. 
^ Without consideration, Ssc] Aa-vvsrsg: Bowyer suspects, 
that either this or the next word aruvSsrsf, violators of con- 
tracts, should ])e dr()])i)ed. The latter word Wakefield renders 
morose, *' with whom there can be no harmony or friendly con- 

' Were not aware.] ^\'ith Mr. Locke I adopt the reading of tlie 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case I. 37 

these things are iv or thy of deaths and not only ch. I. 
tommit these crimes themselves, but even take plea- ^^'^' ^^" 
sure in those who practise them. 

The wise men of the heathen world did not 
search after God so as to acknowledge him. All 
their theological inquiries terminated in vain spe- 
culations, which had no influence on their practice. 
They entered no protest against the popular super- 
stitions which they held in contempt, but associated 
with the multitude in their idolatrous rites; there- 
fore God gave them up to an undiscerning mind. 
Errors in practice led to errors in judgement, so 
that they could not discern right from wrong. 
And while they were pleading for what they judged 
to be decent and expedient, they came to conclu- 
sions the most remote from truth ; and, instead of 
recommending universal benevolence, such as be- 
came the children of the great universal Parent, 
they taught thje lawfulness of violating every rela- 
tive and social duty ; and exemplified their doctrine 
by their practice. So that hardly a vice can be 
named which did not find its advocates. They 
acknowledged, indeed, a rule of right, and admit- 
ted that rule to be of divine authority : not, how- 
ever, understanding that death was the just punish- 

Clermont and some other copies, that they were not aware of 
the capital punishment denounced by the law ^ which reading 
seems to be required by the apostle's reasoning, the object of 
which is to prove that the Jews were the most guilty, because 
they not only were aware that these actions were criminal, 
but also knew that the law of God had expressly prohibited 
thpra^ under pain of death. 

38 Part I. Sect. I. R O M A N S. Case I. 

Ch. I. men t of sin. But at any rate they did not reckon 
Ver. 32. ^j^^g^^ unsocial passions which produce quarrels and 
strife, and mischief, confusion and misery in the 
world, in the catalogue of vices. Many of these 
bad passions, such as hatred and revenge, were es- 
timated by them as splendid virtues, which they 
openly practised themselves, and which they ap- 
proved and celebrated in others. 

From this correct, but melancholy representation 
of the wretched state of the heathen world, the 
apostle leaves his reader to draw the conclusion, 
what claim the heathen could allege, on the ground 
of merit and of right, to the blessings of the Chris- 
tian dispensation. 

Case II. 
The Case of the Jews^ 
Ch. II. The Jew has no better claim to the privileges 
of the gospel than the idolatrous Gentile, ch. ii. 
1,— iii. 20. 

1. Tlie apostle, without expressly mentioning 
the Jews, argues from, general principles the justice 
of punishing a man who, setting himself up as the 
judge of others, himself commits the crimes which 
he condemns in them, ver.' 1 — S. 

The ai)ostle had suffered very injurious treat- 
ment from his countrymen ; but he always retained 
a sincere aiiection for them, and in his writings he 
generally treats them and their prejudices with the 
greatest tenderness that was consistent with fidelity. 

Part I. Sect. L ROMANS. Casb II. 39 

This is particularly observable through the whole ch. ir. 
of this celebrated epistle. 

The Jews held the Gentiles in the utmost con- 
tempt, and were loud in their censures of the ido- 
latry and vice of the heathen world. They would 
therefore be well pleased with the picture which 
the apostle had just drawn of the deplorable state 
of morals among those who professed to be the 
most enlightened and civiHzed of the heathen. 

But it was the apostle's design to prove that the 
Jews themselves were in a state equally corrupt 
with the heathen, and still more inexcusable; and 
to the Jew nothing could be more offensive than 
this charge. The apostle introduces it therefore 
with great caution, and in such a form, that the 
Jew is led to acknowledge the justice of his conclu- 
sion before he is aware that it is applicable to him- 
self; for the apostle, before he ventures to introduce 
the Jew by name, first establishes the general prin- 
ciple, that a man who officiously condemns others 
for crimes of which he is himself guilty, does by 
parity of reason condemn himself, and acknow- 
ledges that he is himself deserving of that punish- 
ment which he is so forward to denounce upon 
others. Having fully established this point, he 
turns short upon the Jew, and plainly tells him that 
he is the person to whom this argument applies. 

Therefore thou art ineoccusable, O man ^, lujio^ Ver. 1. 

^ man?\ Dr. Taylor remarks that '^ the apostle ad- 
dresses the Jews in a covert general way^ and uses general 

40 Part I. Sect. I. K O M A N S. Cask II. 

Ch. II. soever thou art that juclgest i ; for wherein thou 
judgest another thou co7idcm?2cst thyself, for thou 
who judgcst doest the same things. 

Whether Pagan philosopher or a teacher of any 
other sect or nation, if thou condemnest in another 
the crimes of which thou art thyself guilty, thou art 
convicted out of thine own mouth, and no plea can 
avail thee in arrest of judgement. 

2. A'ow ive know that the judgement of God is ac- 
cording to truth 2 against those who commit such 
t hi Jigs* 

It is a principle not to be denied by any one, 
that God will visit sin with condign punishment, 
whatever be the character or profession of the guilty 
person. God is righteous, and his decisions are 
perfectly impartial, 

3. And dost thou, O man, who judgest those who 
do these things, and who doest them thyself expect 
that thou shah escape the judgement of God? 

Canst thou, O teacher, of whatever character, 
sect, or country, who assumest the office of a judge, 
conscious and self-convicted as thou art, calculate 
upon escaping that righteous condemnation of God 
which thou art so ready to denounce upon others 
whose crimes are similar to thine own ? 

terms, that the Jew muy not too plainly see that he is speaking 
to him." 

* That jnd^rsf^ " 'O '/.pivjjv, tlie Jiulger, is here very emplia- 
tical. It denotes more than sim))le judu^inp;. It implies assum- 
ing the character, place, and authority of a judge." — Taylor, 

* Is according to truth.] " will be wiliiout distinction," — 

Part L Sect. I. ROMANS. Case II. 41 

Or dost thou despise the riches of his kindness^, Ch. ii. 
and forbear ance^ and long-suffering, not knowing ^^' ' 
that the kindness of God should lead thee to re-^ 
pejitance P 

Dost thou treat divine patience and forbearance 
with contempt, instead of availing thyself of the 
opportunity which his rich mercy affords to repent 
of thy manifold offences ? What astonishing folly 
and presumption in one of such high professions ! 
who settest thyself up as a teacher and a judge. 

I^ut by this hardness and impenitence of thy 5. 

heart, thou tr easur est ^ up to thyself wrath against 
the day of wrath and of the revelation of the righ- 
teous judgement of God, who will recompense to 6. 
every man according to his luorks, 

Alas! these pretensions and this profession will 
be of little avail ; for, however thou mayest flatter 
thyself, be assured that thy crimes will not escape 
either detection or punishment. Hypocrisy will 
only add to this offence, and aggravate thy condem- 
nation in that day when God will manifest his dis- 
pleasure against sin, and all men shall be treat- 
ed, not according to their pretensions or profes- 
sions, but in exact correspondence with their real 

To them ivho by patient continuance in ivell do- 7. 

ijig seek for glory, honour and immortality^ eter- 

^ Kindness — should lead.'] See Newcome, and Professor 
Symons's Expediency of revising the Translation^ c. 82. 

* Thou treasurest.'] I follow the punctuation of Griesbach 
and Taylor. 

^'cr. 8. 

42 Part I. Sect. I. R O M A N S. Case H. 

Ch. II. nal life. But to those who are contentious, and dis' 
obedient to the truth J, but obedient to nnrighteouS' 
ness, indignatioji and ivrath. 

The reward which God will bestow upon those 
who patiently persevere in a course of virtue, will 
be that everlasting honour and happiness in a fu- 
ture life, the hope of which has been the most 
powerful spring of action, and the most abundant 
source of consolation in their struggles through 
life. But, on the other hand, the most insupport- 
able effects of the divine displeasure shall fall upon 
those who have acted contrary to their better know- 
ledge ; who though instructed in the rule of duty 
have lived in the practice of vice, whatever arrogant 
pretensions they may have made to be the favour- 
ites of heaven, or how loud and severe soever their 
censures may have been of others, who, though not 
possessing the same privileges, have not exceeded 
them in the commission of crime. 

^. The apostle having argued the impartial jus- 
tice of God upon general principles, now proceeds 
to apply his doctrine explicitly to the ^^"^ as well 
as to the heathen ; and particularly he expressly 
announces that the final distribution of rewards and 
punishments shall be allotted in exact correspond- 
ence with men's moral character, whether they be 
Jews or Gentiles, ver. 9 — 1 1. 

' Disobedient to tlir tnilli.'] " wlio obstiiiati'ly and pertina- 
ciously dispute against t\\v truth, and do not humbly and sin- 
cerely yield themselves to be governed by it." — Taylor. 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case II. 43 

Tribulation and anguish shall fall upon everij Ch. ii. 
soul of man ivho jyractiseth evil ^ of the Jew first, Ver. 9. 
and also of the Greek. But glory, honour and 10. 
peace shall be to every one ivho practiseth good, 
to the t/eiv first, and also to the Greek, 

As though the apostle had said, To be plain with 
you, my brethren, I must frankly tell you, that the 
Jew who glories in liis privileges is equally amen- 
able to the divine tribunal with the despised Gen- 
tile. The man who perseveres in sin shall suffer 
adequate and insupportable punishment, whether 
Jew or Gentile, and indeed the ^^w will be the 
greater sufferer, because he sins against superior 
light ; and every one who perseveres in the prac- 
tice of virtue, shall be put into possession of the 
promised reward, whether Jew or Gentile. If in- 
deed the Jew by improving his privilege has at- 
tained a higher degree of moral excellence than 
others, but not otherwise, his reward will be pro- 
portionably great. 

For there is no respect of persons ivith God ; 11. 

who will deal with his rational offspring in due 
correspondence with their real characters, without 
regard to their external privileges and profession, 
and will no more spare the offending Jew than he 
will punish the virtuous heathen. 

3. In the day of general retribution, every one 
shall be judged according to the tenor of the dis- 
pensation under which he hath lived, ver. 12 and 

4 4 Part 1. Skct. I. R O M A N S. Care II. 

Ch. 11. For as many as have sinned not being under a 
^^' laiu^ shall luithout a laiu perish ; and as many as 
have sinned under a laiv shall by law be judged, 

A righteous God will make a just discrimination 
in the punishm.ent of guilt ; nor will he visit the 
sins of those who possessed imperfect degrees of 
moral information with the same severity with 
which he will punish those who offend against the 
clear light of divine revelation. Some sin against 
the obscure intimations of unassisted reason only, 
being destitute of the superior information com- 
municated by a written law : their offences shall be 
punished io the way that reason may dictate. 
Others offend against a written and positive law 
which prohibits the crime and declares the penalty : 
by that law shall they be tried, and to its condemn- 
ing sentence shall they be doomed. 
IG. In that day luhen God shall judge the secrets 
ofmen^ by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. 

There is a day coming, when the secrets of the 
heart shall be brought to light, and every man's cha- 
racter shall be made manifest. In that day God 
will allot the final condition of all mankind in exact 
correspondence to the truth of their character ; and 
the gospel, whicli it is my honourable commission 
to publish to tlie world, announces that the me- 

* Under a law^] '* They who shall be found to have trans- 
gressed the mere light of nature shall not come under the same 
rule with such as have enjoyed an extraorchnary revelation." — 
Dr. Taylor, who considers vtr. \o, M, 15, as a comment upon 
the 12lh. 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case II. 45 

dium through which this grand event is to take ch. ii. 
place is the Lord Jesus Christ, who may perhaps ^'^''■* ^^* 
in some unknown and inconceivahle manner pre- 
side in person as judge upon this solemn occasion 2; 
and whose laws, as revealed in the gospel, will cer- 
tainly constitute the rule of proceeding at this grand 
and final assize. 

4. In a parenthesis 3 the apostle justifies the as- 
sertion which he had made, that men shall be judged 

® As in the language of prophecy, the prophet is sometimes 
isaid to do that which he only foretells, see Jer. i, 10, Rev. xi. 
6, it is possible that when it is said that Christ will judge the 
world, the meaning may be no more, than that the world will 
be judged and the final state of mankind decided agreeably to 
the solemn declarations of his gospel ; and this supposition 
M'ould afford an easy explanation of those texts which repre- 
sent not only the apostles, but Christians in general, as asses- 
sors with Christ in the final judgement : for they also bear their 
solemn and united testimony to the same important truth. This 
interpretatior would also obviate the objections which some 
learned men have offered to the doctrine of the proper humanity 
of Jesus Christ, from the consideration of the extreme improba- 
bility that a mere human being should be appointed to the office 
of universal judge. It cannot however be doubted, that God 
is able t'o qualify any being for the ofiice to which he may call 
him out, and he certainly will do itj and Dr. Priestley justly 
remarks, that they who make this objection do not sufficiently 
consider the wonderfully rapid progress in knowledge and in 
power which our Lord is necessarily making in the long inter- 
val antecedent to the day of judgement. Upon the whole, as 
the accomplishment of the prophecy can alone explain its awful 
import, our time will be better employed in preparing for the 
great event, than by indulging in random speculations upon a 
subject which we cannot comprehend. See Belsham's Calm 
Inquiry, Part I. Sect. x.4. Dr. Priestley's Letters to Dr. Price, 
p. 140. 

^ Parenthesis.'] Tliis parenthesis^ for the sake of perspicuity, 
I have placed after ver. 16. 

46 Part I. Sect. I. ROMAN S. Case IL 

Ch. II. according to the tenor of the dispensation under 
which they have Hved, ver. 1*3 — 15. 

Ver. 13. For it is 7iot the hearers of a Icnu i who ?iXQ.just 
in the sight of God, but the doers of a law will he 

Some may perhaps flatter themselves, that be- 
cause they are indulged with the light of divine re- 
velation they are the favourites of Heaven and are 
sure of acceptance. This is a most dangerous error; 
for privileges are only valuable as far as they are 
improved, and render the possessors of them wiser 
and better. 

14. For when the heathen, ivho have not a laiv, per- 
forin by nature the duties of the latv, these, not 

15. having a laiv, are a law to themselves : luho shoiv 
the work of the laiv ivritten in their hearts, by the 
concurring testimony of conscience, and by mutual 
reasonings accusing and defending. 

The apostle having affirmed, ver. 12, that as 
many as sin under the Mosaic law shall be judged 
by that law, establishes his proposition upon the 
principle that it is not the mere possession, but the 
just improvement of external privileges which enti- 
tles a man to the favour of God. Not the mere 
hearers of the law, whatever veneration they may 
profess for it, or whatever value they may set upon 
their privilege, but those who practise the precepts 

^ A lam?^ The (k-finite iirtlclo is omitted in the Alexan- 
drine and other ancient copieSj and the connexion seems to re- 
quire it. 

Part I. Sect, I. ROMANS. Case II. 47 

which they hear, and they alone, shall be account- Ch. ii. 
ed righteous in the sight of God. ^^* ' 

And having before asserted that the heathen, 
though ignorant of divine revelation and destitute 
of positive law, should nevertheless be punished for 
their crimes, he here justifies this assertion, by al- 
leging the existence of a natural law in their own 
minds which approved virtue and condemned crime. 

And first he argues from the actual existence 
of virtue in the heathen world. For ivlien the hea-^ 
then, not having a laiv, perform by nature the du- 
ties of the law, these, not having a law, are a law 
to themselves, showing the work of the laiv writ- 
ten in their hearts. In other words, the virtues of 
the heathen, who are ignorant of the revealed law, 
and who are prompted to them by the light of na- 
ture only, show that they possess a natural sense 
of right and wrong. 

Their^conscience also, bearing its concurring tes- 
timony, approving the right and condemning the 
wrong, is an additional proof that the work of the 
law is written in their hearts ; or that the providence 
of God has so arranged their condition and circum- 
stances, that without the aid of revelation they still 
possess the means of acquiring some knowledge of 
his moral law. 

Also, their mutual 7raso?wigs accusi?ig or de- 
fending. Tlie great questions of morality were 
constant subjects of debate in the schools of the 
philosophers : what some asserted to be right, 
others condemned as wrong ; and their discussions 

48 Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case IL 

Ch. II. upon these interesting topics are an additional 
^^' ^^' proof that the Hght of nature suppHed them with 
means, however imperfect, of acquiring the know- 
ledge of moral distinctions ' . 

It may he observed here that the apostle allows 
that the heathen, who are altogether ignorant of 
divine revelation, may nevertheless, from the light 
of nature and reason, acquire a knowledge of the 
moral law of God and live in the practice of its 
duties, so as to be approved and rewarded by his 
just and good Creator. How different were the 
apostle's views from the system of many modern 
Christians, who delight in debasing and degrading 
human nature, and representing the creatures of 
God as born into the world in a state of unalloyed 
depravity, and under a sentence of condemnation 
to eternal misery ! 

5. The apostle now directly charges the Jews as 
guilty of the very crimes which they imputed to 
the heathen, and with circumstances of superior 
aggravation ; and in support of his allegation he 
appeals to the testimony of the Jewish scriptures, 
ver. 17 — 24. 
17, Behold'^, thou hcarest the name of a Jew, and 
reposes t thyself on the lau\ and g I or test in 

* The inter])retation here given of this parenthesis, and the 
illustration of the apostle's argument, are very ably supported 
by Dr. Taylor in his learned and judieious note upon the text. 

* Behold^ The reading of many ancient and approved ma- 
nuscripts is fi h, "■ but if." See Gricsbach and Newcome^ who 
both adopt it. 

Part I. Sect. L ROMA N S. Case II. 49 

God^, mid knowest his will, and distingidshest Ch. ii. 
things that differ 4, having been instructed out of ^^^' " 
the law ; and art confident that thou art thyself a 
guide of the blind^ a light to them that are in daj'k- 
ness, an instructor of the simple, a teacher of babes, 20. 
having the form of true knowledge^ in the law. 
Thou then ivho teaches t another, teachest thou not 21. 
thyself? Thou who proclaimest that a man should 
not steal, dost thou steal P Thou luho forhiddest 22. 
to commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery P 
Thou who abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacri- 
lege? Thou who gloriest in a law, dost thou by 23. 
the transgression of that law dishonour God P For 24. 
through you the name of God is blasjihemed among 
the Gentiles, as it is written. 

The apostle having sufficiently prepared the mind 
of his Jewish readers by arguing upon general prin- 
ciples, equally applicable to Jews and Gentiles, now 

* This passage proves that the Jews prided themselves in 
their relation to God as in a peculiar sense their God, and shows 
how unlikely it was that the apostle should pass over this im- 
portant circumstance in his enumeration of their privileges, 
Rom. ix. 4, 5. This consideration gives weight to the conjec- 
ture of Slichtingius, Whitby, and Taylor, as to the true reading 
of the fifth verse. See the Note on Rom. ix. 5. 

* Distinguishest things that differ.'] This is the interpretation- 
of Beza and of the margin of the public version. Erasmus and 
others prefer the common translation, " approvest the things 
which are excellent." " discernest the things that are excel- 
lent," Newcome. '^ capable of distinguishing exactly between 
things lawful and forbidden." Taylor. 

* The form of true knowledge?^ Gr. " the form of knowledge 
and truth." *' Mop(pui(ris, a plan, delineation, a sketch, or outline 
of any thing. 2 Tim. iii. 5. Bos Exercit. p. 100." Doddridge. 
" who art furnished with the whole plan and system of divine 
knowledge, and of the truth contained in the law." Taylor. 

VOLc I. E 

50 Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case It. 

Ch. II. brings his conclusion home to the Jew exclusively, 
and directly charges him with being equally, and 
even more guilty than the untaught and despised 

17. Behold, thou hear est the name of a Jew, Thou 
thinkest it an honour^ as in truth it is^ to be a de- 
scendant of Abraham and the other patriarchs to 
whom the promises were made. 

And reposest thi/selfon the law ' . Thou thinkest 
thy state secure, because thou art a member of that 
conmiunity to which a revelation was vouchsafed. 

And thou gloriest in God'^, as in a peculiar sense 
the God of your fathers and of your nation . Having 
declared himself in a special and appropriate sense 
the maker, the protector, the benefactor, the law- 
giver, and the sovereign of the Jewish nation. 

18. And thou know est his will, and distinguishest 
things that differ, being instructed out of the law. 
Thou hast not been left like the heathen to those 
doubtful conclusions to which the light of nature 
leads, but thou hast been taught by a revelation 
from heaven both what to do and what to avoid; 
and that not only as to moral, but likewise to cere- 
monial precepts. Thou hast been instructed by 
the law to distinguish between clean and unclean, 
holy and unholy, so as to be able to keep yourselves 

^ On the law.] " Thou rcstost on the hivv altogether, look- 
ing no further." Newcome. 

* Gloriest in Cuni,'] i. c. '' you rejoice in him as the object 
of your hope and (lej)en(lance ; you praise or speak well of him ; 
you account it your honour that he is your God, and that you 
worship him." Taylor. 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMAN S. Case II. 5 1 

ceremonially pure, and separate from all other na- Ch. ii. 
tions on the earth. 

And art confident that thou art thyself a guide Ver. 19. 
of the blind^, a light to them who are in darkness, 
an instructor of the simple, a teacher of babes, 20. 

having the form of true knowledge in the law. 
Conceiving thyself to have attained a complete 
knowledge of God and duty from the law, which 
thou justly reverest as the standard of moral ex- 
cellence and the perfect rule of duty, thou regard- 
est thyself as eminently qualified to instruct the 
poor, ignorant, forlorn Gentile, whom thou hast 
been accustomed to regard as morally blind, in- 
volved in total darkness, and to treat with a super- 
cilious and scornful air ; as in comparison with thy- 
self, a driveller and a child. 

In such terms as these it was customary for the 
Jews to express their contempt of the idolatrous 
heathen. It is easy, therefore, to judge hov/ offen- 
sive the apostle's doctrine must have been, both 
when he charged them^ as in the present instance, 
with crimes equal to, or even greater than those 
of the Gentiles whom they so much despised ; and 
when he taught, as upon other occasions, that the 
believing Gentile was admitted to equal privileges 
with the believing ^^\n ; while the great mass of 

^ Guide of the hUnd.'] " Te esse a quo omnes gentes doceripos- 
sent.'' — '' Judceis hie ascrihuntur, ex ijisorumjudicio, tituli mag- 
nificentissimi, Gentibus, vilissima nominal Grotius. '^ Blind, 
in darkness, foolish, babes, were appellations which the Jews 
gave to the Gentiles, signifying how much inferior to themselves 
they thought them in knowledge." Locke. 


52 Part I. Sfxt. I. ROMANS. Case II. 

Ch. II. the Jewish nation, on account of their unbelief, 
^^^ * were exchided from covenant with God, and were 
reduced to a state equally deplorable with that of the 
idolatrous Gentile whom he despised and hated. 
This was the source of the chief part of the per- 
secution which the apostle suffered from his coun- 
trymen in the course of his ministry. 

21. Thou then ivho teachest another^ feacJicst thou 
not thyself 9 Thou who imaginest thyself capable 
of teaching the ignorant and forlorn Gentile the 
doctrines and requisitions of the law, canst thou not 
instruct thyself in the great end and design of the 
law ? 

Thouwho proclaimest that a man should not steals 

22. dost thou steal? Thou who forhiddcst to commit 
adultery^ dost thou commit adultery? Are you 
yourselves detected in violating the plainest precepts 
of the law ; and while you are teaching your heathen 
neighbours the great duties of honesty and chastity, 
and loudly declaiming against the contrary vices, 
are you convicted by your own consciences of the 
very crimes which you so ostentatiously condemn 
in others .^ 

Thou who abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sa- 
crilege? While you abjure idolatry as dishonour- 
ing God and his worship, do you equally dishonour 
him by denying him that worship which his law 
requires, and robbing his altar of its dues under 
the pretence of tradition ? 

23. T/uni ivlw gloriest in a laiv^ dost tlwu hy the 
transi^ression of that law dishunoar God? And 

Part I. Sect. I. Vx O M A N S. Case II. 53 

upon the whole is it not an undeniable truth, that Ch. ii. 
while you make a boast of superior privilege, and ^^* *" ' 
hold the unenlightened Gentile in utter disdain, 
you are at the same time conscious, that by your 
own multiplied and aggravated offences you are dis- 
gracing a divine Institution, and bringing into con- 
tempt both the authority of the Law and the name 
and honour of God who gave it ? 

1^07^ through you the name of God is bias- 24. 

phemed among the heathen, as it is written. To 
speak plainly and without any further circumlocu- 
tion, I do allege and directly charge it upon you, 
the great mass of the Jewish nation, that by your 
notorious immoralities and crimes you have in- 
duced the Gentiles, who have no other means of 
judging of your Institute than from your conduct, 
to think meanly and to speak evil both of your Law 
and of your God^, whom they necessarily regard as 
tolerating, if not authorizing, your flagitious con- 
duct ; and how indeed can they think or speak other- 
wise, if your character resembles the description 
which is given of it in your own sacred books ? 

The apostle here proposed to introduce a number 
of passages selected from the Jewish scriptures which 
describe the wickedness of the Jewish people ; but 
an objection occurring suddenly to his mind, he 
drops his argument for the present, and resumes it 
again at the tenth verse of the following chapter, 
the intermediate portion being occupied in discuss- 
ing the collateral question. 

That the apostle does not overcharge the moral 

54 PAiiT 1. Sect. I. ROMAN S. Case IL 

ch. II. character of the Jews in this place, any more than 
^^* "^ ■ he had done that of the heathen in the preceding 
chapter, is evident from the testimony of their own 
contemporary historian, Josephus, who declares that 
the wickedness of his countrymen was so great, that 
if they had not been destroyed by the Romans, he 
verily believes that God would have exterminated 
them by fire from heaven, hke Sodom and Gomor- 
rha, as a terrible example to the world. 

6. The apostle interrupts the course of his ar- 
gument in order to prove that as outward profes- 
sion would be of no use to the vicious Jew, so the 
want of it would be no disadvantage to the virtuous 
heathen, ver. 25 — 29. 

25. For indeed circumcision is of use if thou perform 
the Icau; hut if thou he a transgressor of the law, 

26 thil circumcision is hecome uncircumcision. If then 
the iincircumcision keep the righteous precepts of 
the Icnv, shall not his uncircumcision he regarded 
as circumcision ? 

It cannot indeed be denied that a Jew has a great 
advantage over a heathen while he observes the 
precepts of the law; but if he transgress the law, his 
privilege is of no value, he reduces himself to the 
state of a heathen. Can it then be denied that if 
a heathen, who is destitute of Jewish privileges and 
professions, should under these disadvantages live 
in the practice of virtue, he will, by parity of rea- 
son, be in as safe and happy a state as if he had 
been born and educated a Jew ? 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Care II. 55 

And shall not the natural tmcircumcision. if it Ch. ii. 
heep the laiu, condemn thee, who notivithstanding 
thy legal circtimcisio?i ^ art a transgressor of the 
laiv ? 

Shall not the vhluous, though by the accident of 
birth unprivileged and uncovenanted heathen, by 
the rectitude of his conduct, notwithstanding great 
moral disadvantages, justify thy condemnation, O 
wicked Jew, who, notwithstanding thy birthright 
and peculiar privileges, art become an habitual and 
impenitent transgressor ? 

For he is not a Jew ivho is ojie outivardly, 28. 

neither is that circzmicision ivhich is outward in 
the flesh ; but he is a Jew ivho is one inwardly, 29. 

and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit. 

' Notwithstanding thine external circumcision, rov o;<% 
ypdLLfxaros -/.on, irspirofj/ri^, literally '' thee, who by the letter 
and circumcision," as the public version renders it 5 i. e. who 
being literally circumcised, or circumcised according to the let- 
ter of the law. A hendiadys which Mr. Wakefield renders, " who 
hast a written rule of circumcision," and thinks it parallel to 
V1J.SIS oia, rrig yXwcro-Yig, 1 Cor. xiv. 9, which he translates, '' ye 
who speak with a different language." Archbishop Newcome 
translates the words, '' who under the letter of circumcision." 
Dr. Taylor explains them, '' who in presumptuous dependance 
upon an outward profession." It is obvious that the apostle in 
this context uses the abstract for the concrete : circumcision 
and uncircumcision for circumcised anduncircumcised, i.e. Jew 
and Gentile. It is not perhaps easy to ascertain whether the 
apostle means to express the Jew who lives under the lav/ of 
circumcision, or who has been circumcised according to law. 
The general sense of the passage cannot be mistaken. It is a 
peculiar construction of the preposition ^iol in these two pas- 
sages, which Mr. Wakefield, in his note upon 1 Cor. xiv. 9, 
says, " seems to have escaped all his predecessors, whether 
critics, translators, or interpreters." 

56 Part I. Sect. L ROMANS. Case \L 

Ch. II. 710 1 in the letter^ y whose praise is jiotfrom men hut 
^^^■•^^- from God. 

That man has very little reason to boast, who 
has no other pretensions to the divine favour than 
the circumstance of his being a descendant of Abra- 
ham, and early initiated into the community of 
the chosen people ; for this is of no use without a 
virtuous life: but he is the true Israelite, in the 
only valuable sense of the word, who lives in the 
practice of those virtues and of that purity of heart 
and life which it was the main design of the law 
to inculcate, and of its rites to symbolize; and 
such an one, however he may be despised by those 
who value themselves on their outward privileges 
and profession, will be as highly approved by God, 
who searches the heart, as if his pedigree were with- 
out a blot, and his conformity to the ritual law were 
unimpeachable and without defect. 

How earnestly and how forcibly does the apostle 
here plead the cause of the virtuous heathen ; and 
how decidedly does he declare his superiority to 
the privileged but supercilious and unrighteous Jew! 
So little countenance does the Christian religion 
afford to that narrow-spirited doctrine, that the 
heathen, however virtuous, are excluded from sal- 
vation on account of their not believing in the go- 
spel, of which they had never heard. 

' The letter,'] i.e. not uxtoriially luconling to llic letter of 
the law, but internally by |)urity and self-denial, of which cir- 
cumcision is the symbol. See ver. '27. 

Part I. Sect. L ROMANS. Case IL 57 

7. The apostle shows, that though the Jew Ch. in. 
might forfeit his privileges by his crimes, the ad- 
vantages he possessed were nevertheless real, and of 
high importance, ch. iii. 1 — 9. 

It was natural for the Jew, after he had been 
taught that the virtuous Gentile would be raised to 
a level with the privileged Jew, and that the vicious 
Jew would be degraded to a state worse than that 
of the ignorant heathen, to inquire what was the 
value of Jewish privileges, and w^hat the superiority 
of a holy to an uncovenanted and unholy state. 
The apostle had indeed, ch. ii. 25, introduced his 
remarks upon the precedence which he claims for 
the virtuous Gentile over the wicked Jew, with ob- 
serving cursorily, that the profession of Judaism 
was indeed advantageous to the virtuous Jew ; but 
the complete discussion of this point he had re- 
served. He now resumes the subject, and discusses 
it in the dialogue form, introducing a Jew urging 
objections, to which he makes rephes^. 

[1.] The Jew demands to know in what his 
pre-eminence consists, ver. I. 

JVIiat advantage then hath the Jew? or what is Ver. 1. 
the benefit of circumcision? 

You say that circumcision is an advantage, if we 
keep the law ; and yet you tell us, that the virtuous 
heathen is upon a par with us. AVliat, then, is the 

- See Dr. Taylor's admirable Commentary upon thit> para- 

58 Part I. Sect. 1. R OMAN S. Case II. 

Ch. in. use of the Jewish peculiarity, or the advantage of the 
Jew above the heathen ? 

[2.] To this question the apostle returns a per- 
tinent answer, ver. 2. 

Much every way ' : cf lie fly, because the oracles 
of God IV ere intrusted to the?n^. 

The advantages possessed by the Jewish nation 
are numerous. I shall reserve the detail to another 
opportunity (see chap, ix.) : at present I shall only 
mention the chief; namely, that to this chosen 
people were committed the sacred records of divine 
appearances, the law and the prophets, the rule of 
duty and its awful sanctions, the promises and the 
threatenings, and particularly those great promises 
relating to the Messiah, and the invaluable bless- 
ings which through him would be communicated 
to all the nations of the earth. These are surely 

1 ^*^ There is always," says Dr. Priestley ia his excellent note 
upon this text, '' a real advantage in superior knowledge ; be- 
cause it puts it into men's power to become greater and happier 
than they could have been without that knowledge. It is a 
true maxim of Lord Bficon, that knowledge is power ; and if 
this be the case with respect to natural knowledge, it is much 
more so with respect to religious knowledge. A true knowledge 
of God, of his })erfections and moral government, of the condi- 
tions on which we live here, of the proper duties of life, and of 
our expectations after death, is such knowledge as tends most 
of all to ennoble men's minds, to enlarge their views, and 
thereby make them su])erior beings to those who have never 
been taught to l(K)k any further than the jiresent world, who 
have no knowledge of the true end of their being, and of the 
government under which they live." 

* " were confirmed to them by proof." Wakefield, who re- 
fers to Gen. xlii. 20. 

Part I. Skct. I. R O M A N S. Cask II. 59 

very important privileges, and powerful incentives Ch. iii. 
to duty, whether they are improved or not. '^^'' "" 

[3.] The Jew proposes a second objection, 
ver. 3. 

JBut pj/iat if some have proved unfaithful, shall 3. 

their unfaithfulness annulthe faithfulness ofGod^ 9 

Shall God cast us off as a nation, because some 
of us have transgressed his covenant and been dis- 
obedient to his laws ? Will the guilt of some en- 
tail the rejection of all ; and release the Almighty 
from the obhgation of his own promise ? 

[4.] The apostle again returns a satisfactory re- 
ply, ver. 4. 

Far from it 4. Yea, let God be acknoivledged 4. 

faitJfuly though every man should be false, As it 

^ '' The term faith," says Dr. Priestley, '' has two significa- 
tions, viz. mere belief or assent to truth, and also fidelity^ faith- 
fulness, or being true to a promise or engagement. This 
apostle, as well as other ancient writers, seems to have been 
too fond of what we now call a play upon words, using the 
same term in different senses 5 which, though it may some- 
times amuse and entertain, yet too often misleads, the reader. 
In the former part of this verse, the word faith is used in the first 
of the above-mentioned senses, viz. for mere belief j and in the 
latter part in the second of them, viz. fidelity." Dr. P. also ob- 
serves, that in ver. 5 there Ls a[similarplay upon the words righte- 
ousness and unrighteousness. — Dr. Taylor, however, does not 
allow this ambiguity in the present case, but assigns correspond- 
ing meanings to the original words in both clauses of the sen- 
tence, viz. faithfulness and unfaithfulness 3 i. e. adherence and 
treachery to stipulated engagements. 

^ Far from it.~\ Mry yevoiro, Let it not be : in the public 
version, God forbid. Dr. Taylor translates it^ By no means 3 
and so Wakefield. 

6t) Part I. Sect. I. R O M A N S. Case II. 

Ch.iii. is 2vritten^ i That tho^i iidghtcst be justified in thy 
declarations^ and mightest prevail when thou art 
called to account, 

q. d. I never said, I never insinuated, that all 
would be condemned for the transgressions of a few. 
No : if God rejects all, it is because all have trans- 
gressed ; and under these circumstances the punish- 
ment of all would be no impeachment of the faith- 
fulness of God. But the words of the Psalmist, 
Psalm li. 4, upon another occasion, would be strictly 
applicable in the present case ; and the divine per- 
fections would be abundantly justified in the se- 
verest measures of his government. 

[5.] The Jew proceeds to urge another objec- 
tion of so bold a nature, that the apostk thinks it 
necessary to thrust in a caution, that he is not writ- 
ing in his own person, but in the character of a 
cavilling 3qw^ ver. 5 — 7. 
5. But if our unrighteousness recommend the righte- 
ousness of God, luhat shall ive say 9 AVould not 
God be unrighteous for inflicting punishment ^ P 

* As it is written'] in Ps. li. 4. Tlie iipostlc {}iiotes from the 
LXX., and ap])lics the })as.sage as a general maxim, that the 
dispensations of God, when brought to the test, will always be 
found to correspond with his declarations 5 so tliat if the 
Divine Being is brought to the bar, he will be sure of an ac- 
rpiittal, and will come off victorious after a fair, however rigid, 
trial. See Doddridge iw /or. Eisner's Ohscrr. v. 2.]). 18, 19. 
Hos i?i loc. Dr. Taylor thinks, tliat though tlie apostle quotes 
from the LXX., he argues from the Hebrew 3 which is not ])ro- 

' I'hr injiiclinv: punishnioii .'] See W'akeiicld. 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case II, 61 

Would not God be unjust, and would it not be Ch. iii. 
a violation of his promise, to punish us for our 
transgressions, and cast us out of his covenant, — 
when our wickedness would afford him an oppor- 
tunity of displaying his own faithfulness to greater 
advantage ? 

The apostle, aware of the immoral tendency of 
this objection^ interrupts the course of it to warn 
his reader that he is writing under an assumed 
character, ver. 6. 

/ speak as a man 3. By 7io means; for how shall ^• 

God judge the world 9 

Recollect that I am not writing in my own person, 
but under a fictitious character. I am urging the 
objection of a cavilling Jew, who argues that his 
nation ought not to be rejected ; because, the worse 
they are, the more w^ould the goodness of God be 
magnified in keeping his promise — than which no- 
thing can be more unreasonable and immoral. It 
would destroy at once all the sanctions of virtue; for, 
if the more wicked men are, the better is their title 
to divine mercy, there is an end of all moral govern- 
ment and righteous retribution. 

Having thus cautioned his reader, the apostle 
pursues the adversary's objection, ver. 7. 

For if the faithfulness of God has abounded 7- 

more to his glory by my w faithfulness^ why am I 
still condemned as a sinner ? 

^ I speak as a man.'] " I speak freely, as with a man." 
Wakefield. " Here I represent the reasoning- of an unbelieving 
Jew." Taylor, more properly. 

62 Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case II. 

Ch. III. Why am I not rather approved and rewarded for 
^^^ * my unbeUef, which affords so glorious an oppor- 
tunity to the Divine Being, of manifesting his in- 
finite and unchangeable faithfuhiess ? 

[6.] To this impious objection the apostle makes 
an indignant reply, ver. 8. 
8. And, Vv'hy dost thou not add ', as ive are mali- 
ciously reported, and as some affirm that lue teach. 
Let us do evil that good may come ? whose condem- 
nation is just. 

Why do not you speak out ? Why do not you 
act up to the principle which you advance, and 
which our enemies most falsely and injuriously im- 
pute to the teachers of the Christian doctrine ? If 
the mercy of God and his faithfulness to his pro- 
mises are magnified in proportion to the magnitude 
and multiplicity of your offences, why do not you 
say at once. Let us yield to every temptation, let us 
hesitate at no enormity ; for our crimes only afford 
the Divine Being a more favourable opportunity of 
displaying his mercy ? Absurd, abominable doc- 
trine ! Justly, indeed, are they who admit and who 
act upon these odious principles, liable to that 
righteous condemnation, to that insupportable 
doom, which they thus insult and defy. 

The apostle here shows the folly of the principle 
upon which his opponent argues, by reducing it to 

^ miy dost thou not add ^ "why dost thou not then say." 
Wakefield. " why do you not draw this nito a general rule 
and maxim." Taylor. 

Part I. Seqt. I. ROMAN S. Case II. 63 

an absurdity ; and by showing the impious and im- Ch. in. 
moral consequences to which it necessarily and 
directly leads. 

The apostle complains that his enemies charged 
him with teaching licentious doctrine; probably 
founding their charge upon a misapprehension, not 
uncommon in modern times, of his doctrine of jus- 
tification by faith without works : by which he meant 
nothing more than that by faith in Jesus as the 
Messiah, theywere admitted into the Christian com- 
munity, without submitting to the Jewish ritual; 
but which his opponents understood, or pretended 
to understand, as preaching up pardon and salva- 
tion through faith in Christ, unconnected with the 
practice of virtue. This he justly represents as a 
base calumny upon himself and his associates ; and 
solemnly denounces the judgements of God upon 
those who hold, and who act upon, such nefarious 

Tlius we see that it is no new thing for those 
who profess or who teach the pure unadulterated 
doctrine of the gospel to be charged with sapping 
the foundations of morality ; nor ought such to be 
discouraged by these calumnies from the firm and 
faithful discharge of their duty. So persecuted 
they the prophets and apostles who were before 
them. Let them put to silence and to shame the 
insinuations of malice and the clamours of calumny, 
by the purity of their doctrine and the sanctity of 
their lives. 

64 Part I. Sect. I. ROMAN S. Case 11. 

Ch. in. [7 .] The Jew now proceeds to put his final ques- 

'^''- ^' tion, ver. 9. 

Hoiv then i ? are we better than they ? 
You allow that our moral advantages are supe- 
rior to those of the heathen, and we cannot but ad- 
mit that we have not improved them to the utmost ; 
but surely you will agree, that in a general view the 
privileged Jews excel the ignorant xmd idolatrous 
heathen both in knowledge and in virtue, and there- 
fore have a better claim to the privileges of the 
gospel ? 

[8.] To this question the apostle gives a de^ 
cided negative, which brings him back to the point 
from which he had digressed, ver. — 9. 
—9. No^ not at all : For 2ve have before proved, that 
Jews and Gentiles are all in a state of sin. 

I can by no means allow that your moral state is 
in any respect superior to that of the idolatrous 
heathen, so as to give you any claim to further pri- 
vileges. For though your advantages have been 
many and great, I have already plainly shown, that 
you have altogether forfeited your privileges by your 

' Horn then ?] T< ouv in a di<ilot>ue, and when r< has no 
following substantive to agree with it, is a form of introducing 
another question or objection by the incjuirer. See Dr. Taylor's 
learned note on ver. 3. He further observes, in his note on 
ver, 9, "That the apostle in his arguments considers Jews and 
Gentiles as abody in theircollective ca})acity, and that he is argu- 
ing for a justification agreeable to such a ca))acity : 7.//. Well j 
but have not we Jews a better claim tlian the Gentiles to the 
blessings and privileges of the kingdom of (tod ? " 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case II. 65 

crimes ; and I am now about to prove, by an in- Ch. iii. 
duction of particulars, that your own scriptures 
confirm the just but melancholy representation. 

This brings the apostle back to the point from 
which he had digressed at the 24th verse of the 
preceding chapter ; and, taking up his words again, 
he pursues the course of his argument, by alleging 
the testimony of their own scriptures. 

8. The apostle, returning from his digression, 
confirms his description of the Jewish nation by the 
testimony of the Jewish scriptures, ver. 10 — 20. 

As it is written, " There is none righteous ; 10. 

no, not one.'''' 

At the 24th verse of the preceding chapter, the 
apostle had directly charged the Jews with having 
excited the indignation of the heathen by their 
scandalous immoralities. He adds, *' as it is 
written ;" meaning to confirm his charge by testi- 
monies from the Old Testament. But, an objec- 
tion occurring to his mind, he drops his main ar^ 
gument, till after he has discussed it; and this dis- 
cussion being finished, he now resumes his argu- 
ment, by taking up the words which he had used 
when the interruption took place. Similar paren- 
theses are not unfrequent in the apostle's writings, 
and add greatly to the obscurity of his style 2. 

This collection of texts is taken from dlfferenl 

* A very remarkable parenthesis occurs in the Epistle to the 
Ephesians, of the whole third chapter. 
VOL. I. V 

66 Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Cas^ IL 

Ch. III. passages ^ in the scriptures of the Old Testament ; 
perhaps with a design to show, that the Jews in 
every age had heen a disobedient people. 

The intention of the apostle is to prove, that the 
Jews as a nation had by their wickedness forfeited 
their claim to the privileges of a peculiar people ; 
and therefore, that they possessed no better title to 
the blessings of the gospel than the idolatrous 

The argument is properly national, not personal. 
Among profligate Jews and idolatrous heathen 
there might be some illustrious exceptions ; some 
eminent examples of virtue, amidst great and pre- 
vailing degeneracy. But considered as a body, both 
Jews and heathen were a disobedient and wicked 
race : so far from meriting by their conduct an ex- 
tension of their privileges, they were justly ob- 
noxious to condemnation by the law of the respec- 
tive dispensations under which they lived. 
—10. " There is jione righteous ; 7io, not one^ 

There is not an individual who can plead that he 
has himself so fully complied with all the requisi- 
tions of the law, as to be in a strict and legal sense 

* Taken from dtjfernit passages ;'] viz. vcr. 10 — 12 from 
Psalm xiv. 1 — 3 ; ver. 13 from Psalm v. 9, cxl.3 ; ver. 14 from 
Psalm X. 7 ; ver. 15 — 1/ from Isa. lix. 7, 8; and ver, 18 from 
Psalm xxxvi. 1. — In some copies of the LXX. all the verses are 
found together in the fourteenth Psalm, which has very much 
the appearance of interpolation. The apostle, probably with- 
out any jjarticular reason, set down these passages as they 
came into his mind ; and repeats them as descriptive of the 
Jewish nation collectively, and by no means as applicable to 
any individual. 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case II. ^7 

perfectly innocent and free from every offence in Ch. in. 
heart and life. 

" There is no one ivho iinderstandeth ; there is Ver. 11. 
7io?ie ivho diligently seeketh after God^ 

None have formed just conceptions of the Divine 
character and government ; none have taken the 
pains they ought to have done to acquire that right 
knowledge upon these interesting subjects which is 
contained in the Law and the prophets. 

'^ All are turned aside : they are altogether he- 12. 

come iinprojitahle : there is none who practiseth 
goodness ; oio, not even one^"* 

All are transgressors of the divine law. Instead 
of loving and doing good to others, they have neg- 
lected and abandoned their neighbour when he 
wanted their aid. In short, there is not one, not 
a single individual, who has fully performed his 
duty 2. 

" Their throat is an open sepulchre ; ivith their 13. 
tongues they have deceived: the venom of asps is 
under their lips'' 

They deal so largely in fraud, falsehood, and 

'^ It is difficult to say to whom the original description was 
intended by the Psalmist to be applied : surely, not to eveiy 
individual Israelite in his day, nor even to the majority of his 
countrymen : perhaps he refers to his enemies only, who op- 
posed his accession to the crown. He might possibly have too 
bad an opinion of his countrymen 5 as it is ])lain that Elijah 
had, who, when complaining of the universal degeneracy of 
his countrymen, was rebuked by the oracle, and told that Israel 
contained seven thousand pious worshipers of the true God v.ho 
had not bowed their knee to Baal, 1 Kings xix. 18 ; and David 
himself acknowledges, in Psalm cxvi. 11, that it was '' in 
haste " that he said " All men are liars," 


•^S Part 1. Sect. I. ROMAN S. Case Ih 

Ch.lil. calumny, that their very breath is tainted, like the 
effluvia of an open grave, or the venom of a viper. 
It is dangerous to approach them. 

14. " llicir mouth is full of cursing and bitterness : 

15. their feet are sivift to shed blood. '^ 

They give vent to their mahgnant passions by 
the bitterest execrations ; and where they have op- 
portunity, they do not hesitate to gratify their re- 
venge in the blood of those who have offended 
them . 
2^' ^^ Ruin and misery 'iix^ in their ivays : and the 
way of peace they have not known T 

AU their thoughts and purposes against those 
who are the objects of their resentment, are re- 
venge and mischief : and as to measures of peace 
and reconciliation, they never occur to their 
18. '* The fear of God is not before their cyes^* 

This is the more surprising, considering how lia- 
ble they are themselves to the righteous judgement 
of God, for their own multiplied transgressions. 
But this they do not regard ; and, laying aside all 
apprehension of a future judgement, they are de- 
termined to gratify their malignant and revengeful 
passions, whatever may be the consequence, 
ly. Now tue knoiv, that whatsoever the law saith ', 

' None of these passages are to be found in the writings of 
Moses : ])y the Law, therefore, the apostle must mean the 
Scriptures of the Old Testament. See Doddridge. Dr. Priest- 
ley, in his judicious note u])on this text, observes " that nei- 
ther with respect to Jew.s nor Gentiles could the great mass or 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case II. 69 

if speaheth to those who are under the law : so that Ch. iir. 
eve)y mouth is stopped-^ and the whole world stands 
convicted before God. 

• You will observe that all these passages which I 
have recited, have been taken from the sacred books 
of the Jews ; they must therefore be considered as 
descriptive of the character of Jews : the heathen 
have no concern in them. But if such be the cha- 
racter of the Jews as a nation, as it is described by 
their own writers, there can be no doubt, that in 
the sight of God they are equally guilty with the 
heathen ; and if arraigned at the divine tribunal, 
both Jew and Gentile must stand alike speechless, 
and are equally obnoxious to the righteous judge- 
ment of their Maker. 

It is observable here, that the word Law is put 
for the Jewish scriptures in general, none of these 
passages being quoted from the Pentateuch, but all 
of them from the Psalms or the prophets^ 

How far the apostle's argument is strictly logi- 
cal, may be doubted. The scope of it seems to be 
this : Your own writers give such a description of 

bullc of the people have consisted of such profligate characters 
as fhe apostle describes ; for then society could not have sub- 
sisted. But what is of chief importance, though not mentioned 
by the apostle, is, that some of the worst vices which he here 
enumerates were connived at in the worship of the heathen 
gods, whereas all impurity as well as cruelty was forbidden in 
the laws of Moses ; so that when the Jews were guilty of those 
vices, they were much more criminal than the Gentiles, whose 
very religion favoured them." 

^ So that every mouth is stopped.'] " So lycc and the rest fol- 
lowing should be rendered. I Cor. vu. 29 3 2 Cor. i. 1 7 , Gal. v. 
17', Eph. ii. 9." Taylor. 

70 Part I. Sect. I. ROMAN S. Case II. 

Ch. III. the wickedness of your nation in their time, as 
must necessarily lead to the conclusion, that men 
of such a character had justly forfeited all the pri- 
vileges of the Mosaic covenant. But you will not 
pretend that the Jews of the present day are better 
than their ancestors in the time of David and the 
prophets. Consequently, they also have forfeited 
all their peculiar privileges, and stand at present 
upon no better ground than the idolatrous and des- 
pised heathen. 

It may, however, reasonably be doubted, not 
only whether the cited passages were applicable to 
every individual, but whether they were intended 
by the respective writers to apply to the Jews as a 
nation, in the age in which they lived. The fact, 
however, is certain, that the character of the Jewish 
nation at the time when the apostle wrote, was in 
the highest degree profligate. 

9. The apostle draws his grand conclusion, 
ver. 20. 
20. Therefore^ by the luorks of a law shall no flesh 
he jusUjied in his presence; for by a laiv is coiivic' 
tioji of sin \ 

' Conviction of sin 7\ So Wakefield, eTTiyvwcr/;, pcrfccfior et 
exactior scientia. Acts xxiv, 8. " EiriyiVLua-HSiv, dcjudice ad- 
liihctur, qui ex reo, qucesfione liahifa, vcritaicm. acvusationis cog- 
7ios(ity Schleusner. The law so clearly defines the nature of 
sin, that no one can doubt of the p^^idt of the ofiender, and of 
his liableness to punishment. " Law is so far from giving them 
a title to blessings, that it only discovers their sin^ as deserving 
of God's wrath." Taylor, 

Part I. Sect. I. R O M A N S. Case II. 71 

Neither Jew nor Gentile can plead a right to the Ch. iii. 
privileges of the gospel upon the ground of law ; 
for the Gentiles having been proved to be trans- 
gressors of the law of nature, and the Jews of the 
law of Moses, law now serves no other purpose 
than the conviction of both parties, and leaves the 
whole human race under a sentence of condemna- 
tion, with no other refuge or dependance than the 
divine mercy. 

This is the important conclusion, to which it 
was the apostle's design to lead his readers. He 
humbles the haughty and supercilious Jew to a 
level with, if not an inferiority to, the despised 
Gentile ; that so, being equally indebted to the Di- 
vine mercy for the blessings of the gospel, he may 
possess no claim to superiority under the new dis- 

Case III. 

t/ews and Gentiles united. 

The apostle shows that faith alone, without the 
works of law, is the common and the only ground 
of admission to the privileges of the gospel, both to 
Jew and Gentile; which necessarily excludes all 
pleas of merit, and all claims to superiority, in 
those who are thus received. Ch. iii. 2i — 31. 

1 . God of his own free mercy has communicated 
the blessings of the gospel, through Jesus Christ, to 
Jew and Gentile without distinction, ver. 2 I — 26. 

72 Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case IIL 

Ch. III. Bui now, the justification of God, independently 

^^ 22! oflaiu^, (even that justification of God by faith in 

t/esus Christ which was attested by the law and the 

prophets,) is manifested to all^ luho believe. For 

23. there is no distinction: inasmuch as all have sinned, 

24. and come short of the glory of God. Being justi- 
fied freely by his grace, through the redemjUion 

25. which is by Christ t/esus : ivhom God has set 
forth as a mercy seat^ in his own blood ^, for the 

^ Independently of law.'] See \Vakefielcl. 
* To aU.'] llie received text adds, " and upon all :" but these 
words are omitted in the Alexandrine and other ancient copies, 
are disapproved by Griesbach, and obscure the sense. 

' A mercy seat.'] IXarr/piOv. This word uniformly signifies the 
mercy seat wherever it occurs, both in the Old Testament and 
the New, and is every where rendered by that word in the public 
Version J and so it ought to have been translated here. See 
Exod. XXV. 22 5 Numb. vii. 8, 9 ; Lev. xvii. 2 ; Heb. ix. 5. The 
mercy seat was the golden lid of the ark of the covenant, upon 
which the Shechinah or cloud of glory rested, and from which 
oracles were dispensed. (Christ is compared to the mercy seat, 
as " it is upon him," says Dr. Taylor, " the grace of God takes 
its. stand, erects its throne, and is declared and is dispensed 
to us." 

'^ In his own blood.] That is, the blood of Christ himself. 
" The atonement under the law was made by blood sprinkled 
on the mercy seat. Christ, says St. Paul, is now shown by God 
to be the real ])ropitiatory, in his own blood. See Ileb. ix. 
2."), 2G." Locke. Lev. xvi. 13, 14, Aaron is required, on the 
day of atonement, to sprinkle the blood of the sacrificed bul- 
lock and goat u])()n the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat. 
Christ, being re}>resented both a.s priest and victim, is here de- 
scribed as sprinkling and consecrating the mercy seat with his 
own blood. The received text reads, *' by faith in his blood ;" 
but the words Sia, rr,g nrsu};, by faith, are wanting in the 
Alexandrine manuscri])t, and are probably spurious. Dr. Tay- 
lor, though lie retiiins the words, observes, that ** faith in 
('hrist's blood is a mode of expression which occurs no where iu 
Scripture but in this place;" probably, therefore^ it did not 
originally occur here. 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case III. 73 

declaration of his method ^i justification, with re- Ch. in. 
spect to the remission of sins already committed, 
through the forbearance of God: for the declara" 26, 

tio?i, I say, of his meihodioi justification at this pre- 
sent time, that he anight be just ^ and the justifier of 
him who believeth in Jesus G. 

For the perfect understanding of this difficult 
passage it is necessary to remember that sin, in a 
technical sense in the apostle's writings, signifies a 
state of exclusion from the covenant of God, and 
from its privileges and promises; and sinners are 
those who exist in an uncovenanted state. Such 
was the state of the Gentile world by nature, and 
of the Jews by transgression. 

In contradistinction to this, righteousness in a 
technical sense signifies a covenant or holy state, 
and justification expresses the means by which sin- 
ners are brought into this state; and they are 
righteous or holy who have been introduced into a 
covenant state, and who are made partakers of its 
privileges, promises, and blessings. Such were the 
Jews under the Mosaic dispensation, and believers 
under the gospel. 

^ Might be just .•] i e. " to all his creatures ; admitting them 
into the outward privileges of the Christian church upon this 
sole condition, that they believe in Jesus Christ." Newcome. 
Just and the justifier : 7. c/. the just justifier, the equitable, the 
impartial dispenser of mercy to all who believe, of whatever 
nation or description. 

^ JVho believeth.'] Gr. '''who is of the faith of Jesus." See 
Gal. iii, 7,9. 01 zx inrsujg, they who are of faith, i. e. they who 
expect justification by faith. See also Rom. iii. 30. Uspiro^j^r^v 
ay. Ttirtojs, the circumcision who believe. Vide Mr. Wakefield's 

74 Part I. Si:gt. I. ROMAN S. Cask III. 

Ch. III. There are two ways by which men may be sup- 
posed to obtain admission into the gospel covenant. 
Tlie first is by a claim of right on the ground of 
merit, because they had fully improved their ante- 
cedent blessings, the Gentile his law of nature, and 
the Jew the dispensation of Moses. These claims 
the apostle has completely refuted : the only re- 
maining mode of admission, therefore, is by free 
grace or favour, through faith in Jesus as the 
Christ, offered by the unmerited mercy of God 
equally to Jew and Gentile, without any regard to 
the requisitions of antecedent law. This doctrine 
the apostle proceeds to illustrate. 

21. But now ^ the justification of God, independently 

22. of law, (even that justification of God by faith in 
Jesus Christ which was attested hy the laiu and 
the prophets,) is manifested to all ivho believe . 

The claim of right is cancelled : Jew and Gen- 
tile are equally sinners ; they are equally cast out 
of covenant privileges, and equally liable to condem- 
nation. But God has not left his frail and fallen 
creatures without help and without hope. He is 
even now, at this very time, inviting them to enter 
into a covenant state. He is publishing that new 
and gracious dispensation to which the law ^of 
Moses points, and which the prophets of former 
ages have foretold. He has chosen and constituted 
Jesus of Nazareth to be the promised Messiah ; 
and all who believe in and obey him as such, are 
received into the new covenant, and admitted to 
the privileges of sons of God, without any regard 

Part I. Sect. I. R O M A N S. Case 111. 75 

whatever to any previous institute or dispensation Ch. ni. 
under which they may have lived. 

For there is no distinction : inasmuch as all Ver. 23. 
have sinned^ and come short of the glory of God. 

I say all, without exception ; for there is no dif- 
ference between the privileged Jew and the unpri- 
vileged Gentile, both parties having equally trans- 
gressed their respective institutes, having equally 
failed in their duty to God, having equally forfeited 
their antecedent privileges, and being equally ob- 
noxious to the sentence of the violated law. 

Being justified freely by his grace, through the 24. 
redemption which is by Christ Jesus ^ . 

All who believe in Christ are raised from a state 
of condemnation to a state of life, liberty, and pri- 
vilege: but not by any antecedent merits of their 
own. Far from it. They are introduced into this 

' Redemption which is by Christ Jesus.'] " That redeeming," 
says Mr. Locke in his excellent note upon this passage^ "- in 
the sacred Scripture language, signifies, not precisely paying 
an equivalent, is so clear, that nothing can be more. I shall 
refer my reader to three or four places amongst a great num- 
ber, Exod. vi. 6} Deut. vii. 8, xv. 15, xxiv. 18. But if any 
one will, from the literal signification of the word in English, 
persist in it against St. Paul's declarations, that it necessarily 
implies an equivalent price paid, I desire him to consider to 
whom ; and that if we will strictly adhere to the metaphor, it 
must be to those whom the redeemed are in bondage \o, and 
from whom we are redeemed, viz. sin and Satan. If he will 
not believe his o\mi system for this, let him beheve St. Paul's 
words. Tit. ii. 14, ' who gave himself for us, that he might re- 
deem us from all iniquity.' Nor could the price be paid to 
God in strictness of justice, (for that is made the argument 
here,) unless the same person ought, by that strict justice, to 
have both the thing redeemed and the price paid for its redcm.p^ 
tion. For it is to God that we are redeemed. See Rev. v. 9." 

70 Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case III. 

Ch. III. new and happy state by the free, unpurchased, un- 
merited mercy of God, who for this purpose has 
appointed Jesus of Nazareth to be the great deli- 
verer of Jew and Gentile, of bondage and misery, 
by publishing to the world the joyful tidings of 
pardon and peace. 

Redemption is deliverance from bondage. In 
its primary sense, by Y>urchase; but frequently, by 
any other means. The Gentiles were in servitude 
to idolatry and vice, and the Jews to the law and 
to pharisaic tradition. From this servitude they 
are redeemed by Christ. How ? Not surely by 
paying an equivalent; but by the declarations of 
mercy in the gospel, as the apostle himself explains 
it in the vei*se immediately following. 
25. JVliom God hath set forth as a mercy seat hi 
his own bloody for the declaration of his method of 
justification^ with respect to i the remission of sins 
already coimniited, through the forbearance of 

Jesus Christ is the messenger of God, to publish 
his dispensation of mercy to mankind ; and to fulfill 
his commission, he offered up his life. He is the 
mercy seat, on which the cloud of glory rests; 
sprinkled and consecrated by his own blood, as that 
of old was by the bJood of the appointed victim. 

' With refipcci to^ '' A<a rr,v 7fccc6(xiv, in relalion to the pas- 
sing over, tVc. /Sia, witli an accusative, rrequently signifies with 
respect or in relation to. See cliap. viii. 10, note." Taylor. 
See also Nevvcomeand Raphelius jti loc. John xi. l.'), 12, xii. 9, 
30; Rom. ii.2I, iv. 23, vi. W, viii. 11. 

Part I. Sect. L ROMAN S. Case 115. 77 

On this sacred basis divine mercy takes its stand, ch. iii, 
and proclaims the commencement of a new and ^^*' ^^' 
glorious sera. It announces a dispensation of 
grace, in which all, whether Jew or Gentile, shall 
be received into favour, notwithstanding all past 
transgressions; and which particularly illustrates the 
reason of the divine forbearance, in not executing, 
judgement upon past transgressions, since a dispen- 
sation of mercy was in the divine contemplation 
which should efface them all, and restore to favour, 
peace, and hope, all who would submit to its rea- 
sonable terms. 

For the declaration of his method o^ justification 26. 
at this present time, that he might he just and the 
justifier of hhn ivho helieveth in *Jesus, 

Divine mercy having thus appointed Jesus to be 
the medium of the new dispensation, has thought 
fit to make it known to the world in the present 
age, the age in which it is our happiness to live, 
and which infinite wisdom has selected as the fit- 
test and the best for the introduction of this new 
and benevolent scheme. And as faith in Jesus is 
the easy, the reasonable, and the sole condition of 
admission to the privileges of the new covenant, 
these blessings are equally open to all, whether 
Jew or Gentile. And thus hath God approved 
himself the kind parent and the equitable and im- 
partial ruler of all his reasonable creatures. He 
is just to all, while he thus justifies all who be- 
lieve without any exception. 

This appears to me to be the true interpretation 

78 Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case III. 

Ch. HI. of this difficult and much mistaken passage ; and 
^** " ' thus understood, it affords no foundation for the 
commonly received doctrine of the Atonement, 
upon which many lay so improper a stress, and of 
which this passage is considered as one of the chief 
supports. But, in order to extract any appearance 
of argument in favour of this unscriptural doctrine, 
it is necessary — First, To interpret the word re- 
DEMi^TiON, which often expresses deliverance with- 
out purchase, as necessarily including a ransom 
paid. Secondly, To annex the sense of projntia- 
t'lon to a word, which in the scriptures both of the 
Old and New Testament uniformly signifies ^pro- 
pitiatory or mercy seat. Thirdly, To receive as 
the genuine text a reading which is wanting in 
some of the best copies, and which is unwarranted 
by any similar phraseology in the New Testament, 
viz. faith in the blood of Christ. And finally. To 
interpret the expression, that '' God may be just," 
as alluding to a satisfaction made to justice by the 
atonement of Christ, when there is no proof that 
such satisfaction was ever required, or such atone- 
ment ever made ; and when the words admit of a 
sense more obvious, and much better suited to the 
connexion and to the train of the apostle's argu- 

In this way, by false readings and erroneous in- 
terpretations, the grossest corruptions of the Chris- 
tian doctrine are often obtruded upon the world, 
as the genuine doctrines of the New Testament and 
the dictates of inspiration. 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case III. 79 

2. Tills method of justification excludes boast- Ch. in. 
ing; it vindicates the impartiality of God, and 
lays the best foundation for the practice of virtue, 
ver. 27—31. 

Where then is boasting P It is excluded. By Ver. 27. 
what laiv ? by the lav/ of works P A^o : hut by the 
laiu of faith. For ive are come ^ to the conclusion 28. 

that a man is justified by faith independently of any 
Works of law. 

What now becomes of the boasting of the privi- 
leged Jew ? of his fancied superiority to the unco- 
venanted Gentile ? It is all at an end. He must 
be content to rank upon a level with his heathen 
neighbour. And by what authority is he reduced 
to this state of equality ? does the law of Moses 
place him there ? No, truly. Had this law been 
kept, he would have had a just claim to pre-emi- 
nence ; but this privilege he has forfeited by trans- 
gression, and faith is now the appointed and only 
mode of access to the blessings of the new cove- 
nant. And this way is open equally to ^qxy and 
Gentile. For, after a fair appeal to experience 
and to scripture, we have been compelled to this 
conclusion, that the possession of the privileges of 
the gospel is to be obtained by faith, and not by any 
antecedent merit in obeying either the natural or 
the ceremonial law. 

Is God the God of the Jeivs only P Is he not 29. 

* Tor icearecome7\ ^' yxoT Griesbach. The received text 
reads '' therefore," o-jv. 

80 Part I. Sect. I. R O M A N S. Case III. 

Ch. III. also the God of tJie Gentiles? Surely of the Gen* 
Ver. 30. t'lles also : For it is the same God ivho justifieth 
the circumcised ivho have faith J, and the imcir' 
cumcised through the same faith. 

All this is perfectly agreeable to the impartial 
goodness of God. The Jew glories, and justly glo- 
ries, in God as his God : it is a thought which in- 
spires his heart with joy and triumph. But is the 
favour of God confined to the Hebrew nation only.'* 
Is he not the Maker^ the Preserver, the Benefac- 
tor, the Friend and Fatlier of all his reasonable 
creatures ? of the heatht^n as well as the Jew ? 
Surely God is the great universal Parent, and is 
equally kind to all his rational offspring. Well 
then does it become his impartial and unbounded 
goodness to extend the blessings of the gospel to 
the heathen upon the same easy terms upon which 
they are granted to the Jew. All are justified by 

Nothing can be more reasonable than the doc- 
trine thus laid down by the apostle ; and yet no- 
thing could be more offensive to the conceited, 
narrow-spirited iiiiw, who was desirous of engross- 

' The circumcised uho have fdith^ TfspiroixrjV sx Tfinvcs, the 
circumcision ; i. e. the Jews who believe, and who expect jus- 
tification by faith. There is no reason to suppose, as most ex- 
positors do, any antithesis or correkition between fx 'nifcivg 
and (J'/a rr^j TTi^ec/j;. So (ial. iii. 7, 0, ol sx. irirecv;, " they who 
believe, who are of the party of faith, are justified with believing 
Abraham." In opposition to Oi e^ipyoov voij^ou, they who arc of 
the party of the law, who expect justification by works of law, 

Part I. Sect. I. ROMAN S. Case III. 81 

ing the favour of God to himself, and who could Ch. in. 
not endure the thought of being depressed to a level ^^'' ' 
with the heathen, whom he despised and abhorred. 
The apostle Paul himself was once as illiberal as the 
most rigid Pharisee ; and the catholic, generous 
spirit which he now discovers was not the result of 
his own mature reflection, but the act of divine 
mercy, which transformed him at once from a savage 
persecutor to a humble, penitent believer, and which 
selected and qualified him to preach the gospel to 
the Gentile world. And this extraordinary change 
produced in the views and temper of the apostle, is 
a very strong presumption in favour of the divine 
authority under which he acted and taught. 

He concludes this argument by entering a caution 
against the abuse of the doctrine which he had laid 
down of justification by faith without works. 

Uo wc then destroy law through faith? Far 31 
Jrom It : yea, we establish law. 

Can it be supposed that when I state that the 
only way of admission into the new covenant, and 
to the privileges of the gospel, is through faith in 
Jesus as the Messiah, without any respect to ante- 
cedent merit in obeying the natural or the cere- 
monial law, that I thereby mean to release believers 
in Christ from all regard to the law of God, and to 
confound the distinction between right and wrong .^ 
Nothing could be further from my thoughts than 
such a doctrine as this ; and I shall soon take an 
opportunity to show not only that a belief in the 
gospel is perfectly reconcileable with obedience, but 

VOL. I. G 

82 Part I. Sect. I. ROMANS. Case III. 

Cii. Hi. that the motives of the gospel are of the highest 
^^'' ^ ' efficacy to purify the hearts and lives of the con- 
verted Gentiles ; and that with regard to the Jew, 
they are beyond comparison more operative than 
the precepts and the sanctions of the law. 

The apostle resumes this important subject in the 
sixth and seventh chapters; and in the mean time 
he proceeds to allege some additional arguments to 
establish his favourite principle, that under the dis- 
pensation of the gospel all men are equally regarded 
as the children of God ; and that the descendant of 
Abraham has no privilege above the rest of man- 


Ch. IV, The apostle argues, tJiat the piivileges of the gospel 
are the free unmerited gift of God to all mankind 
without distinction, from the case of Abraham, 
the pattern of believers ; to whom promises were 
made for the faith which he exercised antece^ 
dently to the rite of circumcision^, Ch. iv. 

1 . The apostle proposes the question, and sug- 
gests the test by which it might be determined in 
what way Abraham was justified, ver. 1, 2. 

* The ar£,mmcnt from the example of Abraham, ])ursued 
througliout this chapter, is so exactly similar to that which is 
proposed in tlie Ki)istle to the Cialatians, chap, iii., that it is 
hardly ])ossible that they should not have been dictated by the 
same ])erson. And it is surprising', that Mr. Evanson, who 
acknowledges tiie genuineness of tlie Epistle to the Galatians, 
did not see how irresistibly this internal evidence supports the 
authenticity of the Epistle to the Uomans. 

PaktI. ROMANS. Sect. II. 1. 83 

What then shall ive say ^ P that Abraham our Ch. iv. 
father obtained justification through the flesh 3 P 
Noiv^ if Abraham lu as justified by works, he hath 2, 

somevvhat in which he may glory ■*. 

As though the apostle had said, I have esta- 
bUshed at large, both from history and scripture, 
that the blessings of the gospel are the free gift of 
jGod both to Jew and Gentile, and not the reward 
of antecedent merit. And, to reconcile us the more 
to this humiliating doctrine, I am now about to 

* Wliat then shall we say?] Others translate the sentence 
thus. What advantage then shall we say, that Abraham our fd- 
■ the r found as to the flesh? See Newcome. The meaning is 
much the same ; but the version in the text is more in the 
apostle's lively manner. See chap, iii.o, 9 3 chap. vi. 1, 15. — 
The apostle states the objection of the Jew, that Abraham was 
justified by circumcision, Tiocrcc <, according to the flesh, 
and therefore by works. But he was our Father, that is, our 
pattern ; therefore the Jews are justified or brought into a cove- 
nant state by circumcision. No, says the apostle — Abraham 
was not justified by circumcision, but by the faith which he had 
i)efore he was circumcised 5 and circumcision was only the sign 
•or seal of his antecedent justification. 

^ Through thejlesh.'] xccra cnzpncx,. Dr. Taylor has very ably 
proved, in his note upon this passage, that this phrase has re- 
spect to circumcision, and the obligations it laid on the Jew. 
See Gal. vi. 12 3 1 Cor. x. 18 5 2Cor. xi. 18,; Phil.iii.3. That 
learned and judicious expositor very properly states, that after 
the apostle has introduced bis argument, ver. 1, 2, he shows that 
according to the Eaipture account Abraham was justified by 
faith, ver. 3, 4, 5 3 explains the nature of that justification by 
a quotation out of the Psalms, ver. 6 — 9 3 proves that Abraham 
was justified long before he was circumcised, ver, 9, 10_, 11 j 
that the believing Gentiles are his seed, to whom the promise 
i)elongs, as well as the believing Jews, ver. 12 — 17 5 describes 
Abraham's faith, in order to explain the faith of the gospel^ 
ver, 17 to the end. 

* He ma?! glory.'] See ch. iii, 27. '' he may ascribe his ju&-- 
tification to something in himself." Tavlor, 

G 2 

84 Part 1. II O M A N S. Sect. II. 1, ^. 

ch. IV. remind you that Abniham himself, our honoured 

Ver. 2 

ancestor, our revered pattern, became entitled to 
the privileges of the covenant in the same way. Are 
you startled at this supposition ? What ! do any 
of you imagine that our venerable ancestor obtained 
his privileges by a claim of right, on the footing of 
prior complete obedience to positive law ? If this 
be your judgement, we will soon bring the case to a 
decisive test ; for if he is authorized to put in a 
claim of right, he has good reason to think well 
of himself on this account. 

That this is the true sense of the apostle can be 
doubted by none who are at all acquainted with his 
abrupt and elliptical style. He does not speak of 
Abraham as onvfatJier according to the flesh, but 
as \\di\\\\g found according to the flesh. But that 
which he found was justification, the blessings of 
the promise, and the covenant. And to find it ac- 
cording to the flesh is to find it by works of law, 
and particularly by the rite of circumcision ; for 
this is the sense in which the word Jlcs/i occurs re- 
peatedly, both in this epistle and in that to the 
Galatians ; and the latter clause fully explains the 
meaning of the former, the expression " being jus- 
tified by works " being used by the apostle as equi- 
valent to that of " having found according to the 

2. The apostle shows, from the scripture history, 
that Abraham's justification was the consequence of 
faith; not the reward of works, ver. 2 — 5. 

Part I. ROMANS. • Sect. II. 2. 85 

— JBut he had it ?iot in the prese?ice of God K Ch. iv. 

This eminent patriarch neither possessed, nor "' "' 
made any pretension, in the presence of God, to a 
claim of right, on the ground of past obedience, to 
a further extension of privilege. 

i^or tv/iat saith the scripture ?. Abraham believed .3. 

God, and it was placed to his accounf^ for justiji- 
cation. Gen. xv. 6. 

The history plainly tells us, that the patriarch was 
received into favour, not for any work that he had 
antecedently performed, but because he believed in 
the divine promise that he should have a numerous 
posterity by his ivife Sarah. 

Now to him who performeth a task, the recom- 4. 

pense is placed to account not as a favour, but as 
a debt 3, But to him who doth not perform a task, 5 

but ivho believeth on him ivho justifeth the un- 
godly 4, his faith is placed to account for justifi- 

^ la the presence of God.] '' The apostle considers Abraham 
as standing in the court, before God's tribunal;, when the promise 
was given him." Taylor. 

^ Placed to his account.'] s?:oyLa-5-/) : the expression refers to 
a book of accounts in which a sum is placed on the credit side. 
^' Proprie tribiiitur arithmeticis qui multas summas in unam col- 
ligunt et reducuntJ' Schleusner. In our translation it is ren- 
dered counted, ver. 3, 5 ; reckoned, ver. A,9,\i) ; imputed, ver. 6^ 
8, 1 1, 22, 23, 24. The sense in all these passages is the same. 
See Taylor. The term imputed has been so much misunder- 
stood, that I have preferred to use the word reckon or place to 

^ To him who, &c.] ^' Now the pay of the workman is not 
reckoned a favour, but a debt." Wakefield. 

^ Who justifieth the ungodly^ " This," says Archbishop New- 
come^ *' may be considered as a general character of God^ 

86 Pakt 1. 11 OMAN S. Sect. II. 2, 3. 

Ch. IV. The man who performs a service for hire has a 
^^'" '^' right to his wages, and is under no special obliga- 
tion to the man who pays him his just due. But 
this was not the case with Abraham : he had done 
no work, he could claim no remuneration. He was 
a poor ungodly heathen, when God summoned him 
out of his country and promised him a posterity as 
numerous as the sand upon the shore. x\ll his 
merit consisted in believing that God would fulfill 
his promise ; and with this faith the Almighty was 
so well pleased that he entered into covenant with 
him to bestow still better blessings. 

3. Tliis happy state of Abraham is well described 

in the language which David uses upon a different 

subject, ver. 6 — 8. 

G. y4s David also describes^ the blessedness of the 

man to whom God rechoneth justification without 

7. works. Blessed are they whose iniquities arefoV'- 

8. given, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man 
to xvhoni the Lord luill not reckon sin. Psalm 

'xxxii. 1, 2. 

Abraham must have felt himself unspeakably 
happy in being thus selected, though unworthy, as a 
person upon whom the Divine Being thought fit 
to bestow peculiar favour ; just as the psalmist de- 

and may refer to the whole heathen world ns well as to Abra- 
ham ;" ch. V. f). — Mr. Locke observes that " the apostle by these 
words plainly pointed out Abraham." 

1 David describes?^ This is an illustration, not an argument. 
The apostle can only mean that the words of David aptly de- 
scribe the case of Abraham. 

Part I. ROMANS. Sect. II. 3, 4. 87 

scribes the case of a great transgressor, who, con- Ch. iv. 
scions of sincere repentance, humbly hopes in the 
divine mercy that his sin shall be forgiven^ and is 
filled with joy and gratitude under a sense of his 
unspeakable obligation. 

4. The apostle plainly shows, from the exam- 
ple of Abraham, that the blessings of the covenant 
were to extend to all believers without distinction, 
ver. 9—12. 

And first he states the question, ver. 0. 

A^oiv this blessedness, cometh it upon the cir- ^^ 

cumcised only, or upon the imcircumcised also- ? 

Is this happy state^ which I have been describing, 
limited to the natural descendants of Abraham 
alone, or is it extended equally to the believing 
heathen .^ As to the patriarch himself, ^}{\^ mode 
in which he obtained this favour has been already 

For we affirm that this faith ivas reckoned to —9. 
Abraham for justification , 

We have proved, by the express words of scrip- 
ture, that the privileges of this patriarch were the 
reward not of works, but of faith ; and, that you may 
not imagine that the faith so rewarded was that of 
one who was already in a covenant state, and the 
consequence of circumcision, I will now show the 

^ Circumcised — imcircumcised^ Gr. '^ circumcision or uticir- 
rumcision." The apostle perpetually uses the abstract for the 

(S(S Part I. ROMANS. Sect. If. 1. 

Ch. IV. Hoiv then was it reckoned to Idm? Was it after 
^^ ' ' or before circumcision ? A^ot after circumcision^ 
11. hut before it, And he received the sign of circum- 
cision, as the seal of tliat justification by faith ivhich 
he possessed before circumcision. 

The case of Abraham is clear : he beUeved and 
was justified before the birth of Ishmael, many 
years before circumcision was instituted. Gen. xvii. ; 
and that rite was appointed, not as a means of 
justification, but as a token that he was ah'eady in 
a justified state, which he had been, and was de- 
clared to be long before. 

The apostle now proceeds to argue, that as Abra- 
ham was justified by faith, and that, when he was in 
a heathen state, and as he is expressly marked out 
as the pattern of all who are admitted into a state 
of privilege, it necessarily follows, that all who be- 
lieve are to be admitted into this happy state with- 
out distinction of Jew or heathen, and whether they 
do or do not submit to the yoke of the law ; for he 
was admitted antecedently to circumcision for this 
very purpose. 
12. TJiat he might be the father ^ of all uncircum- 
cised believers'^ , that justification might be placed 
even to their account : and t lie father of those ivho 
are circuuicised^ ivho are 'not onlij circAuacised, but 
who walk in the steps of that faith of our father 
Abraham which he had before circumcision. 

' The fatfwr.] Sec Dr. Taylor'.s note on Horn. iv. 1. 
* Uurircnmvlsad bcUtvcrs.'] f«' aKpo^vr^ocs, in a .stutc of un- 
ciiTumcLsion. Sec Rom. ii. 27, 1 Cor. xiv. •). 


ROM A N S. Sfxt. II. 4,5, 89 

To be the father of any person, or class of per- ch. iv. 
sons, often signifies, in the Hebrew idiom, to be an '^^'' ^^' 
inventor, or a pattern, of any art or quality which 
such persons possess, or in which they excell. 
Thus, Gen. iv. 21, Jubal is said to have been the 
father of all such as handle the harp and the or- 
gan, that is, he was the inventor of those instru- 
ments and a pattern to those who use them. In 
this sense Abraham was set forth and declared to 
be the father or pattern of all believers : of heathen 
believers, because he was justified before he Vv^as 
circumcised ; and of Jews, because he received the 
initiatory rite not as the means of justification, but 
as an acknowledgement that he was already jus- 
tified ; and consequently as a pattern to them, not 
of justification by the ritual law, but by a faith si- 
milar to that by vdiich their illustrious ancestor 
was himself justified. 

5, Justification cannot be appointed through 
law, for that would be a violation of promise and 
an assignment to condemnation, ver. 13 — 15. 

Moreover, the promise that he should be heir of 13. 
the u'orld^ was not made to Abraham or to his 

^ Heir of the world^ Dr. Taylor supposes that the apostle 
means to represent the world as one great family. Abraham 
and his posterity are the heirs of the world, i.e. the first-born 
of this family, and therefore entitled to the better portion of the 
inheritance. This is ingenious 3 but though it is adopted by 
Archbishop Newcome, it appears to me to be too refined. The 
sense given in the paraphrase of this difficult passage, which is 
similar to that given by Mr. Loci^e, seems to me to be more natu- 
ral, and more agreeable to the apostle's manner and phraseology. 

" The 

90 Part I. R O M A N S. Sect. il. 5. 

Ch. IV. j)ostmty through law, but through justification by 
' faith. 

The promise made by God to Abraham also 
proves the doctrine of justification by faith. That 
promise was (Gen. xvii.) that he should be the 
father of many nations, that God would give to 
him and to his posterity the land of Canaan, and 
that in him should all nations of the earth be 
blessed. Gen. xii. 3. This may be regarded as a 
promise that he should be heir of the world ; first, 
that his natural descendants should possess the land 
of Canaan and many other countries ; and secondly, 
that his spiritual descendants should include men 
of all ages and countries, whether naturally de- 
scended from him or not; but that all, in all parts 
of the worlds who inherit his faith, should be ac- 
knowledged to be of his family, and should partici- 
pate in the promise. Now it is plain from the 
history, that this promise to the patriarch was made 
to him as the reward of his faith in the divine call 
which induced him to quit his native land, and not 
as the consequence of obedience to any law, much 
less of conformity to the rite of circumcision, which 
was instituted after the promise was given, and as 
a token of its ratlficatiun. Gen. xvll. 10. 

" The promise here meant," says Mr. Locke, " is that which 
he speaks of vqr, 1 1, \vhere])y Abraham was made the father of 
all that shoLihl believe, all tlie world over, and for that reason 
he is called x\YipovoiJ.o$ kog-ub, heir or lord of the world. For, 
believers of all the nations of the world l)eing given to him for 
a posterity, he becomes tliereby lord and ])ossessor (for so heir 
among the Hebrews signified) of the world." 

Part I. U O M A N S. Sect. II. 5, 6. 9! 

J^or if they only zv/io are of the law be heirs, ch.iv. 
faith is made void, and the promise is abrogated. ^^^' 

Upon the supposition that law only secured the 
blessing, only one nation would be heir, and that 
upon a different ground from Abraham himself ; so 
that the promise would be made void in both its 
parts, first by the exclusion of the Gentiles, and 
secondly by changing the ground of justification. 
Abraham would not be the pattern of many na- 
tions, but of one only ; nor even of that completely, 
for thei/ would be justified through 1^, but he 
through faith. 

Moreover, law worketh ^vrath : for whei^e there 15, 
is no laiu, there is 7io transgression. 

Nor is it indeed possible that any should obtain 
the blessing by law only. For, as all transgression 
supposes a rule transgressed, and there can be no 
transgression without it ; so, as I have before abun- 
dantly shown, in the very case where a law has in 
fact been given, v^'hich if observed would have en- 
sured justification, yet such has been the frailtv and 
the folly of those who have lived under such a 
dispensation, that not a single individual has uni- 
formly adhered to the law so as to claim justifica- 
tion by it, but every one by transgression has be- 
come obnoxious to its condemning sentence. 

6. That justification, that is, the blessing of the 
gospel, should be granted to faith, was necessary 
to the accomplishment of the promise that it should 

02 Part I. ROMAN 3. Sect. II. C. 

ni. IV. be both gratuitous and universal, extending to all 
the heirs of Abraham's faith, ver. 16, 17. 

Vcr. 1 6. llicrefore justification \%fromJcdth^ that it might 
be through favour ; to the end that the promise 
might he sure to all the posterity : not only to that 
which is of the law, but to that which is of the 
I?, fct^th of Abraham , who is the father of us all, in 
the sight of that God in ivhom he believed, who 
giveth life to the dead, and who calleth things that 
are not, as though they were. As it is written, I 
have ma% thee a father of many nations. See 
Gen. xvii. 4, 5. 

I again declare that the privileges of the gospel 
are granted and limited to faith alone. Why ? 
Because the promise affirms that the blessing is 
both gratuitous and universal, which it could not 
be if it were limited to those only who are subject 
to the law of Moses, in which case the benefit 
would be confined to one nation alone ; whereas, the 
promise of God to Abraham is, I have made thee a 
pattern of many nations without any distinction. 
In the sight of God, therefore, all who believe, in 
all ages and countries, are Abraham's children, and 
are to be justified after his pattern and in the same 
way. By the all-comprehending eye of God, which 
penetrates to the remotest period of duration, and 
discerns the future as distinctly as the present, the 
whole of this spiritual family of Abraham are seen 
as clearly as if they now existed ; and therefore he 
speaks of the thing as actually done which it was 

Part I. ROMANS. Sect. II. 6, 7. 93 

his determined purpose to accomplish, I have made Ch. iv. 
t/iee a father of many nations ; oj all who believe ^'^^' ^^' 
to the end of time. And the great object of Abra- 
ham's faith, and in which ours resembles that of the 
venerable patriarch, was the power of God to raise 
the dead, and to bring things out of nothing into 

7. The apostle illustrates the nature and the de- 
gree of Abraham's justifying faith, being tantamount 
to a belief in the power of God to create anew, and 
to raise the dead, ver. 18 — 22. 

He first believed that his posterity by Sarah 
should be innumerable, ver. 18. 

IFho against hope believed in hope, that he should 1 8. 
be the father of many Tuitions, according to that 
declaration, So shall thy posterity be. 

It is related, Gen. xv. 5, that " the Lord brought 
Abram forth abroad and said. Look now towards 
heaven, and tell the stars if thou be able to number 
them ; and he said unto him. So shall thy seed be." 
Abraham was now a hundred years of age ; a similar 
promise had been made to him twenty-five years 
before, in the faith of which he had abandoned his 
native land and all his family connexions, and had 
fixed his residence in the land of Canaan among 
strangers, relying upon the divine promise that it 
should afterwards be granted to, and inhabited by, 
a numerous race of his descendants. This was 
hoping against hope, believing in contradiction to 
all appearances j and, in effect, believing in the power 

94 Part 1. R O M A N S. Sect. II. 7. 

f:b. lY. of God to call those into being whose existence could 

^^'' ^^' not be accomplished by any human means, which 

indeed would be the same as anew creation. 

The patriarch further believed that he should 
have a son by Sarah, tvhich was equivalent to be- 
lieving that God would raise the dead, ver. 19 — 21. 

19. ^nd not bewg weak in faith., he considered not ^ 
his oiun body noiu become dead, ivhen he ivas about 
a hundred years old, nor the deadness of Sarah's 

20. womb. Nor did he hesitate at the promise of God 
through unbelief but ivas strong in faith, givi?ig 

21. glory to God^, being fully persuaded that ivhat he. 
had promised, he ivas able also to perform. 

Considering the advanced age of Sarah and him- 
self, it was as improbable that they should have a 
son as that a man should be raised from the dead ; 
it was like a promise that they should themselves 
be so raised : and yet his faith in the divine promise 
was not staggered by this difficulty ; he believed 
without hesitation. Being assured that Omnipo- 
tence itself had made the promise, he did not allow 
himself to reason concerning the difficulty of the 
performance. By the confidence which he reposed 
in the divine promise, he rendered to God the 
homage due to his infinite power, goodness and 

' ConsifU'vcd not.'] Some ^ood copies dro]) tlie a. If this be 
the true readiuii;, us Nevvcome observes, we must j^oint tluis : 
And not beinu; weak in faitli he considered his own body — and 
the deadness — and yet stao^gered not. 

'•^ Giving glory.] ^yg ^o^xv, " p^iving u)) his o))inion to God ; 
TesJL^ning all sujjposition unto (u)d, havinp; no o})inion on the 
subject, but leaving it all to God." W'akelield. 

Part 1. ROMANS. Sect. II. 7, 8. 95 

truth, under a firm conviction that he was both able Ch. iv. 
and wilHng to perform to the utmost all that he ^^^'•-^• 
had promised. 

The apostle adds, that this persevering active 
faith was crowned with its due reward, ver. 22. 

And therefore it was set to his account for jus^ 22. 

God having made the promise, and Abraham hav- 
ing accepted it, and having relied wholly upon it, 
and sacrificed every thing to it, God was so well 
pleased with his conduct in this instance, that he 
graciously received him into favour, and commu- 
nicated privileges and blessings to him, notwith- 
standing the transgressions of his heathen state, to 
as full an amount as though, by a course of sinless 
obedience, he had entitled himself to future favours. 
All past debts were graciously cancelled, and he 
was entered in the divine account as innocent and 

8. The apostle closes this argument by stating, 
that the history of Abraham's justification was re- 
corded for the instruction and encouragement of 
believers in Christ in succeeding ages who are jus- 
tified in a similar way, ver, 23 — 25. 

Novj it was not ivritten for his sake only that 23. 
faith was placed to his account, but for ours also 3 24. 

^ For ours also.'] ''^ for the sake of us also, all in future ages^ 
Gentiles as well as Jews, who may be admitted into the Chris- 
tian covenant upon this sole condition; if they believe/' &c. 

>6 PAR'n. ROMANS. Sect. II. 8. 

Ch. IV. to luliose account it will be placed, ifive believe on 
^'""'^ '^^' him luho raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. 
25. Who luas delivered up for our offences, and raised 
again for our justification. 

The account which is given in the book of Genesis 
concerning the strength and the reward of Abra- 
ham's faith, was not recorded merely for the sake 
of doing honour to the memory of that eminent pa- 
triarch, but for our benefit also, who live in the age 
in which the new dispensation is introduced. We 
may learn from this history, that the true posterity 
of Abraham;, of whatever name or country, to whom 
the promise is made, will like him be justified by 
faith, and be admitted into the privileges of the new 
covenant without being compelled to submit to the 
yoke of the law ; and the object of our faith, like 
his, is the power of God to raise the dead. He be- 
lieved in a possible resurrection, when he expected, 
according to the divine promise, a numerous poste- 
rity by Sarah. We believe in the actual resur- 
rection of Jesus our teacher and master from the 
grave ; and this single act of faith is that which 
is set down to our account for j ustification : it is 
that which transfers us from the community of sin- 
ners to the community of saints^ from the unbe- 
lieving into the Christian world. 

And the fact is really as I have stated it ; for 
Jesus was indeed delivered up for our offences ; he 
was, figuratively speaking, offered up like a conse- 
crated victim, by the sprinkling of whose blood we 
believers, whether Jews or Gentiles, are transferred 

Part I. ROMAN S. Sect. II. S. 97 

from an unholy to a holy state ; and he was raised Ch. iv. 
again, that by our faith in his resurrection, we ^^** ^^* 
might become partakers of the privileges of the 
covenant of which his blood was the seal, and might 
be as completely entitled to these privileges as if 
we had acquired a right to them by the most me- 
ritorious and undeviating obedience. 

Such is the argument which the apostle draws 
from the case of Abraham to establish his grand 
principle, that believers, whether Jews or heathen, 
are to be admitted to the privileges of the gospel 
without submitting to the yoke of the ceremonial 
law. Upon this subject it may be proper to re- 
mark, that it was a fact well adapted to conciliate 
the Jews to the apostle's doctrine, that Abraham 
by his faith had obtained acceptance with God 
many years before he submitted to the rite of cir- 
cumcision, and therefore that it was not incredible, 
that believing Gentiles should be admitted into the 
privileges of the gospel without submitting to the 
rites of the law. 

The great article of the Christian faith is, that 
God raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. All 
who believe this important fact are justified in the 
sight of God, that is, they are received and acknow- 
ledged as members of the Christian community. 
Let none therefore of the disciples of Jesus narrow 
the terms of Christian communion, and, by unwar- 
rantable conditions of their own, exclude those 
whom Christ has received. 

VOL. I. H 

98 Part I. ROMANS. Sect. II. 

Ch. IV. Christ was delivered for our offences, and was 
* " * raised again for our justification. The apostle pro- 
bably meant nothing more than that Christ was 
delivered up to death, and was raised again that we 
might be justified from our offences ; that we who 
were heathen transgressors might by faith in his 
resurrection be introduced into a state of covenant 
privilege. At any rate, the few ambiguous words 
which the apostle here uses, will not support the 
commonly received doctrine of atonement for sin 
by the vicarious sufferings of Jesus Christ. The 
free vmpurchased love of God is the foundation of 
all the privileges and hopes of the true Christian. 


Ch. V. I^^he apostle, having proved that the gospel is a 
free gift both to Jews and Gentiles, illustrates 
the value of its blessings, Ch. v. 1 — 11. 

First, the justified believer obtains peace with 
God, and admission into his presence and favour, 
ver. 1, 2. 
Ver. 1. Therefore being justified by faith lue have peace 
2. with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; through 
whom also ivc have access, byfaith^, into this grace 
in which we stand. 

' Jrccss Inj faith'] Tlie words "■ by faith" are omitted in the 
Clermont and other MSS., and are indeed snperiluou.s. llpoa-- 
ayujyYj, aeeess. Rai)lielius, from Herodotus, shows that this, a 
sacerdotal phrase^ signifies being introduced with great solem- 
nity into the presence of a deity in his temple. See Doddridge. 

Part I. ROMANS. Sect. III. 1. 99 

It was the boast of the conceited Jew that he was Ch. v. 
holy, while the rest of mankind were sinners ; that ^^'' ^' 
he was in a state of friendship and peace with God, 
while others were aliens and enemies ; that he was 
the favourite of heaven, while they were under a 
curse ; and the apostle's design in this eloquent 
passage is to show that believers in Christ possess 
all the privileges of God's ancient people, though 
they do not submit to the Jewish ceremonial. 

Being justified by faith ive have peace with God. 
Being, by our belief in the doctrine and resurrection 
of Jesus Christ, transferred like Abraham out of an 
unholy into a pardoned and a holy state, without 
submitting to the rites of the law, we are like that 
eminent patriarch become friends of God, through 
the medium of our master Jesus Christ, who was 
commissioned to offer and to ratify the terms of 
pacification ; and by faith \\\ him, we have been 
introduced by him into that state of privilege and 
favour which we now occupy, and in which the de- 
scendants of Abraham made their boast. 

Secondly, The justified believer has now also his 
ground of boasting, ver. — 2 — 1 1. 

1. In his hope, ver. — 2. 

— and boast in hope of the glory of God'^. —2. 

The Jew boasts in his written law, in his descent 
from Abraham, in his ceremonial institute, in his 

® Glory of God.'] '' of the glory which God has in store for 
us." Locke. '" in hope of future glory." Priestley. 

H 2 ' 

100 Part I. ROMANS. Sect. III. 2. 

Ch. V. temporal promises. The believer in Christ also has 
^^^' ' his ground of exultation : he boasts not of an earthly 
Canaan, a transitory and fading possession, but of 
a divine inheritance, of the glorious hope to which 
he is elevated by the gospel. A possession worthy 
of God to bestow ; to the discovery of which the 
philosophy of heathenism could make no preten- 
sions ; and from the hope of which the severe sen- 
tence of the law excludes all voluntary transgres- 

2. Believers also boast even in affliction, for va- 
rious reasons which the apostle details, ver. 3 — 10. 

For in the first place affliction produces patience, 
proof and well founded hope. 

3, yi?id not only so, hut lue boast even in afflic- 

4. tio7is; for affliction lu or keth patience, and patience 
proofs, and proof h ope . 

Many regard the followers of Christ with con- 
tempt and scorn ; they value themselves u])on their 
affluence, their dignity, their external prosperity, 
their popularity and influence. We also boast who 
believe in Christ : we esteem it our honour to be 
despised, to be oppressed, to be the objects of ge- 
neral reproach and scorn. 

For patience, exercised by persecution, is conti- 
nually improving, and the fortitude with which we 

' Proof. ~\ Sec W'ukefiekl, Taylor, Locke*. " Ao/ja^, id quod, 
experientia facia, jxitt^siit et co^iiosi-iliir.'^ Sclileusner. 2 Cor. 
ii. 9,ix. 12 ; Phil.ii. '22. *' Tiie cHtvl of luivint;- tried ourselves." 

Part I. ROMANS. Sect. III. 2. 101 

suffer is a sure test of the sincerity of our profes- ch. v. 
sion ; and the clearer proof we have of the confor- ^^' ' 
mity of our character to the standard of the gospel, 
the brighter will be our hope of an interest in all 
its glorious promises. 

^jid this hope will not put us to shame, because 5. 

the love of God^ is poured forth into our hearts by 
the holy spirit given to us. 

The gifts of the holy spirit, by which the Chris- 
tian doctrine is confirmed, are a demonstration that 
all the promises of the gospel covenant shall be ful- 
filled, being an undoubted proof of the favour of 
God to those who believe in Christ, and the seal 
and ratification of that Being who cannot falsify 

These promises are further confirmed by the mis- 
sion of his son to die even for those who were aliens 
and enemies, ver. 6 — 8. 

Moreover ivhile we were yet without strength'^, 6. 

even thefi^, at the appointed time, Christ died for 
the ungodly^. For scarcely for a righteous man 7. 

• The love of God,] i. e. to us, not our love to him. ^' The 
love of God is abundantly assured to our hearts by the gifts and 
operations of the holy spirit." Taylor. See also Locke. 

^ Without strength!] Mr. Locke notes four, and Dr. Taylor 
fourteen epithets, which are given by St. Paul to unconverted 
Gentiles, as such 5 and Dr. Taylor adds an equal number of 
epithets which express the external state of Christians. 

^ Even then.] En : This is the reading adopted by Gries- 
bach, upon the authority of the Alexandrine, Ephrem, and other 
manuscripts. " though we were weak, still Christ died in due 
season," &c. Ncwcome. 

* Died for the ungodly^ 'titeg rwv aa-s^wv. Dr. Taylor very 
jusily observes, '* that in the following comparif-on the apostk 

102 Part I. R O M A N 8. Sect. III. 2. 

Ch. V. ivUl one die; yet perhaps for a good man some 
Ver. 8. luould even dare to die. But God recommmdeth 
his love to iis^ in that, while we were still sinners^ 
Christ died for us. 

The apostle, in speaking of the converted hea- 
then, to whom chiefly the epistle is addressed, uses 
the same reproachful language in which the phari- 
saic Jews were accustomed to speak of their hea- 
then neighbours. In their unconverted state they 
had been '^ without strength," unable to extricate 
themselves from their wretched condition ; " un- 
godly," v/orsliipers of idols, ignorant of the true 
God, of his attributes, of his character, of his will, 
and of his worship ; " sinners," alienated from him, 
in an unholy uncovenanted state : yet even then, 
at the appointed time, Christ died for them. 

But though it is plain that the apostle's language 
is intended to express their character and state as 
heathen, previous to their conversion, to avoid of- 
fence he uses the first person, as though he had 
himself been implicated in the charge ; whereas, 
before his conversion he had been a i5e\\, and, as 

docs not U'ucl our thoughts to the payment of an equivalent, or 
to the notion of vicarious punishment, but to that benevolent 
disposition of mind which inclines us to do good and to be use- 
ful to others, even at our own expense and hazard. So John xv. 
13: ' (Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay 
down his life (tV^p (piXwv) for his friends.' See John x. 1 1, 12 3 
1 John iii. 16." Nor does the preposition vitsp necessarily im- 
ply an equivalent, or vicarious ])unishment. See Acts v. 41, ix. 
Hi, XV. 20 j 2 Cor. xii. 1;>. As Christ suflered for us, we also 
are said to suffer for him, uVe/i oLvrs, Phil. i. 29, surely not as a 
sacrifice in his stead. 

Part I. ROMAN S. Sect. III. 2. 103 

touching the righteousness which is by the law, Ch. v. 

JVhile lue were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
From this general and indefinite expression some 
have strangely inferred, that the sufferings of Christ 
were properly speaking vicarious ; that he suffered 
in the stead of others ; that he endured all the tor- 
ments which the elect would have endured to all 
eternity : that he thus became the sinner's surety, 
and paid the dreadful debt due to divine justice. 
But it is'plain that the apostle's language lays no just 
foundation for a doctrine so absurd in itself^ and so 
injurious to the divine character. He only says, 
that Christ died for us : that is^ for our benefit. The 
connexion shows that the apostle's meaning is, that 
Christ died to deliver us from the condemning sen- 
tence of the law, by ratifying the new covenant, 
which is a dispensation of mercy. 

Christ died at " the appointed season/' at the 
time which had been marked out by prophecy, and 
which had been chosen by infinite wisdom as the 
fittest and best. 

The death of Christ was an appointment of God, 
the result of his love. He pitied the wretched state 
of the heathen world, their ignorance of God, of 
duty, and of a future life, their inability to help 
themselves, and their deplorable idolatry and vice ; 
and he determined to rescue them from their igno- 
rance and guilt and misery, by sending Jesus Christ, 
his beloved son, his chosen servant, not only to 
teach them, but to die for them. 

104 Part I. ROMANS. Sect. III. 2. 

Ch. V. And thus the love of God became eminently con- 
spicuous. Had mankind been sinless, the love of 
God in giving up his son to die for them would not 
have been so highly distinguished. Men do not in- 
deed usually expose their lives for the benefit of 
others, however just and unblameable. Although 
it is possible, that here and there, a generous spirit 
might be willing to die in order to save the life of 
some distinguished philanthropist, some illustrious 
benefactor of mankind. But where could any one 
be found who would submit to death for the bene- 
fit of rebels and enemies ? Such, however, was 
the exceeding greatness of the love of God to man. 
Christ was sent to die, not for the innocent, not 
for those who had merited favour by antecedent 
virtue : No ; he died for sinners, for enemies, for 
those who had forfeited their lives by their trans- 
gressions, and who could prefer no claim to mercy. 

The apostle infers, from this extraordinary in- 
stance of divine goodness, that all other blessings 
shall be communicated, ver. 9, 10. 
<j. Much more tJioi, being noiu jitsttfied by his 
blood, ive shall be saved from ivrath through hint, 
10. For ij\ when ive ivere enemies, ive ivere reconciled 
to God by the death of his son, much more being 
reconciled, we shall be saved by his life^. 

' Uij his life.'] *' wc shall obtain eternal salvation by tliat 
life and power to \\iii(li our Lord and Saviour is exalted." 
Taylor, " livinj; to intercede for us." Neweonie. 1 rather eon- 
ceive the a))ostle\s ineaninL;- to \h', not that we are saved by th<' 
life of Christ as the uiecUum of salvation, but that this salvaliou 

Part I. ROMANS. Sect. III. 2. 105 

This is a remarkable passage, and when rightly Ch.v. 
understood will greatly assist in explaining the ^^' ^' 
sense of the apostolic writings. 

They who believe in Christ are ^* justified by his 
blood." But something further is necessary in or- 
der to their being " saved from wrath." They are 
already " reconciled to God by the death of his 
son ;" but something more is to be done to com- 
plete their salvation. It follows, therefore, that 
men may be justified and reconciled ; and yet, af- 
ter all, they may not be saved from wrath, nor be 
entitled to the promised reward. 

What then can be more evident than that the 
justification and reconciliation here mentioned 
mean nothing more than their admission into the 
Christian connnunity, and their participation of the 
blessings of the gospel ? From being sinners, that 
is. Gentiles, they are become holy; that is, sepa- 
rated by faith from the unbelieving world; and 

is accomplished, leaving Christ in possession of life : q. d. recon- 
ciliation was obtained for enemies, though the death of Christ 
was the necessary medium, much more will salvation be ob- 
tained for friends when no such sacrifice is requisite -, but all 
that is to be done will be done by Christ in the continued pos- 
session of life. Mr. Locke has a long and valuable note to 
show that the apostle, in the first eleven chapters of the epistle, 
speaks of the Jews and Gentiles nationally, and not personally 
of single men : but- 1 do not see the necessity of limiting the 
apostle's observations in the first eleven verses of this chapter 
to Gentile believers only : they are equally applicable to all 
Christians, in all ages. It seems to be a burst of feeling to 
which the apostle gives vent, upon the comparison of the }:)resent 
free and happy state of believers under the gospel, with the pre- 
vious miscrabie condition of the Jew under the law, or the Gen- 
tile in his wretched bondage to idolatry and vice. 

106 Part I. ROMANS. Sect. 111. 2. 

Ch. V. from being enemies, they are become reconciled, 
they are received as subjects of the kingdom of 
Christ. This happy change is effected by the death 
of Christ, which ratified that new and better cove- 
nant which is the connecting bond of this new 
community. If they improve their privileges, they 
shall be saved from wrath through him. For Christ 
has laid down laws and regulations which, if his 
professed followers adhere to and faithfully observe, 
shall save them from final condemnation, and put 
them into possession of eternal life. The apostle 
argues, a fortiori, upon this subject : You were 
admitted to justification and to the privileges of the 
gospel by a process which cost the life of the be- 
loved Son of God. Is it not then far more credi- 
ble, that if you obey the gospel of Christ you shall 
be fiaially saved by him ; when you are not only 
regarded as friends and heirs of a promise, but 
when the accomplishment of this promise will be 
achieved at much less expense than the acquisition 
of your present privileges .^ For it will not be ne- 
cessary for Christ again tj suffer, but the whole 
scheme will be brought to perfection by the exercise 
of those powers with which he is invested in his 
risen and exalted state '. 

AVell then may the believer triumph in those 

^ " Miuli more, therefore, having been admitted into cove- 
nant at this time, while we were sinners, by his l)h)od shed to 
ratify tliis covenant and to j)iirchase a church, we sliall be fi- 
nally saved tiirough him from i)iinishmcnt^ if wc live in a man- 
ner worthy our calling." Ncwcome. 

Part I. ROMANS. Sect. III. 2,3. 107 

afflictions and persecutions, which by purifying and ch. v. 
exalting his character clear up his title to those ever- ^^^^- ^^* 
lasting blessings which are promised by the gospel 
to all who believe in it and regulate their conduct 
by it. 

3. Believers also boast in God, with whom a 
reconciliation has now taken place through Jesus 
Christ, ver. 1 1 . 

And not only so, hut lue even boast in God^ 11. 

through our Lord Jesus Christy through whom we 
have now received this reconciliation. 

Not only do we, who are believers in Christ and 
admitted into the community over which he pre- 
sides, boast in hope of future glory ; not only do 
we boast in those tribulations and persecutions 
which, by exercising our faith, eventually brighten 
our hope ; but we even boast in God as our own. 
Yes; such is the abundant mercy of God, that even 
we, who were once idolatrous heathen, aliens, and 
enemies, are now permitted to look up to God as 
reconciled, and to call him our God in the same im- 
portant sense in which he was the God of Abraham, 
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And this 
privilege we claim through Jesus Christ, who has 
received and acknowledged us as his disciples and 

' We even hoast in God.'] Compare Rom. ix. 5. The pro- 
posed emendation of Slichtingius, Whitby, and Taylor, is very 
much countenanced by this passage. — JVe boast : >cay%a.YX£vc)<, 
the present participle for the present indicative : a Hebrew 
idiom. See Newcome. 

108 Part I. ROMANS. Sect. III. 3. 

Ch. V. friends ; and through whom we have received that 
Ver. 11. gi.^(.iQus message of reeonciUatioii, to the terms of 
which we have gladly acceded, and which lies at the 
foundation of all our hope. We are now, as the 
chosen family once were, the people and the chil- 
dren of God. 

Such is the plain meaning of the apostle's lan- 
guage to those who read the scriptures with an un- 
biassed mind. The words, as they stand in the 
public version, have a very uncouth sound, " by 
whom we have received the atonement ;" but the 
translation is strictly just. The word atonement, at 
the time when this version was made, signified no- 
thing more than reconcihation, or setting those at 
one who were before at variance. But of late 
years, this word has acquired a mystical sense ; and 
has been used to express an action or suffering, by 
one person or victim, through which the anger of 
another person is appeased. And in this sense we 
are told that the death of Christ is an atonement for 
the sins of men : that is, that it appeases the wrath 
of God, and satisfies the claims of justice. But no 
such doctrine as this, nor any thing approaching 
to it, is to be found in the New Testament. 

Here the apostle closes his eloquent digression 
concerning the great privileges of which believers 
gain possession when they are received into the 
Christian community ; and he next proceeds to sug- 
gest an additional argument to estal)lish the rea^ 
bonablcness of admitting all mankind to e(|ual pri- 
vilege::) and hopes. 

Part I. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 1. 109 


The apostle argues, that as the Fall entails death cii. v, 
%ipon all mankind ivithout any antecedent demerit 
of their own ; so the gospel, ratified by the vo- 
luntary sacrifice of Christ, entails far better 
blessings upon mankind than were lost by 
Adam ; and this, luithout any antecedent merit 
071 their part, ver. 12 to the end, 

1. He states that all mankind are treated as sin- 
ners, and suffer death, in consequence of the sin of 
Adam, ver. 12. 

In reference to this subject i, as by one man sin Ver. 12. 
entered into the ivorld, and death by sin, even so 
death passed upon all men, as far as ivhich ^ all 
have sinned. 

The apostle here assumes and reasons upon the 
account of the Fall contained in the hook of Ge- 

' A<ar«ro, Wherefore. " So then." Wakefield. This phrase, 
vSays Dr. Taylor, frequently signifies '' in relation to the aftair 
going before :" not by way of inference from it, but to denote a 
further enlargement upon it, or the advancement of something 
which enforces or explains it. He refers to Matt. vi. 25, xii. 3 1 j 
Rom. xiii. 6 j 1 Cor. iv. 17 j and many other passages. *' Con- 
cerning this matter." Newcome. 

- E«p' cy, as far as which. See Dr. Taylor on Orig. Sin, part i. 
p. 51 — 55. '" inasmuch as," Newcome. '' all have sinned j i. e. 
all have become mortal." Locke. " Eiti cum dativo construcia 
denotat quod attinet ad. Act. v. 35 j Xenoph. Anab. vi. 6, 13." 
Schleusner. q. d. so far as relates to which, all are sinners -, i.e. 
treated as sinners. Gal. v. 13j Eph. ii. 19 ; 1 Thess. iv. 7 ; 2 Tim. 
ii. 14. 

110 Part I. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 1. 

Ch. V. nesis, as an historical fact ; and he traces an analogy 
^"'' ^^* between the consequences of the fall of Adam and 
those of the righteousness of Christ. And as the 
apostle was instructed by Christ himself in the na- 
ture and the excellence of the gospel dispensation, 
in all its comprehension and extent, we are fully 
authorized to admit his conclusions even though we 
may doubt of the validity of his arguments, and 
the correctness of his premises. The apostle does 
not say that he was inspired to assert the literal 
truth of the Mosaic history of the Fall : probably, 
he knew no more of it than we do. Perhaps he 
only argued ex concesso, upon the supposition of 
the fact; and certainly no reasonable person in 
modern times can regard it in any other light than 
as an allegory or fable, the moral of which is suffi- 
ciently apparent. But the apostle assumes its his- 
toric truth; and, admitting the Mosaic account to 
be a fact, he argues that the curses entailed by 
Adam's fall, and the blessings secured by the death 
of Christ, are equally independent of the antecedent 
merit or demerit of those who are the subjects of 
them; also, that the curse and the blessing are 
equally universal, but that the blessings of the go- 
spel extend far beyond the miseries of the Fall. 

It is as though he had said, the mercy of God in 
the gospel of Christ may be illustrated by referring 
to the narrative of the Fall. The first sin was the 
transgression of i^dam; and by the law under 
which he was placed, this transgression was pu- 
nished with death. And (Uatli was for this offence 

Part I. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 2. 1 1 1 

entailed upon all his posterity ; who are so far re- Ch. v. 
garded as sinning in him, that they are for his trans- ^^^* *" 
gression condemned to suffer death, v/ithout any 
transgression of their own. 

2. The apostle justifies his assertion, and alleges 
that Christ, as a puhlic person, resembles Adam, 
ver. 13, 14. 

For antecedently'^ to the law sin was i?i the 13. 

world; hut sin is not charged where law is not in 
being. Nevertheless^ death reigned from Adam 14. 

to Moses y even over those luho had not sinned'^ ^ 
after the likeness of Adams transgression : ivho 
is a type of him ivho was to come^. 

You may perhaps object, that mankind died as a 
punishment for their own transgressions, and not 
for that of Adam : but that was not the case, as it 
stands in the record. It is true that men were sin- 
ners, from the time of Adam to the time of 
Moses ; but they did not, Hke their first ancestor, 
sin against a law expressly denouncing death. And 
it would have been unjust to inflict a penalty which 

^ * Antecedently.'] Axpi, until. " sin was in the world all the 
time before the law." Wakefield. 

- Who had not sinned, &c.] '' even over infants, as well as 
others." Doddridge. But the apostle is speaking of all man- 
kind, who suffered death, though not under a law whose pe- 
nalty was death. 

' ^JyP^> ^^-1 A figure or model. Acts vii. 443 Rom. vi. 17; 
Phil. iii. 17; 1 Thess. i. 7, of him who was to come, fa imsXXov- 
rog : i. e. Adam ; Christ, the second Adam. Sir Norton Knatch- 
bull and Dr. Milner explain it, of all mankind who v. ere to 
come ; i. e. Adam was the type of all his posterity, who sufter 
as he suffered. 

112 Part I. R O M A N S. Sect. IV. 3. 

Ch. V. bad never been promulgated. Men did not die, 
^'' tberefore, for tbeir own sins. And yet it is plain, 
tbat during tbis interval men were universally sub- 
ject to tbe dominion of deatb, even tbougb tbey bad 
not, like Adam, offended against a law of which 
deatb was tbe penalty; no such law having been in 
existence, from the time of Adam to the declaration 
from mount Sinai. Thus it appears, that all who 
died antecedently to tbe law of Moses, died not for 
tbeir own sins, but for tbe sin of Adam ; and such, 
by parity of reason, is tbe case of all mankind. 

Such is the train of tbe apostle's reasoning, tbe 
defect of which need not be pointed out. 

He adds concerning Adam, tbat be is the type 
of him who was to come ; tbat is, of Jesus Christ, 
tbe second Adam, tbe prophet who was expected 
to come into the world. A strong resemblance 
may be traced between Adam and Christ : tbey 
were both public persons, whose character and 
conduct entailed very important consequences upon 
the whole human race. 

3. There is nevertheless a great disparity, both 
in tbe acts of these public persons and in tbe con- 
sequences of these acts, ver. lo — 17. 

The apostle's meaning is sufficiently obvious, but 
his style is obscure ; for, instead of contrasting tbe 
points of comparison, fact with fact, and conse- 
quence with consequence, he contrasts tbe fact in 
one case with tbe consequence in tbe other ; thus 
introducing a confusion of ideas which makes it 

Part I. ROMAN S. Sect. IV. 3. 1 13 

difficult to unravel the sense. What he means to Ch. v. 
state and prove is, first, that Adam's act was an act 
of transgression, but that of Christ was an act of 
obedience ; secondly, that calamities and death were 
the result of Adam's fall, but blessings, the free gift 
of God, were the result of Christ's obedience ; and 
finally, that the blessings, Vv^hich are the free gift of 
God in consequence of Christ's obedience, greatly 
outweigh the miseries accruing from the Fall. 

The apostle first states the general fact, ver. 15. 

But not as was the offence^ so also is the free 16. 

gift. For if by the offence of that one man all^ 
became mortal'^, much more has the grace of Gody 
and the gift by grajce of that other man^ Jesus 
Chrisf^y abounded to alL 

' All7\ " d TToXXoi." So Wakefield, who in his usual laconic 
style remarks, " That ol itjX/.oi is equivalent to itavrss in these 
epjstles, every one knows ; and that this usage of the phrase 
is common to other authors. The doubtful may be referred to 
the introductory lines^in Aristotle's rhetoric." 

^ Became morfoL'] " a.TTs^avjy " literally died. '' All mankind 
are made subject to death." Taylor. 

^ The grace of God, and the gfr by grace of that other many 
Jesus Chi'ist.'] " tj oxpsa, sv yj^o^ti tyi zh hog av^pouirs Itjcs Xpi- 
r8- " literally, " and the gift by the favour or kindness of that 
other man," &c, as though the gift were partly owing to the 
favour of God and partly to the favour of Christ. I cannot think 
this to be the apostle's meaning, who uniformly attributes the 
blessings of the gospel solely to the free unpurchased goodness 
of God : " the favour of Christ " in this connexion, therefore, 
is to be understood of that free gift of which Christ was the 
favoured medium, through whom it was communicated and dis- 
pensed to mankind : so that it is more properly a favour through 
Christ, than the favour or kindness of Christ. If, after all, the 
literal translation " the grace or favour of Christ " is preferred, 
the meaning may be, that tlie death of Christ, which ratified 
the new covenant, and for this reason is represented as the 

VOL. I. 1 

114 Part I. ROMAN S. Sect. IV. 3. 

Ch. V. If the apostle had expressed himself in the clear 
distinct manner of a correct writer, it would have 
been in some such language as this : 

I have indeed asserted that Adam was a type or 
resemblance of Christ, as both were public persons, 
who by their acts entailed important consequences 
upon mankind. But here the similitude ends: 
nothing can be more opposite than the nature and 
eftects of the conduct of Adam and of Christ. The 
act of Adam was an offence against the law of God ; 
that of Christ was an act of obedience. The trans- 
gression of Adam entailed death on all mankind, 
as the penalty of violated law. Not so the obe- 
dience of Christ : that entailed blessings in abun- 
dance. But mark the difference : the sentence of 
universal death was the legal punishment of Adam's 
sin, but the blessings resulting from the obedience 
of Christ are not such as can be claimed by law. 
Far from it : they are the free gift of God, unpur- 
chased and perfectly optional ; and yet it will be 
found, as indeed might reasonably be expected from 
a God of infinite mercy, that these free unpurchased 
blessings, which are the reward of the second man's 
obedience, that is, of Jesus Christ, are far more be- 
neficial to all mankind, than the consequences of 
the fall of the first man have been calamitous. 

This is obviously the apostle's meaning ; but his 
anxiety to crowd his ideas into as few words as pos- 

source of evangelical hlessiiiirs, was on his part a voluntary act 
of obedience, and the result of his great love to mankind. See 
John X. 10— IS, XV. 13. 

Part I. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 3. 115 

sible, and perhaps the disadvantage of dictating to Ch. v. 
an amanuensis, render his style obscure. ^^' ^*^ 

It is impossible not to remark how familiarly the 
apostle speaks of Christ as a man, in the same man- 
ner in which he speaks of Adam as a man, and with- 
out any of those cautions, and saving clauses, which 
believers in the divinity of Christ adopt in modern 
times, and which Paul would have found it necessary 
to introduce had he entertained the same opinion. 

It is observable how the apostle labours to im- 
press upon the minds of his readers, that the bless- 
ings entailed through the obedience of Christ were 
the free gift of God, and not such as had been pur- 
chased by this obedience, and which he was under 
obligation to bestow. It almost seems as if he had 
foreseen and was actually providing against the ab- 
surd doctrine of modern times, concerning the me- 
rits and righteousness of Christ being imputed to 
the sinner, and giving him a claim upon the divine 
mercy ; than which nothing can be more contrary 
to the general tenor of scripture and the express 
declarations of the apostle. 

The apostle now mentions two particulars in 
which the blessings of the gospel outweigh the ca- 
lamities of the Fall. 

In the first place, the curse was entailed for one 
offence only; the blessing provides justification 
from many offences, ver. 16. 

And not as in reference to one sin^, so also is the ig. 

* In reference to one sin^ " oi kvo; dy^ocprrjiMxro;.'' Such i% 

I 2 ' 

^ '^ Part I. R O M A N S. Sect. IV. 3. 

f ^- ^' S'^f^'y for judgement followed y^o/zi one sin to con- 
demnation, but the free gift from many offences to 

The subjects, both of the blessing and of the 
curse, are the same persons ; that is, all mankind. 
But in magnitude the effects are widely different. 
One sin, of one individual, is visited by the morta- 
lity of all his descendants : What, then, must be 
the demerit of many sins, of all the transgressions 
of all mankind ? Yet the free gift of divine mercy 
extends to all ; and none who are willing to accept 
the offer are excluded from the blessina'. 

Secondly, The blessings of the state to which 
men are advanced, far surpass those of the state 
which was lost by the Fall, ver. 1/. 
17. Moreover, if by one offence i death reigned 
through that one man, much more shall they ivho 
receive the abundant grace and gift of justifica- 
tion'^ reign in life tlirough that other man Jesus 

Had the apostle been a correct writer, the anti- 
thesis would have stood in this form : Moreover, if 

the readino: of the Clermont and other manuscripts, and of the 
Syriac and Wilgate versions : it is marked by Griesbach as pro- 
bable, and is indeed required by the connexion. But Mr. Locke 
is mistaken in stating it as the reading of the Alexandrine copy. 

' B\j one offence^ '' ev Iv* Tta.poLvrwiJ.a.ri.'' This is the reading 
of the Alexandrine, Clermont, and other copies ; and is marked 
by Griesbacli as of considerable authority. 

* Tlie abundant.'] " rr,^ y^aonog y.cci rr^s ^mcsxs," a periphra- 
sis for ra y^a.piu-ii.ccrrjg, ver. If*, much more shall tliey who re- 
ceive the transcending free gift of justification. " the abun- 
dantly gracious gift. ' W'akeHeld. 

Part I. - R O M A N S. Sect. IV. 3, 4, 117 

by one offence death reigned through that one man, 
much more shall life reign through that other man 
Jesus Christ, in those v^ho receive the abundant 
favour and gift of justification. 

q. d. Moreover, as an additional privilege, if it 
be allowed that by the one offence of the first public 
person, namely Adam, all mankind became subject 
to mortality in consequence of their relation to him, 
much more reasonable is it to believe that the free 
gift of justification, which comes through that other 
public person Jesus Christ, the blessings of which 
far transcend the miseries of the Fall, shall entail 
life in its highest state of enjoyment and perfection 
upon those who have the happiness to be partakers 
of this invaluable gift. 

It is plain, from the context, that the apostle 
does not mean to restrict the promised blessing of 
life to those only who now accept the offer of justi- 
fication, but to extend it to all who are sufferers by 
the Fall; so that, as to number, the promised bless- 
ing will be co-extensive with that of tlie sufferers by 
the fall of Adam, and in value will far exceed those 
which were lost by that calamity. The gospel is 
now offered to all mankind, vv^ithout exception; and 
eventually, all will be comprehended in its in closure 
and will participate in its blessings, 

4. The apostle draws his grand conclusion, that 
the superior blessings of the Christian dispensation 
extend to all who are sufferers by the Fall, vcr. 18, 

t.'h. V. 
Ver. 17. 

118 Part I. ROMAN S. Sect. IV. 4. 

Ch. V. Therefore, as by one offence^ judgement passed 
upon all men to condemnation, so by one act of 
righteousness the free gift is imparted to all men for 
1 9 . justification of life. For, as by the disobedience of one 
manall^wef^e constituted sinners, so by the obedience 
of the other man will all be constituted righteous. 

As the condusion from the circumstances of re- 
semblance which I have stated between Adam and 
Christ as public persons, it appears, that as in the 
case of Adam, all mankind were made subject to 
death, as the punishment of that one offence which 
he committed ; so under the new dispensation, by- 
one act of righteousness, this sentence is reversed, 
and the life which had been forfeited is graciously- 
restored, in circumstances far more favourable than 
those under which it was lost. For, as by the trans- 
gression of the first Adam guilt was so far placed 
to the account of all his posterity, that all under- 
went the punishment of death ; so, by the obe- 
dience of the second Adam, rigliteousness shall be 
so placed to the account of all those who were suf- 
ferers by the Fall, that they shall eventually be 
raised to life, and advanced to a state of perfect vir- 
tue and perfect liappiness. 

It is evident to all who are conversant with the 

' Ihj one, ofl'cnct.] By the Fall, jill become sufferers, though 
not chargciiWe with guilt ; by the obedience of Christ to death, 
vvliich ratified the new covenant, all become entitled to life by 
the free mercy of God, without any antecedent merit. 

* All.'] " cil ttoKaoi' " literally " the many j" evidently used in 
tlie same sense as TTavrff ayupujiroi in the preceding- verse. 
^' ncre cnvsfiJtttcfJ siniirr.s:" — " made sinners • that is,"" treated 
*^ such." Ncwconic, See vcr. K"», note 1 . 

Part I. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 4. 119 

apostle's writings, that he delights in analogies and Ch. v. 
similitudes, some of which are carried to an extreme 
which may almost he considered as fanciful. Such, 
perhaps, is the allusion to the case of Abraham, in 
the preceding chapter ; to that of Sarah and Hagar, 
Gal. iv. 21, and that of Melchisedek, Heb. vii., if 
that epistle was written by him ; at any rate, these 
analogies are to be regarded as mere allusions and 
illustrations, and are not to be received as teaching 
abstruse and mysterious doctrines not to be found 
in other and plainer passages of the New Testa- 
ment. A parallel is here drawn between the case 
of Adam and that of Christ : both of them are re- 
presented as public persons whose conduct entailed 
important consequences upon all mankind. Adam 
was a transgressor, his sin was reckoned to all his 
posterity, so far that all became subject to the pu- 
nishment of death for his one transgression. Christ 
was a pattern of obedience ; he devoted himself to 
death, and his obedience is so far reckoned to all 
mankind, that, through the free goodness of God, 
all who became transgressors by Adam's fall are 
justified and made righteous by Christ's one act of 
obedience ; the sentence of death is reversed, and 
all are restored to life, in circumstances far superior 
to those from which Adam fell. But it is observa- 
ble, that Christ, while performing this office, is ex- 
pressly called a man, and not a single hint is any 
where given that, in order to accomplish the work 
assigned him, it was at all necessary that he should 
be any thing more than a man; indeed had he been 

120 Part I. R O M A N S. Sect. IV. 4. 

Ch. V. a being of superior order, the parallel would not 
^^^' ' have held. And though the blessings introduced 
by Christ are represented as far superior to those 
which were lost by Adam, yet this is not ascribed 
to the superior dignity of Christ, but to the free 
mercy of God. And it is further observable, that 
the blessings imparted by Christ are represented as 
extending to all, without exception, who are sufferers 
by Adam's fall. 

Now all this may be very well understood as il- 
histrating the great mercy of God in the gospel dis- 
pensation, which not only admits Jews and Gen- 
tiles to equal privileges, but which reveals the gra- 
cious purpose of God to raise all mankind from 
the grave, and to restore them to virtue, happiness, 
and immortality. But if we carry the analogy fur- 
ther and receive and understand the apostle literally, 
we soon find ourselves involved in inextricable dif- 
ficulties and absurdities ; the story of the Fall, as it 
stands in the book of Genesis, is a moral table, and 
nothing else. Those who interpret it literally and 
who receive it as a fact, help out the story by the 
introduction of the devil, as an agent to inspire the 
serpent, of which Moses says not one word : thus 
they prop one fable by another, and this they call 
believing the inspired scripture. But if the account 
of the Fall is mere allegory, which undoubtedly it 
is, the parallel of Christ with Adam must be consi- 
dered as an allegory likewise, and all the mysterious 
doctrines which havebeen deduced from tlie apostle's 
parabolical langunge must fall to the ground. 

Part I. R O M A N S. Sect. IV. 5. 121 

5. The apostle concludes his argument by stat- Ch. v. 
ing, that though sin was multiplied by the intro- 
duction of the law, yet the grace of the gospel of 
Christ still prevailed against the most aggravated 
transgressions, ver. 20, 2 1 . 

Now the laiv made a Uttle entrance^ that the Ver. 20. 
offence might abound ^ ; but luhere sin abounded, 
grace hath, super abounded; that as sin hath reigned 21. 
through death, so grace likewise might reign 
through justification unto eternal life 3, by Jesus 
Christ our Lord. 

It may perhaps be apprehended, that if one trans- 
gression of a law, sanctioned by the penalty of 
death, introduced so much mischief and misery into 
the world, that the interposition of divine mercy in 
the gospel was necessary to rectify it, the case of 
those who commit many transgi'essions under a si- 

^ Made a Utile entrance.'] " itccpsKTYiX^sv, suhlntravit ^ Vulg. 
'* entered in privily." Newcome, Gal. ii. 4. See Locke and 

* That the offence might abound.'] '*" so that offences abound- 
ed." Newcome. Iva irKsova^-ri, so that the offence actually - 
abounded : not that it was the design of the law to produce 
sin, but that sin was in fact the result. So <va Tr^^j'^a'S^j does 
not signify that the event in question w^as the object of the pro- 
phecy, but that the words of the prophecy were applicable to it. 
Matt. ii. 15 ; John xviii. 9, irapocTrrcvij.a,^ ij dy^ocprict, the 
offence or fall : the sin Mr. Locke supposes to refer to that 
particular sin against which death was denounced by law. In 
paradise, death was the penalty of one transgression only : un- 
der the law it was the penalty of many offences ; but the grace 
of the gospel extends to the forgiveness of all : where the offence 
abounds, grace superabounds. 

^ Justification to eternal life ;] i. e. through the gospel j which 
is here called justification to eternal life, because it promisrs 
eternal life to tho:se who believe. Comp. ver. 18 and ch. iv. 2-5. 

122 Part I. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 5/ 

Ch. V. milar law must be utterly hopeless : but this is not 

^^^' ^^' a just conclusion. 

It is true that the law of Moses, which, like that 
given to Adam in paradise, passes sentence of death 
upon every transgression, was introduced into the 
world, but it was only for a short time, and ex- 
tended only to a single nation. In consequence 
of which, offences, like those of Adam, abounded ; 
and it might naturally be feared that judgements 
would proportionably abound. But such was not 
the fact, for the gospel provides a remedy even for 
this aggravated case : where sin abounded, grace 
has superabounded. The mercy of the gospel 
reaches beyond all the transgressions of the law. 

That as sin has shown her malignity and her 
power by subjecting all mankind to death for the 
single offence of their first ancestor; so grace, the 
free unpurchased mercy of God, might exhibit its 
unbounded authority and universal empire by re- 
scuing from the power of death, and advancing to a 
happy and immortal life, all the miserable victims 
of the condemning sentence, whether of that law 
which was given to Adam, or of that wliich was de- 
clared by Moses ; and this glorious deliverance is re- 
vealed to us by Jesus Christ, our honoured master, 
through whom both Jew and Gentile are blended in 
one happy community, in which all are regarded as 
justified who believe in Christ i. 

' Tlic apostle's liinguago is thus beautifully ])araphrased and 
expressed by Dr. Taylor : " That as sin through the law ha^ 
been set upon it;? throne by death, which is it5 power and do- 

Part I. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 5. 123 

Upon this remarkable section we may reflect, Ch. v. 
First, that the apostle most confidently teaches, ^^•- • 
that all mankind, Jew or Gentile, are equally the 
objects of divine favour under the gospel dispensa- 
tion, the great design of which is to rescue mankind 
from the grave, and to advance them to life, hap- 
piness, and immortality. 

Also, that his argument, if it proves any thing, 
proves that all, without exception, who have been 
sufferers by the Fall, shall be eventually raised to 
life and happiness. 

But as the account of the Fall is precarious, and 
cannot be received as an historic fact, so the ana- 
logical argument borrowed from it must be regard- 
ed as proportionably precarious ; and can only be 
considered as an illustration of the apostle's doc- 
trine, which is no doubt true, and of divine au- 
thority, even though the argument by which it is 
here supported is only available as an illustration of 
the writer's idea. 

minion over us ; so the Divire Grace might be placed upon 
its opposite and superior Throne through the gospel or grant 
of salvation unto eternal life, which grant of salvation is con- 
ferred through Jesus Christ our king and governour^ and will 
be executed and completed by him." 

124 Part II. Case I. U O M A N S. .Sect. I. 



vi. 1, — viii. 1 1. 

Case I. 

The gospel is efficacious for repentance and holt- 
7iess in the believing Gentile. Ch. vi. 

And the train, of the apostle's argument upon 
this subject is, First, that the heathen, by his pro- 
fession of faith in Christ, is risen to a new Hfe ; 
and Secondly, that he has enlisted himself into a 
new service. 


The Gentile, by his profession of faith in Christ, 
has entered npon a new Ife, ver. I — 11. 

In order to illustrate the obligation of the con- 
verted heathen to a life of universal holiness, the 
apostle carries on a comparison between the life, 
the death, the resurrection, the ascension, and the 
present state of Christ, and the condition of a con- 
verted heathen ; and without a close attention to 
this illustration, the apostle's argument and phrase- 
ology' will be misunder;>lood. 

P..RT II. Case I. ROMANS. Sect. I. 125 

The heathen, In his unconverted state, is com- Ch. vi. 
pared to Christ while fulfilling his personal mini- 
stry in the world. 

The heathen, by his conversion to the Christian 
faith, becoines dead to his former state, as Jesus 
did by his crucifixion. 

The convert from heathenism, being plunged 
into the water of baptism, becomes even buried to 
his former idolatry and vice, as Jesus Christ was 
buried when he was laid in the sepulchre. 

When the converted heathen emerges from bap- 
tism he rises to a new life, a new state of existence, 
as Christ did when he rose from the grave. 

The connexion between the converted heathen 
and the idolatries and vices of his former state, is 
as completely dissolved as that between Jesus and 
his enemies and persecutors since his resurrection. 

And in particular the converted heathen is no 
more under the dominion of his former criminal 
habits and affections, than Christ is now in the 
power of those wicked rulers and persecutors who 
condemned him to death. 

Also, the converted heathen, in his new state of 
existence, consecrates his whole life to God, as 
Jesus has consecrated to God his renewed exist- 
ence, since his resurrection from the dead. 

And finally, it is as unreasonable that a convert- 
ed heathen should desire to return again to the 
follies and vices of heathenism and idolatry, as it 
would be for Christ himself to desire to exchange 
the glory and felicity of his present exalted state. 

126 Part II. Case I. ROMANS. Sect. I. I. 

Ch. VI. for the mean and servile condition in which he 
passed the season of his puhHc ministry. 

This is the train of ideas in the apostle's mind ; 
it is not for us to inquire whether it is the most ac- 
curate and logical way of reasoning upon the sub- 
ject; at any rate it shows the apostle's decided 
judgement, that no proselyte from heathen idolatry 
could be regarded as a proper member of the Chris- 
tian community who did not utterly renounce and 
disclaim all the vices of his heathen state, and yield 
himself up wholly to the service of God and the 
practice of universal virtue. With this clue the 
apostle's argument will become perfectly intelli- 

1 . The apostle starts an objection which he im- 
mediately repels, ch. vi. 1, 2. 
Ver. 1. TVhat shall we say then, Let us continue^ in sin 
2. that grace may abound? Far from it. JVe ivho 
are dead to sin, how shall ive any longer live in it? 

q, d. I have shown that where sin abounded, grace 
and pardon have superabounded. This doctrine 
may indeed be misapprehended and perverted. The 
sensualist^ who desires to enjoy the pleasures and to 
escape the condemnation of vice, may say. If the 
grace of God is illustrated and magnified in propor- 
tion to the magnitude of the offence, what should 
hinder me from indulging in sensual gratifications. 

' Let us continue.'] £tiiM£vcjuiJ.£v. Griesbach marks this as the 
most probable reading, though lie does not receive it into his 
text. The common reading is siruw/^iMsv, *' shall we continue." 

Part II. Case I. ROMANS. Sect. I. 1,2. 127 

that the display of mercy in my pardon and accep- Ch. vr. 
tance may be more illustrious and wonderful? But ^^^' ^' 
shall we, my friends, who are converts from hea- 
thenism, and who publicly profess the doctrine of 
Christ, adopt a mode of reasoning so disingenuous 
and disgraceful ? Far be the thought from us. 
With regard to our past heathen state, we are to 
all intents and purposes dead : dead to its supersti- 
tions, dead to its idol worship, dead to its impuri- 
ties, its foUies, and its crimes. How can we who 
are thus dead to heathenism, live in the practice of 
heathen vices ? We can no more do it than a dead 
man can move and act as if he were alive. 

That the apostle in this chapter addresses the 
heathen only is evident, because, in the next, he 
particularly applies to those who are under the law ; 
and this is one instance out of many in which the 
apostle uses the first person, though he is only 
speaking of converted heathen, a class to which he 
did not belong. Their conversion from heathen- 
ism to Christianity he describes as passing into a 
new state of existence, as death to an old, and re- 
surrection to a new life ; by which bold and im- 
pressive figure he justly and beautifully indicates 
the wonderful change which took place in the 
views, the character, the hopes, and expectations 
of a heathen idolater when he became a convert to 
the Christian religion. 

2. The apostle observes, that converted heathen 
are, like Jesus Christ, dead and buried to their 

128 Part II. €ase 1. R O M A N S. Sect. I. 2. 

Ch. Vf. former state, and raised again to a new state of 

existence, ver. 3 — /. 
Ver. 3. Ji hat! hioiv ije not that as many of us as have 
been hopthedinto Christ Jesus have been baptized 
into his death P 

Are you not aware that all of us who have made 
a public profession of our faith in Christ, have pro- 
fessed ourselves to he as completely extinct to the 
vices and idolatries of our heathen state, as Christ 
became dead to the world when he expired upon 
the cross ? 
4. //^^ are therefore buried with him by this bap- 
tism into death, that as Christ was raised from 
the dead by the glory of the Father, so likewise we 
might walk in neumess of life. 

The ceremony of immersion in the baptismal 
water indicates that we are, like Jesus, buried to 
our former state, so that we have no more con- 
nexion with it than a dead body in the grave has 
with the living world. 

But the analogy may be carried still further : for 
as we soon rise from tlie baptismal water, as Jesus 
by the power of God was after a short interval raised 
from the grave, this implies, that we also are raised 
like him to a new state of existence by our i)rofes- 
sion of the faith of Christ, and that we are to order 
our future conversation and course agreeably to the 
customs and manners of the new world into which 
we are introduced. 

It seems prob:ible that by the expression buried 
with him in baptism, the apostle alludes to inmier- 

Part II. Case I. R O xM A N S. Sect. I. 2. 129 

sion as the general practice in that age and in those Ch. vi. 
countries where bathing was frequent. But this by ^^' ' 
no means proves that immersion was the universal 
practice in the administration of the rite, especially 
as the word baptize is used in the New Testament, 
where nothing more is meant than pouring a little 
water upon the hands or feet of a guest previously 
to his taking his place at the table. See Mark vii. 4. 
Luke xi. 38'. 

Some learned men have translated the text thus, 
that as Christ was raised from the dead ivitli a 
view to the glory of the Father'^: and this sense ad- 
mirably well suits the apostle's design, which is to 
show that heathen are introduced into a Christian 
state with a view to the glory of God, that they 
may consecrate their new life wholly to his service. 
But though this is a sense which the words will bear, 
and which is supported by some very learned men, 
yet, as it is an unusual sense in this construction, 
I have adopted that which is most common. The 
apostle proceeds. 

For if we have conformed^ to the resemhlanee of 
his death, surely we shall also conform "^ to that of 

' See Belsham's Plea for Infant Baptism, p. 60, Lett. v. 

^ View to the glory. l^ See Beza and Grotius i?i loc. Upon 
the same principle Dr. Lardner and IMr.Lindsey explain, Heb. 
i. 2, Si' H, " with a view to whom God made the dispensations 
or ages." See the note in the Improved Version. '' by the power 
of the Father." Wakefield. 

' Conformed.'] crutj.pTQt, planted together: hence it signifies a 
strict connexion or resemblance between one thing and another. 
See Rosenmuller. " It is here merely, par, siudlis : and has no- 
thing to do with planting." Wakefield. 

VOL. T. K 

Vei. 6. 


ISO Part II. Case I. ROMANS. Sect. I. 2,3. 

Ch. VI. his resurrection. Considering this, that our old 
man has been crucified with him, that the being of 
sin ^ might be destroyed, that we might no longer 
be in slavery to sin : for he who is dead is set at 
liberty from sin 2. 

If by our profession of faith in Christ we become 
dead like him to our former state, nothing can be 
more reasonable than that we should rise with him 
to a new and better state of existence. This may- 
be illustrated by a similitude: Our former selves, 
in our heathen state, were slaves to the tyranny of 
idolatry and sin ; this heathen self is now crucified 
as Christ was, and by this crucifixion we are become 
dead to sin and sin to us : all connexion between 
us is totally dissolved. For as when the slave is 
dead slavery ceaseth, so the heathen man, the for- 
mer self, being crucified and dead, heathenism and 
its concomitant vices can no longer pretend to do- 
mineer over us. The present man, the new self, is 
at perfect liberty from the old intolerable yoke. 

3. Believers in Christ are, like him after he was 
raised, to remain in the new state of existence into 
which they are introduced, and ought not to return 
back to their former state, ver. 8 — 11. 

*S«reZt/, &c.] '' OLXXc(,,profecto,utiquey Rosenmuller. ''sa-ofxe- 
BcL, esse Jebemus: ut, ri iroirjToixEv, Luke iii. 14." Rosenmuller. 
Wakefield says it has the force of an imperative, as Malt. v. ult. 

* Being of sin.'] Gr. *^ body of sin," that is, sin itself. 

* Is set at liberti/.'] " SeSiKtxiujrocf literally, is justified ; but 
as justification expresses deliverance, so to he justified is to be 
delivered.'' Taylor. Comp. ver. IS, 

Part II. Case I. ROMANS. Sect. I. 3. 131 

And IV e believe^ that if we are dead with Christy Ch. vi. 
we should also live ^ with him. 

If we acknowledge that by our baptismal profes- 
sion we symbolize a death with Christ, we ought 
also to admit, that we are to resemble him in his 
renewed life as well as in his death. 

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead 9. 

dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over 
him (for when he died^ unto si?i, he died once for 10. 
all ; but now he liveth, he liveth unto God) : so like- ii. 
wise ye account yourselves to be dead indeed unto 
sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus ^. 

Having been taught, as the fundamental principle 
of the doctrine of Christ, that our great prophet was 
raised from the dead to an immortal life, so that he 
can never again become subject to mortality (for 
having once died to his original state of frailty and 
suffering, he has suffered death once for all, without 
being ever subject to a repetition of the stroke, and 
being raised to life by the power of God, he dedi- 
cates his renewed and continually supported life to 
the glory of God), do ye therefore imitate his great 
example. Regard yourselves as wholly dead to your 
former heathen state and vicious practices, but as 

^ We should also live.'] a-v^r}a-oij.sVi the Hebrew future, which 
expresses fitness as well as futurity. See ver. 5, and Rosen - 
muller's note. " we cannot but think and believe that we should 
lead a life conformable to his." Locke. See Wakefield. 

"* When he died.'] So Wakefield. " 'O ycco aTtaSccys, 'O pro 
Ka9' 0, quantum attinet, quod attinet ad.'' Rosenmuller. 

^ In Christ Jesus.] The received text adds, '' our Lordj" but 
these words are wanting in the best MSB. and are omitted by 


132 Part II. Case I. ROMANS. Sect. I. 3. 

Ch. VI. enjoying a new life through your profession of the 
^^" ■ Christian religion, which new life you are deter- 
mined, like Christ, to consecrate to the service of 

Observe here that Christ is said to die to sin, 
and the Roman converts are exhorted to consider 
themselves as also dead unto sin. It is plain, 
therefore, that the apostle does not mean to say 
that either Clirist, or they, died as an expiation for 
the sins of others. The apostle plainly means, that 
each of the parties was dead to their former state, 
which state he calls sin ; and by sin, as applied to 
converted heathen, he evidently intends their ori- 
ginal state of idolatry and vice. As applied to 
Christ, it perhaps expresses that state of frailty and 
suffering to which our Lord was exposed during his 
personal ministry, sin and suffering being regarded 
by the Jews almost as convertible terms ; or, it may 
express a state in which he was persecuted by sin- 
ners, by Jews and Gentiles, by rulers, priests and 
people, by whom he was charged with sin and 
treated as an olTendei*. 


The heathen convert^ hy his profession of faith in 
Christ, is enlisted into a new service. Ch. vi. 
12/0 the end, 

1. The apostle exhorts the converted heathen, 
in their renewed state of existence, to give them- 

Part II. Case I. ROMANS. Sect. II. 1. 133 

selves up to the service of God, and not of sin, Ch. vi 
ver. 12—14. 

Let not sin therefore reign in your dead person J, Ver. 12. 
^•0 as to obey it. 

Your heathen self is dead'; do not act in your 
new and Christian state as if this dead hody were 
revived, and re-animated by sin, and had returned 
to its former servitude. In other words, professing 
to be disciples of Christ, do not relapse into the 
vices of your heathen state. 

Neither present your bodies^ to sin as instru- 13. 
ments of unrighteousness, hut present yourselves 
to God as alive from the dead, and your bodies to 
Godd.s instruments of righteousness . 

You are not now to live as in your former hea- 
then state : do not then give yourselves up to the 
practice of vice, as you did w^ien you served your 
old master sin ; but, as those v/ho have been raised 
to a new life, offer yourselves to your new master, 
to God, and consecrate all your powders to him, 
and to a life of virtue in obedience to his will. 

For sin must not exercise dominioii 3 over you : 14. 

for you are not under the law, but under graced. 

'^ In your dead person?] See Vv^akefield : q.d. in your dead 
selves. See ver. 11. The received text adds at the end of the 
verse, the words " in the lusts thereof/' which are omitted by 
Griesbach on good authority. " It is necessary," says Mr. 
Locke, " to bear in mind through this and the succeeding chap- 
ter, that sin is here spoken of as a person striving with men 
for the mastery over them to destroy them." 

^ Gr. " members." See Worsley's Translation. " ra U£A^, 
idem denotant qiiodro (rcvi^a, ver. 12." Rosenmuller. 

^ S'mmust not, Sfc] So Wakefield, a Kvpisuasi. See ver. 8. 

134 Part II. Case I. ROMANS. Sect. II. 2,3. 

Ch. VI. You are now under a dispensation of mercy, and 
^^^* ^^' not of terror ; it would therefore be peculiarly un- 
becoming and ungrateful in you to sin against so 
much mercy and forbearance. 

2. The apostle expostulates and appeals to their 
own feelings as to the disingenuousness of such a 
conduct, ver. 15. 

15. Wliat then ? shall ive coiitimie in sin ' because 
2ve are not under the law, but under grace P Far 

from it, 

Reflect : put the question to yourselves. The 
law condemns, the gospel forgives ; shall not grati- 
tude operate more powerfully than terror .^ Shall 
we abuse the mercy of God because he is unwilling 
to execute justice .^ Surely, we spurn the thought 
of such base and unworthy behaviour. 

3. The apostle expresses his satisfaction^ that 
having quitted the service of sin they had entered 
themselves as the servants of righteousness, ver. 

16. Know ye not, that to whomsoever ye present 
yourselves to yield obedience, ye are the slaves of 
him whom you obey, whether of sin unto death-, or 
of obedience iinto justification P 

^ Grace,'] i. e. the gospel, a dispensation of mercy, as distin- 
guished from law : in this connexion tlie technical word grace, 
seems preferable to the modern term favour. 

' Continue in sin^ dy^aprr^a-oixsv. " can any so far mistake 
this happy dispensation as to make it a reason for continuing 
m a sinful course r" Tavlor. 

Part II. Case I. ROMANS. Sect. II. 3. 135 

Be assured it is no lidit matter what master you Ch. vi. 
choose, whether sin or righteousness ; for as is the 
master such will be the service, and such the wages 
and the reward. If you choose sin as your master, 
you will live in the practice of vice; and death, ruin 
here, and misery hereafter, will be your reward : 
but if righteousness be your master, you will live 
in obedience to the will of God ; and pardon, peace, 
and final happiness, will be your portion. You 
will be entitled to all the privileges and promises 
of the gospel both here and hereafter. 

But thanks be to God, that having been the !/• 

slaves of sin you have now obeyed^ from the heart 
the mould of doctrine into luhich you were deli- 

But, though I speak hypothetically, I thank God 
you have not now your choice to make. In your 
late heathen state you were indeed slaves to idola- 
try and vice : you are now totally changed. You 
have been cast into the mould of the gospel, and 
you have taken a fair impression of the sacred die ; 
you bear the image of Christ ; and the inscription 
is holiness and universal virtue. 

Having then been set at liberty from sin, ye arc is. 
become the slaves of righteousness. 

^ Some good copies omit f <; S-avarov, to death. See Griesbach. 

^ Thanks, 8^c.'] Gr. '' thanks be to God that ye were the slaves 
of sin, but ye have obeyed," &c. The apostle's meaning is ob- 
vious : the allusion is to the melting of metal, and casting it 
into a die or mould to receive a new impression. See Taylor 
and Doddridge, thanks " that though ye v,ere, 8rc. yet ye have 
obeved." Newcomc. 

136 Part II. Case I. ROMANS. Sect. II. 3, 4. 

Ch. VI. Though you have renounced the tyranny of sin, 
you do not profess to be wholly without restraint ; 
but in your new state of existence you have bound 
yourselves to a new master, even righteousness, 
and have covenanted to submit to the laws and re- 
gulations of the community of which you are now 

4. The apostle, apologizing for his figurative 
language, urges them to be as obedient to their 
new master, as they formerly had been to their old 
tyrant, ver. 19. 
19. / speak famUiarly because of the infirmity of 
your nature ^ . As you have presented yourselves 2 
as slaves to impurity and to iniquity, to practise 
iniquity ; so ?ww, present yourselves as slaves to 
7ighteousness, to practise holiness. 

I use the familiar comparison of a slave chang- 
ing his master, that you may more easily compre- 
hend a subject which n:iust be new and difficult to 
those who have been educated in the practice of 
heathenism, and who can hardly form a correct 
conception of that total change which their new 
profession requires. When a slave becomes the 

* / speak familiarhj.'] So \Vakefield. '' avSpwirivov Ksyuj, 
after the manner of men, humano more loqn'i, popularifer, as 
opposed to the elevated language of ])oetry, or the subtlety and 
obscurity of philosophers." Kosenmuller, who gives instances 
of this use of the phrase. " because of the infirmity of your 
nature. Infirmitas, liaiidraro Uburpatur de intellect ii's tarditate." 

^ Yourselves.'] Gr. ''' ra jaeXry, your members, pro scLvrsc, 
yourselves, all your powers." Rosenmuller. See ver. 1.'^ 

Part II. Case I. ROMANS. Sect. II. 4, 5. 137 

property of another, his former master, as you are 
well apprized, loses all his authority, and all his ^^^' ^^' 
powers are engaged to the service of his new pro- 
prietor. Upon the same principle. As in your hea- 
then state you devoted yourselves to the service of 
your impure idolatries, so as to commit all manner 
of evil without remorse, and even as an act of re- 
spect and homage to your obscene deities; so now, 
being redeemed and set at liberty from your former 
tyrant, and having been purchased by another mas- 
ter, act agreeably and to your present condition, 
and yield an obedience as entire to your new pro- 
prietor, righteousness, and perform the duties of 
holiness and the works of virtue, under the domi- 
nion of the gospel^ with as much zeal and activity 
as ever you obeyed the authority of sin. 

5. The apostle enforces his exhortation by the 
consideration of the different nature and issue of 
the service which they have forsaken, and that to 
which they are now engaged, ver. 20 — 22. 

Fo7' when ye were slaves of sin, ye were at liberty 20. 
from righteousness. 

You could not serve two opposite masters at the 
same time; you could not be heathen and Christians 
both at once. The words sin and righteousness here, 
and in many parts of this epistle, express heathenism 
with its crimes, and the gospel with its blessings. 

What fruit then had ye at that thae from the 
things of which you are now ashamed? More- ci. 

over, the end of those things is death. 

138 Part li. Cask I. ROMANS. Sect. II. 5, 6. 

Ch. VI. You now see the idolatry and the sinfulness of 
^^^' ^^' your heathen state in their proper light ; you blush 
to recollect the folly of your worship and the disso- 
luteness of your character ; and did you then at the 
time derive any advantage or gratification from the 
practice of vice, which you can now regard as any 
thing like an adequate compensation for this gross 
self-degradation ? And when it is considered that 
such conduct must eventually terminate in final 
Tuin, what folly can be greater than that of persist- 
ing in a bondage so odious and oppressive ? 
22. I^ut 710W, being set free from sin and become 
slaves of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and 
the end everlasting life. 

If the question be now asked. What are the fruits 
of your present profession ? what are the advan- 
tages of the service of God to which by your re- 
nunciation of idolatry and the profession of faith 
in Christ yoa have bound yourselves by the closest 
ties ? the answer is ready, and there is nothing of 
which you need to be ashamed. The proper busi- 
ness of your present engagement is the practice of 
universal virtue; its immediate recompense, the 
imspeakable peace v;hich results from it ; and its 
ultimate reward is a resurrection to everlasting life 
and happiness. 

6. The apostle concludes with a brief and im- 
pressive sunnnary of the argument, ver. 23. 
23. For the wages (f sin is death. ; but the free gift of 
God through Jesus Christ our Lord, is eternal life. 

Part II. Case I. ROMANS. Sect. II. 6. 1 39 

And, to bring the argument to a close, what I ch. vi. 
desire to impress upon the mind of the Gentile be- ^^^* ^^' 
liever is^ that the idolatries and crimes of a heathen 
state necessarily lead to condign punishment : if sin 
is the master, death will be the wages : death both 
here and hereafter, whatever may be implied in the 
terrible denunciation. 

Widely different will be the lot of those who 
bind themselves to the service of God, and who 
faithfully adhere to the terms of their new cove- 
nant. They can indeed make no claim upon their 
Maker upon the ground of merit and of right; all 
have sinned, and all must plead guilty. What they 
receive is the gift of free, unmerited, unpurchased 
goodness ; and this gift, this free and gracious pro- 
mise, which has been revealed to us by Jesus 
Christ, our honoured master and revered instruc- 
tor, this divine gift, is nothing less than everlasting 
life, a resurrection from the grave to a glorious, a 
happy, and an immortal existence. 

Such is the apostle's argument with the Gentile 
converts to prove, that though the privileges of the 
gospel are offered to all with the most perfect free- 
dom, without regard to antecedent merit, and with- 
out subjection to the yoke of the ceremonial law, 
the Christian religion, nevertheless, lays its profes- 
sors under the strongest obligations to the practice 
of virtue in all its branches, without which, their 
faith will be of no avail. 

140 Part II. Case II. R O M A N S. Sect. I. 

Case II. 

Ch. VII. The profession of the Christian doctrine efficacious 
for the sanctijication of the converted i^vf , Ch. 
vii. 1, — viii. 17. 

Under this head, the apostle first assures the be- 
lieving Jew, that he is at perfect liberty to become 
a disciple of Christ, ch. vii. 1 — 4. II. He briefly 
sketches the case of a Jew under the law and un- 
der the gospel, ver. 5, 6. III. He describes at large 
the wretched situation of the avv'akened ^^'^, ver. 
7 — 25. IV. He shows in wliat way the gospel 
operates to release believers from the condemning 
sentence of the law, and illustrates the opposite 
practical influence of the law and gospel, Ch. viii. 


The apostle asserts the absolute freedom of the 
believing Jew from the yoke of the ceremonial 
Law, Ch. vii. 1 — 4. 

Ver. ]. Knoiv ye not, brethren, for /now speak to those 
who know the Law, that the Law ruleth over a 
man so long as it liveth ^ ? 

^ As it itvelli.'] " UH lonii,- as it is in force." ^\^lke{Jelcl. Dr. 
Doddridge very justly observes^ that " it would be contrary to 
the apostle's desif^n to su])pose the sense of this to be, as our 
translation renders it, as long as he liveth, for the apostle pro- 

Part II. Case II. ROMANS. Sect. I. 141 

The apostle had hitherto been addresshig the Ch. vii. 
converted Gentiles, who were strangers to the law ^^^'" ^* 
of Moses. He now turns to the believing Jew, 
who knew the law, who was firmly attached to it, 
and strongly inclined to combine the ritual of Moses 
with the doctrine of Christ. With regard to the 
Hebrew Christians who resided in Judea while the 
temple was standing and the Jewish polity conti- 
nued, they were permitted, perhaps even enjoined, 
to comply with the rites of the Mosaic Law, which 
indeed constituted a portion of the political code of 
the country. But Jewish believers who resided in 
foreign parts, as for example at Antioch, at Corinth, 
or at Rome, were entirely emancipated from this 
yoke, could they have divested themselves so far of 
their early prejudices, as to have acknowledged and 
enjoyed their Christian liberty. But in general they 
were too zealously attached to the rites of Moses to 
be willing to renounce their authority ; and so long 
as they did not impose them upon their Gentile 
brethren, their prepossessions were treated by the 
apostle with great lenity and indulgence. 

In the beginning of this chapter, the design of 
the apostle is to state, in language as inoffensive as 
possible, the complete abrogation of the law of 
Moses, and the entire emancipation of Christian 
believers from its authority : which he describes as. 
the dissolution of the marriage contract by the de- 
cease of one of the parties. 

fessedly endeavours to prove that they had outlived their obli- 
gations to the law." 

142 Part II. Case li. V O M A N S. ' Sect. I. 


Ch. VII. q, d. Having lived under the law, you under- 
stand the nature of a law, that the obligation of 
its authority continues till the law itself is repealed, 
and no longer. 

2. F'or the 7narried woman is hound by law to her 
husband ivhile he is alive: but if the husband he 
dead, she is discharged from the law of her hus- 

3. band. If therefore she becomes the wife of another 
7na7i, luhile her husband is living, she is called 
an adulteress ; but if her husband he dead, she is 
set at liberty from the law, so as to be no adulteress 

4. though she be married to ajiother husband. And 
thus^, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the 
law^ by the person of Christ; that ye inight be 
married to another, even to him ivho ivas raised 

from the dead, that zve^ might bring forth fruit 
unto God"^. 

It is worthy of observation that the apostle had 
represented the Gentiles, antecedent to their con- 

^ '' 'fl^c for 06ruj$:' Rosenmuller. '' It is used in compari- 
son for ut, sic, as, so." Taylor. 

* Ye are become dead to the law.'] " For the law is become 
dead to you. A hypallage like that Date classibus auslros, Set 
the winds to the fleet. By this manner of expression the pre- 
judice of the Jew is fovoured, who might have been disgusted 
if the apostle had said the law was deiid ; and yet the sense is 
the same, because the relation is dissolved, whicli soever of the 
parties be dead." Taylor. 

^ That ice m{irht.'] The apostle here changes the person, and 
joins himself with the believing Jews, in order, as Mr. Locke ob- 
serves, to press his argument more strongly. 

* Brin^ forth fruit unto God.] " and therefore the fruit which 
the gospel produces is living, and shall live for ever j but the 
fruit of sin under the law is us I may say still-born, is fruit 
unto deatli." Taylor. 

Part II. Case 11. ROMANS. Sect. I. 143 

version, as in a state of bondage : they were slaves Ch. vn. 
to idolatry and vice; but by their profession of the 
Christian religion they had become free men, they 
were translated to the service of God ; their duty 
was to practise virtue, and their portion everlasting 
life. But of the Jews who had lived under a di- 
vine dispensation he speaks with more respect. He 
represents them in their prior state as sustaining 
the relation of a wife to a husband, as in a state of 
aifectionate subjection, not of cruel bondage. 

Attached as the Jews were to the law of Moses, 
they would naturally regard an abandonment of 
this law as an act of disloyalty and ingratitude to 
God who gave it. This objection the apostle obvi- 
ates by representing the law to which they had been 
wedded, and which it would have been highly cri- 
minal to have abandoned till it was repealed, as 
now dead in consequence of the mission of Christ, 
who had been authorized to introduce a new dis- 
pensation. Under these circumstances, to give up 
their connexion with the law, and to embrace the 
Christian profession, was no more criminal than it 
is in a woman to marry a second husband v. hen the 
first husband is dead. 

To avoid, however, the harsh and offensive ex- 
pression that the law was dead, which might have 
alarmed the prejudices of his Jewish readers, he 
says, with a considerable degree of verbal inaccu- 
racy, but with an obvious and very intelligible 
meaning, Ye are dead to the law ; that is, The law, 
your first husband, is dead to you. 

144 Part II. Case II. R OMAN S. Sect. I. 

Ch. vii. By the body, or fcrson of Christ ; that is, by- 
Christ himself, who by dying upon the cross abo- 
lished the law, which was crucified with him and 
rose no more. But Christ himself rose, and takes 
the place of the law : to him, that is, to his gospel, 
we are now wedded ; and the design of this new 
and blessed connexion is, that we should produce 
those fruits of holiness in heart and life Vv'hich God 
will approve and accept. 


The apostle briefly sketches the tiuo cases of a Jew 
under the law and a Jew under the gospel, ver. 
5, 6. 

For when we luere i?i thejlesh^, sinful passions 

occasioned by the laiv 2 operated in us, so as to 

6. brin^ forth fruit unto death. But noiu"^, being 

dead^, we are discharged from the law by ivhdch 

' In. the flciih,'] i. e. under the law. See Rosenmuller, and 
Theodoret as quoted by him. Release from this state is de- 
scribed in the next verse as being discharged from the law. 

^ Occasioned by tlie law?^ to. §iac ts vo[j.8, see ver. 8, 11, 
where he explains his meaning more at large. To bring forth 
fruit, see ver. 4. While wedded to the law sin was the fruit, 
and death the consequence. Operated in us. Gr. ** our mem- 
bers," i. e. ourselves. 

3 But 710W,'] i. e. under the gospel : so noic is frequ(uitly used, 
Rom. iii. 21, v. 9, 11, and many other texts which Dr. Taylor 
cites in his note, and which he thinks may prove a key to these 
and some other texts. ^^ 

^ Beinfr dead.'] airoQccvjvrsg, Tiiis is the reading of the Alex- 
andrine and Ephrem MSS. and adopted by Ciriesbach. The 
received text reads aTro^avovroj, that being dead, viz. the law. 

Part II. Cask II. ROMANS. Sect. II. 145 

we were bounds so that we may serve ^ according Ch.vii. 
to the neiv spirit, and not to the old letter, 

I am addressing myself to those who, having 
been educated under the discipline of the law of 
Moses, are now believers in the doctrine of Christ. 
These will not deny that the tendency of a dis- 
pensation which denounces death without mercy 
upon every transgression, by driving sinners to de- 
spair, tempts them to run headlong on in a course 
of sin, the inevitable consequence of which is death ; 
and we ourselves have probably felt the force of the 
temptation. But now, this dangerous connexion 
with the law being dissolved and totally abolished 
by the death of one of the parties, we are at full 
liberty to enter into a new service, upon new terms, 
and to bind ourselves to a master who will not ex- 
act the rigorous conditions of our former tyrant, 
but will accept our sincere though imperfect obe- 

which is indeed the apostle's idea j but to avoid offence he here, 
as in verse 4, represents believers as the dead party, though 
his meaning obviously is, that the law, the first husband or mas- 
ter, being dead, the survivor is at liberty to enter into a new 

^ Serve\ God, or righteousness, i. e. our new master, accord- 
ing to the new spirit, Gr. " in newness of spirit," &c. i. e. agree- 
ably to the liberal spirit of the new dispensation, and not to 
the servile spirit of the old letter, the dispensation which re- 
quired a literal compliance with every precept under the hea- 
viest penalties. 

VOL. 1, 

146 Part II. Case II. ROMAN S. Sect. III. 


Ch. VII. The apostle describes at large the miserable situa- 
tion of the awakened Jew, ver. 7 — 25. 

And for the illustration of this subject he makes 
use of a bold prosopopceia, or supposition of ficti- 
tious persons, in order to describe the situation of a 
Jew who, not having heard the tidings of the go- 
spel, is just awakened to a sense of the danger and 
misery of his condition under the law ; and for 
this purpose he introduces no less than five allego- 
rical figures, to each of which he assigns a pecu- 
liar character and office. 

The first is Mind, the understanding, the princi- 
ple of virtue, which always discerns and approves 
what is right. 

Secondly, Flesh, passion, irregular affections and 
desires, the tendency of which is to lead the mind 
astray ; with which, hovi^ever. Mind lived in \\\\\- 
mony till the appearance of a Third })erson, viz. 

Law, the law of Sinai, which reveals to Mind 
the criminality of all exorbitant aflection and de- 
sire, which pronounces sentence of death upon every 
transgression, and allows no hope of pardon and no 
encouragement to repentance. 

The Fourth personage is Sin, the inveterate ene- 
my of Mind, continually aiming at its destruction ; 
which, nevertheless, before the appearance of Law 
was in a dormant state, but which, taking advantage 

Part II. Case II. R O M A N S. Sect. III. 1. 147 

of the discoveries, and of the inexorable nature of Ch. vir. 
Law, enters into an alliance with Flesh, i. e. the 
passions, makes war upon Mind, takes it prisoner, 
and reduces it to a state of the most abject, hope- 
less, and miserable servitude, from which wretched 
and dangerous state it is at last delivered by the in- 
terposition of a Fifth person, viz. 

Grace, the gift of God through Jesus Christ, the 
gospel dispensation, which, by proclaiming the joy- 
ful tidings of forgiveness, revives the spirits of Mind, 
animates her to renew the contest, and finally gives 
her a complete victory over sin and death. 

From the seventh verse to the twentieth, the 
Mind, in a soliloquy, represents and laments over 
its own v/retched situation. In the remainder of 
the chapter, the Jew in person describes his misery 
and his danger, and the seasonable and effectual in- , 
terposition of Grace, or the gospel, for his relief. 

1 . The apostle introduces Mind, that is, the ra- 
tional and voluntary pov/ers, as a person complain- 
ing of insupportable bondage, but previously ac- 
knowledging the purity of the law which first made 
known the guilt of evil affections, ver. 7. 

JVhat then shall ive say ? Is the law sin ? By Ver. 7. 
no means. Nay, I had not knownsin i but through 

' I had not known sin.'] Mr. Locke remarks, " that the skill 
which the apostle uses in dexterously avoiding to give offence 
to the Jews is very visible in the word I, in this place. In the 
beginning of the chapter, wdiere he mentions their knowledge 
of the law, he says ye. In the fourth verse he joins himself 
with them, and says ire. But here and to tlic end of the chap- 


148 Part II. Case II. ROMAN S. Sect. III. 1, 2. 

Ch.vii. the law. For I had not knoivn evil desire to be 
Ver. 7. gii-j^ {y fJi^ if^iifj Jicixl not said Thou shalt not desire ' . 
When I say that evil affections were occasioned 
by the law, will any one suspect that I mean to 
charge the law of God as directly commanding vice? 
Nothing could be further from my intention. The 
law, in fact, only made known to me the nature and 
extent of the divine requisitions : for \ should not 
have known that criminality attached to the affec- 
tions, as unconnected with external actions, had 
not irregular desires been the object of an express 

2. Mind complains that Sin, her great enemy, 
taking advantage of the rigour of Law, roused the 

ter, where he represents the power of sin and the inability of 
the law to subdue it, he leaves them out, and speaks altogether 
in the first person, though it is plain he means all those who 
were under the law." See also ch.iii. 7. Dr. Taylor adds, ^^ we 
may here observe another stroke of honest art, which aj)pears 
to me still more masterly, and that is his demonstrating the 
insufficiency of law under colour of vindicating it." The fact 
however is, that this extreme caution of giving offence throws 
an almost impenetrable obscurity over the a])Ostle's style, which 
is indeed abundantly compensated by exhibiting the liberality 
of his mind, and by the evidence which it affords of the anti- 
quity and genuineness of the apostolic writings. No one, after 
the ajjostolic age, would have thought it worth while to have 
treated the Jewish prejudices with so much ceremony and in-' 

' Shall not desire,'] i. e. Thou shalt not allow evil desire 
This is plainly the meaning of eitihii^r^o-sis in this connexion. 
The word " covet" does not convey the true sense, being com- 
monly limited to the desire of property. '* I had not known 
Die guilt of desire, unless the law liad said Tiiou siialt not de- 
sire." Newcome. It was the doctrine of the Pharisees, that 
desire is not criminal if it does not proceed to overt acts. 

Part II. Case II. II O M A N S. Sect. III. 2. 149 

dormant passions, and reduced her to a state of Ch. Vii. 
pollution and condemnation, ver. 8 — 11. 

But sin, taking advantage 2 hi/ the precept, pro- Ver. 8. 
duced in me every kind of evil desire. 

It was not law which did the mischief, but sin, 
which availed itself of the prohibitions of the law 
to excite those very passions which the law forbid. 

For before the laiv 3 sin was dead, and before 9- 
the law I was once alive. But when the precept 
came, sin came to life, and I died. 

Before I studied the law and became apprized of 
its extent and rigour, I went on quietly, without any 
tormenting consciousness of guilt, or temptation to 
sin ; I thought well of my own state : but when I 
understood the strictness of the law, and saw that 
I was already exposed to Its condemnation, sin told 
me I could not be worse let me do what I would, 
and by this means it acquired an entire ascendancy 
over me and annihilated all resistance. 

And the precept ivhich was given yor life, itself 10. 
proved to he for death. For sin taking advantage 11. 
by the precept deceived me, and by it slew me. 
The consequence was^ that the very law to the 

* Advantage,'] not opportunity merely. Sin used the law as 
an active and powerful instrument to attain its end. " A<popiJiYi, 
omnem apparatum subsidiorum ad aliquam rem perjiciendam ne~ 
cessariorum.'' Schleusner. '' Nitimur in vetitum semper, cupi- 
musque negata.'" Ovid. 

^ Before the law^ Gr. '"without the law/' i.e. before I paid 
attention to it ; but when the precept came, i. e. came to mind, 
when I considered it and gave attention to it. It is to be re- 
membered that the apostle is not here speaking in his own per- 
son, but in that of an awakened Jew, who thus describes his 
own feelings. See Roscnmullcr. 

150 Part II. Case 11. ROMANS. Sect. III. 2, 3. 

Ch. VII. observance of which was annexed the promise of 
life, and which if I had obeyed it would have re- 
warded my obedience with life and happiness, was 
eventually a sentence of condemnation. For sin, 
deceiving me into the belief that I could not be 
worse than I was, and that the precept was imprac- 
ticable, availed itself of the very discoveries of the 
law to seal and aggravate my condenmation. 

3. This unhappy condition to which Mind is 
brought by no means derogates from the excellence 
of Law, but only serves to demonstrate the malig- 
nity of Sin, ver. 12, 13. 
*^- So then, the law is holy, and the precept is holi/, 
and just, and good. 

I mean no reflection upon the Mosaic law, it 
was well calculated to answer its purpose of sepa- 
rating the descendants of Abraham from the rest 
of mankind ; and the particular precept which im- 
poses restraint upon evil desire is a most reasonable 
injunction, and if it were obeyed would be produc- 
tive of unspeakable benefit. 
13. Did then that ivhich is good become death to me? 
By no 7neans : but sin only '. So that sin appear- 
ed working death in me by that w hie ft is good ; so 
that, tlirough the precept, sin became exceedingly 

Law was perfectly innocent ; law only delivered 
the precept, and declared the penalty. Sin was the 

' Bat sin onhf.'] I follow tlic punctuatiun of Gricfcibach, Sec 
Nf\vcoiue>5 inner nuiiuin. 

Part II. Case IL ROMANS. Sect. III. 3, 4. 151 

sole cause of the mischief done, and herein sin ex- Ch. vii. 
hibited her own peculiar malignity, in converting ^^^* ^^* 
that which was in itself excellent, which was in- 
tended as a rule of life, and which if obeyed would 
have given a title to life, into an instrument of 

4. Mind continues to enlarge upon its ov/n de- 
plorable condition, as the helpless miserable slave 
of Sin, whose organ it is compelled to be, without 
a possibility of successful resistance, ver. 14 — 20. 

For I know that the law is spiritual ; but I am u, 

carnal^ sold to sin. 

It is of great consequence to recollect that the 
apostle is not speaking in his own person, but in 
that of a Jew under the law ; who, being awakened 
to a sense of the evil of sin and a desire to forsake 
it, is thrown into despair, and hardened in guilt, by 
the unrelenting severity of the law. In this affect- 
ing soliloquy the understanding is stating and la- 
menting her cruel fate. q. d. 

I am now clearly convinced that the law was not 
given merely to regulate men's external actions, 
but to govern their affections and their thoughts ; 
whereas my affections are debased, and evil habits 
domineer over me as much as if I had been actually 
sold as a slave to vice. 

For ivhat I do, I know not 2 : for luhat I luould, 15, 

that I do 72ot practise ; but %vhat I hate, that I do. 

® 1 know not?^ 3 yivco^yiuj, i. e. as some understand it, " I 
approve not." See Hos. viii. 4 ; Matt. vii. 23 : or as others^ 

152 Part II. Case II. ROMANS. Sect. III. 4. 

Ch. VII. I am no longer under my own direction, nor 
^^^* ^^* subject to my own choice and approbation; I know 
not what I shall be driven to next ; the tyrant to 
whom I am in bondage compels me to service which 
I disapprove and hate, and will not permit me to 
follow the dictates of my own understanding and 
1 G. But if I do that which I do not will, I assent 

17. to the law that it is excellent. Now then it is no 
longer I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me. 

Being thus irresistibly urged on to commit the 
wickedness which I abhor, I bear my testimony to 
the excellence of the law which I am thus driven 
to transgress, and can hardly be said to be more 
accountable for my conduct, when thus impelled 
by the tyrant sin which occupies my active powers, 
than the poor demoniac is when he is possessed 
and hurried into acts of violence by an evil spirit. 

18. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, 
dwelleth no good: for to will is present with me, 
hut I find no ability * to perform that tuhich is 

Such is the opposition between the understand- 
ing and the affections. I know well that in my 
inferior self, in the appetites and passions, there is 
always a tendency to excess ; and in my present 
state, while under the law, they bear the sway. 

" I do not understand," insrhis rt invitits fdcio. I am a slave 
no longer under my own direction. See Rosenmuller. 

• f find ??o ability.] " ou%' Bupiaxvj, srcl prrpchare rectum no^ 
ralto: &upicfK£iV) asseqvi possr."" Hosenniiiller. 

Part II. Case II. R O M A N S. Sect. III. 4,5. 153 

My best self, my understanding, enlightened by Ch.vii. 
the law, is desirous to keep the commandment of 
God ; but the inferior powers prevail, and I am ut- 
terly unable to pursue the course which my best 
powers dictate and approve as the most excellent. 

In this passage the Jew himself appears to be the 
speaker, the apostle not being solicitous to adhere 
strictly to his personification. 

For I do not the good I would ; hut the evil 19. 

which I luould not, that I practise. Noiu if I do 20. 
that ivhich I would not do, it is no longer I that 
perform it, but sin ivhich dwelleth in me. 

This may still be considered as the language of 
the Jew. I desire to obey the law, but I am not 
able ; I desire to avoid transgression, but am con- 
tinually impelled into it. Reason and virtue are 
dethroned ; Sin has taken possession of my active 
powers, and I am no longer my own master ; Sin 
domineers over me as the possessing spirit drives 
and agitates the wretched demoniac. 

5. The Z^w^ in his own person, now proceeds 
to express the miserable conflict which took place 
in his mind while he remained subject to the law, 
till the mercy of God in the gospel administered re- 
lief, ver. 21—25. 

I find therefore this laiv for me^ivhen desirous 21. 
to do what is right, that evil adheres^ to nie, 

* TKis law for me. '] '" Dictamen dicere poasis propter ali- 
qunm ciun legibiis similitadinem.'' Rosenmuller. 

' Adheres to mc] '^ liccpXKSiTai' sc. a latere adhcrrere.'' 

154 Part II. Case II. ROMANS. Sect. III. 5. 

Ch. Vii. I experience, says the enliditer.ed and awakened 
Jew, this melancholy fact, that it is become a sort 
of law in the moral constitution of my mind, that 
to the perception of moral excellence, and a desire 
to practise duty, are invariably conjoined vicious 
affections and a wicked life. 

22. For I delight in the law of God after the in- 

23. ward man : but I perceive another law in my meni" 
hers^ making war agahist the laiv of my mind, and 
bringing me into captivity to the law of sin ivhich 

24. is in my members. O wretched me ^ I who shall 
deliver me from this dead body ^ P 

I have one self, says the unhappy Jew here per- 
sonated, my inward man, my reason and my judge- 
ment, which approves the law of God and delights 
in the practice of it. But I have another self, the 
law of the members, the appetites and passions 
which are continually waging war with my better 
self, which bring my reason into captivity to my 
inferior powers, and which bind me as a slave to 
vice and folly ; I am tied to this carnal self as to 

' wretched me !'] So Nevvcome. Gr. " O wretched man I." 
* This dead bodij.'] Gr. '' the body of this death." " This 
continual ])iirden which I carry about with mc, and which is 
cumbersome and odious as a dead carcase tied to a living body, 
to be dragged about with it wherever it goes." Dr. Doddridge j 
who notices the allusion to that s])ecies of torment, and justly 
Jidds that " a more forcible and expressive image of the sad 
case represented, cannot surely enter into the miml of man." 

Mortua qu'metiani jungchat corpora vivis, 
Componens mamhusqm maniis, alque orihus ora, 
Tormenti germs, et same, tahoque fturnics, 
C'onij)l(jxu in niisero, lo)igd sic morle nccahat. 

ViiuiiL. ,Eneid. lib. viii. 

Part II. Case II. ROMA N S. Sect. III. 5. 155 

a dead body, a noisome putrid carcase, which I loath Ch. vii. j 
and abhor, from which I continually desire and ^^' ^' 
struggle to be released, but without effect. Such 
is my miserable and forlorn condition : to whom 
can I now look for relief ? What friendly arm will 
rescue me from destruction ? 

But the unhappy captive at length hears of deli- 
verance : a voice exclaims, 

T/ie grace of God ^ through Jesus Christ our 25. 

q. d. Hark ! what tidings do I hear ? A voice 
from heaven, proclaiming deliverance ! It is grace, 
the favour of God, through Jesus Christ my Lord : 
it is the gospel of peace, which is revealed through 
Jesus Christ ; which announces liberty to the cap- 
tive, and a free pardon to the penitent. I am now 
inspired with a glorious hope, and can yield a 
cheerful and sincere obedience. ( 

The discourse concludes with a brief recapitula- 

So then, /, the same person, with my understand- —25. 

^ The grace of God.'] -n %apj; ra Qss' this is the reading of 
the Clermont and other manuscripts, and of the Latin Vul- 
gate. It is ably supported by Mr. Locke, and it best suits 
the connexion. The miserable slave cries. Who can help me ? 
A voice ansvv^ers, Grace : the gracious gift of God : the gospel. 
This introduces a new person, who rescues the prisoner by 
slaying his adversary sin. The common reading is compara- 
tively tame : " I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." 
Abp. Newcome's note, however, is very pertinent : '^ I am de- 
livered through, or by means of Jesus Christ, by whom we have 
greater assistances, stronger motives, clearer discoveries, and 
more gracious terms of final acceptance." 

156 Part II. Case II. ROM A N 3. Skct. III. 5. 

Ch. vii. ?W am a servant to the law of God. bat ivitli niv 

Ver 25 # . 

flesh to the laiu of sin, 

I have represented myself, says the enhghtened 
Jew, as divided into two persons, the understand- 
ing and the passions : the former approving and 
desirous to yield obedience to the law of God ; the 
latter prone to evil, and enslaving the superior pow- 
ers to vice ; the consequence of which is, hopeless 
subjection to the condenming sentence of the law^ 
from which nothing but the gospel can extricate 
the despairing transgressor. 


Ch. VIII. The apostle shows in what ivay the gospel operates^ 
to release believers from the condemning sentence 
of the laiu ; and illustrates the different practical 
influence of the law and the gospeL Ch, viii, 


1 . The apostle directly affirms, that believers in 
Christ are exempted from condemnation, ver. I. 
Ver. 1. Tliere is'^then, now, no condenuiation to those loho 
are in Christ Jesus ^ . 

Under the law no man could escape from con- 
demnation ; because no one, however enlightened 

' The received text adds, " who walk not after the llesh, })iit 
after the s])irit j" which words are omitleil by (Triesba'ch, upon 
the authority of the Kj^hrem, (^k'rmont, and otlier miinuscripts 
and versions. The wanie words occur in a more suitable con- 
nexion at the end of ver. 4, from wliich they were ])r(»bably 
transferred to this by the mistake of some early transcriber. 

Part II. Case II. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 1,2. lo/ 

or however virtuous, could pretend to sinless obedi- Ch. viir. 

ence, and law shows no mercy to the penitent trans- ^'^^' ^' 

gressor. But this rigid severity, and consequent mi- : 

sery, is abolished by the gospel, which repeals the j 

sentence of death with respect to all who truly be- \ 

lieve, and who become approved members of the | 
community of which Christ is the head. 

2. This great deliverance is effected by the go- 
spel ; which, by abolishing the severity of the law, 
gives the believer a victory over sin, ver. 2 — 4. 

/or ^/le law oftlie spirit of life by Christ Jesus, : 

has set me at liberty from the law of sin and 

The law of the spirit of life is the gospel : which 
is called a law, because it prescribes a rule of con- 
duct, and enforces that rule by the most powerful 
sanctions. It is a law of the spirit, or a spiritual 
law, because its precepts are wholly moral, and is 
not like the Mosaic institute, to which it stands op- 
posed, a law of rites and ceremonies, which for that 
reason is called carnal. The gospel is also a law 
of life, because it reveals the doctrine of a future 
life, and opens the way to it for all sincere believers 
in Christ. 

And it is this glorious gospel which sets the 
captive and suffering Jew, who is awakened to a 
sense of his danger and misery, at liberty from the 
yoke of the old dispensation, which, by plunging him 
into despair, hurried him into sin, and then, by an 
irrevocable sentence, condemned him to death. 

158 Part IL Case II. ROMA N S. Sect. IV. 2. 

Ch. VIII. For ivhat it ivas impossible for the law to do, be- 
cause it was lueak through the flesh, God sending 
his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for 
sin, hath done : he hath condemned sin ^ in the 
4. flesh -, so that the righteous precepts of the law 
might he fully performed by us, who ivalk not ac- 
cording to the flesh, but according to the spirit. 

Here observe, that the great design of the law 
was to destroy sin, and to deter men from the prac- 
tice of it, by denouncing the penalty of death. 

Nevertheless, this imporcant object could not be 
effected by the law, which, as we have seen in the 
case just described, only served to drive men to de- 
spair and to harden them in vice. 

The law was weak througli the flesh, because 

' He hath condemned s'ln?^ Ka,r£'/.piv£- '' The prosopopoeia," 
says Mr. Locke, " whereby sin was considered as a person all 
the foregoing chapter, being continued here, the condemning of 
sin cannot mean^ as some would have it, that Christ was con- 
demned for sin, or in the place of sin 5 for that would be to 
leax'e that person alive which Christ came to destroy. But the 
plain meaning is, that sin itself was condemned or put to death. 

^ In thejlc'sh.'] sv a-ocpxi : i. e. says Mr. Locke, '' in the flesh of 
Christ, for in him was no sin." llosenmuller explains it, '' dc- 
struxit vim pravarum cupiditatum in nobis, he destroyed sin in 
US;" and Koppe, '^ puniit peccatum in honiine aliquo ncmpe in 
Chrifito, he punished sin in the person of Christ." " God con- 
demned or destroyed sin in the flesh, so that it shall not reign 
in our mortal body." Taylor, it must be owned, that the apos- 
tle often changes the sense of his words without giving notice 
of the change ; but ils in this discourse flesh is repeatedly put 
for the law, ivnd spirit for the gospel in oi)position to it, I am 
willing to adhere to this sense where it is not absolutely neces- 
sary to change it. And in this instance I understand condemn- 
ing sin in the flesh to signify, enabling the Jew, who had been 
the slave of sin under the law^ to subdue and mortify it by 
faitii in the gospel. 

Part II. Case IL ROMANS. Sect. IV. 2. 159 

it imposed a burdensome and painful ceremonial, Ch. viiz. 
which had no power to obtain forgiveness and to 
clear the mind from guilt. But this effect of de- 
stroying sin in the flesh, of subduing it in the hearts 
of tliose who, living under the law, were enslaved 
to sin, God has graciously accomplished. 

He has sent Jesus Christ, his own son, the chief 
of all the prophets of God, and the first-begotten 
from the dead, to accomplish this great v/ork. 
And to this end, he was born a Jew ; and like other 
Jews he was subject to the ceremonial law, and 
there was nothing in his appearance which would 
lead any one to conclude that he was in any re- 
spect superior to the rest of his countrymen. 

He was sent for sin, or upon the subject of 
sin 3. The design of his mission was to take away 
sin, by introducing a new and spiritual dispensa- 
tion consecrated with his own blood, which offered 
mercy to the penitent sinner, and released him at 
once from the rites, and from the curse of the law. 

The gracious design and the happy result of all 
is, that the righteous precepts of the law, which, 
though it required the practice of virtue, v/as unable 
to enforce obedience, might be and actually are ful- 
filled by those who believe in Jesus, vvho are not 

^ Locke and Whitby, and most other commentators, inter- 
pret the phrase itzpi d[j.cccrias, as signifying an oilering for sin. 
But Dr. Taylor justly observes, that its proper and natural 
sense is, about, concerning, in relation to, sin : ^^ And there- 
fore," says he, " I doubt not it has relation to all that Christ 
has done to deliver us from the condemning and reigning power 
of sin, that we might be freed from the guilt of sin^, and that the 
body of sin might be destroyed." 

160 Part II. Case II. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 2, ^, 

Ch. VIII. nominal believers only, but practically such; and 
^'' ' who regulate their conduct, not by a rigid adherence 
to the rites and ceremonies of the law, but by the 
precepts and the spirit of the gospel. 

3. The apostle describes and contrasts the cha- 
racter and .'State of those who live after the flesh 
and after the spirit ; or, in other words, the adhe- 
rents to the law, and the converts to the gospel i, 
ver. 5 — 9. 

5. Fo)' they tvho are according to the flesh, mind 
the things of the flesh ; hut they ivho are according 
to the spirit, the things of the spirit. 

They who are devoted to the law^ occupy them- 
selves wholly with legal observances and ceremonial 
institutions ; while they who embrace the gospel, 
who understand its nature and imbibe its spirit, are 
indiflerent to external rites, and attend wholly to 
moral obligations. 

6. N^oiu, the minding of the flesh is death, ivhereas 
the minding of the spirit is life arid peace. 

Let it be further considered that they who place 
their confidence in the law to the rejection of the 
gospel, cannot possibly escape its condemning sen- 
tence ; while they who rely upon the mercy of the 
gospel, and who comply with its terms, shall be 
saved from condenmation, and shall enjoy pure and 
uninterrupted happiness. 

' This is the interpiTtutitm which I assign to the words, flesh 
and spirit ; Ihuugii witli some (hiridcnee, being awiire how often 
the a])ostle changes tlu' meaning of liis terms witliout any pre- 
vious notice. 

Part II. Case II. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 3. 161 

Becduse the imnding of the flesh is enmity against Ch. viii. 
God; for it is not subject to the laiu of God, nor ^^^' ^' 
indeed can be, and they who are in the flesh cannot 8. 

please God. 

An obstinate adherence to the Mosaic ritual, now 
that it is superseded by the gospel, must be highly 
offensive to God, being an insolent rejection of his 
offer of mercy. If indeed the votary of the law could 
fully act up to the requisitions of the law, the case 
would be different. But this is impossible. The 
most active zealot for the law is, notwithstanding 
all his zeal, a condemned transgressor. Nor can 
it possibly be otherwise ; for human nature is ut- 
terly incapable of a complete conformity to the 
terms of the law, and therefore they who seek for 
j nstification from the law only, must appear as con- 
victed offenders in the sight of God. 

Brit ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, see- 9. 

ing that 2 the spirit of God divelleth in you ; but if 
any man have not the spirit of Christ, he does not 
belong to him. 

But though I express myself with this apparent 
severity in regard to the obstinate adherents to the 
law, I am persuaded, my brethren, that this cha- 
racter does not apply to you ; but that you are all 

^Seeing that.'] " eikzo, since." Newcome, who refers to 
2 Thess. i. 6 } 1 Pet. ii. 3, 17 j and adds, " Tlie Christians at 
Rome are spoken of as a collective body, and are supposed 
to be spiritually-minded, because they were strongly obliged so 
to be, having received the extraordinary gifts of God's spirit. 
However, the apostle adds, to be Christ's indeed, they must 
have the mind or disposition of Christ." See ver. 10. 

VOL. 1. M 

162 Part II. Case II. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 3, 4. 

Ch. VIII. sincere believers in Christ, and interested in the 
blessings of the gospel : for though you may not be 
so much distinguished as other churches are by 
spiritual gifts and miraculous powers, yet it is evi- 
dent that the spirit of the gospel, which is the spi- 
rit of God, resides in you in a more important sense, 
in its moral influence upon your characters and 
lives. And be assured that he who does not in this 
sense possess the spirit of Christ, whatever his pre- 
tensions in other respects may be, will never be ac- 
knowledged by him as his disciple, nor admitted to 
those honours and rewards which are promised to 
the faithful and obedient. 

4. By the sincere profession of the Christian 
doctrine, they are become dead to their former state, 
and alive to the hopes, the spirit, and the privileges 
of the gospel, ver. 10, 11. 
10. But if Christ be in you, the body indeed is dead 
because of sin, but the spirit is life because ofjus^ 
tif cation \ 

^Body — spirit^ In this difficult and elliptical phraseolo^', I 
take a-ou[j^a,, the body, to be used in the same sense as cocp^ in the 
preceding context, as expressing the law or the state of things 
under the lawj andTTygu/xa to mean the gospel or the gospel 
state, q.d. the true believer in Christ renounces the law, because 
it leaves him in a state of condemnation and sup])lies no motives 
to exertion ; but the gospel is a living princij)le, which an- 
nounces pardon, and thus becomes a source of life and activity. 
I prefer tliis interpretation, because it retains the pro])er force of 
§ia, before an accusative, Mr. Locke, Dr. Taylor, and others, 
taking a-cuij^oc and 'rrvsvy.a. in a moral sense for evil and good af- 
fections and ])rinciples, render ^;a witli respect to sin, and to 

Part II. Case IL ROMANS. Sect. IV. 4. 163 

If you are true believers in the doctrine of Christ, Ch. viii. 
and acknowledged members of the Christian com- 
munity, you are completely separated from your 
former state, as a living person from one that is 
dead ; and the law is justly abrogated, because it 
was incompetent to subdue sin, and left its adhe- 
rents under a sentence of condemnation. 

But the gospel lives ; it rescues the believer from 
the sentence of the law, and so it becomes a living 
principle of holiness and virtue. 

But if the spirit of him who raised up Jesus ll. 
from the dead div ell in you, he who raised up Christ 
from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies 
also, because of his spirit 2 which dwelleth in you. 

If you are indeed members of the Christian com- 
munity, if you are true worshipers and faithful ser- 
vants of God, who attested and authenticated the 
divine mission of Jesus Christ by raising him from 
the dead, you thereby ensure your title to all the 
promises and privileges of the gospel covenant. 

* Because of his spirit.'] This is the reading of Griesbach, 
upon the authority of the best manuscripts. Tiie received text 
reads, $1' rs evoixsvrogy by his spirit, &:c. 

By enlivening the mortal body, Mr. Locke understands '' de- 
liverance from the reign of sin in the body by the spirit of God, 
which is given to believers, and dwells in them as a new 
quickening principle and power." But as the actual resurrec- 
tion of Christ is twice mentioned by the apostle in this sentence, 
I think it more probable, with Dr. Taylor and others, that the 
apostle is here speaking of a real resurrection to life and happi- 
ness, which is promised to those who receive and obey the go- 
spel. Observe how directly and repeatedly the resurrection 
of Christ is here attributed to the Father, and not to any power 
inherent in Christ himself. 

M 2 

164 Part II. Case II. ROMAN S. Sect. IV. 4,5v 

^^:^- ^ly- And be assured, that the omnipotent Being who 
performed that glorious miracle, by which the foun- 
der and head of this new dispensation was made in 
his own person, not only the proof, but the pattern 
and the pledge of immortality to his followers, will 
in due time raise you also to a happy and immortal 
life, as the promised reward of that spirit of faith 
and purity which was implanted in you by the go- 
spel, and which has been exemplified in your con- 

5. Hence it follows, that the disciples of Christ 
are released from all obligation to observe the cere- 
monial law, ver. 12, 13. 
12- Therefore, brethren., ive are debtors, not to the 
13. flesh, that ive should live after the flesh ' ;for if ye 
live after the flesh you will die, but f ye through 
the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body 2, you 
shall live. 

The great conclusion from the preceding obser- 

' Therefore, brethren , SiC .1 Dr. Taylor thinks that the apostle 
here draws his grand conclusion from the doctrine vvliich he ha.s 
advanced in the two preceding- chapters, relating to the efficacy 
of the gospel for the sanctification botli of the Gentile and tlie 
Jew, and that the remainder of tliis cliapter is addressed to be- 
lievers in general, both Jew and (ientile. Mr. Locke tliinks that 
the case of the Jew is finished in the seventh chapter, and that 
the wlu.le of the eiglith is addressed to l)elievers in general : I 
have followed the division of (iriosbach. 

^ The word hodif is here ])lainly used in the same sense as in the ])receding verse, i. c. the law ; and this confirms the 
interpretation given, ver. 10. It must howevi r be acknow- 
ledged, that " rr^s a-ocpy.'jc, the flesh,'" istlie reading of some of 
Ihe best copies. 

Part II. Case II. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 5, 6. 165 

vations, and that to which I desire to draw your Ch. viii. 
particular attention^ is this : That we who are dis- ^^^" ' 
ciples of Christ are under no obhgation of allegiance 
to the law ; and the reason is that which I have so 
often stated, namely, that if you seek for acceptance 
with God upon the ground of legal obedience only, 
you must fall under the condemning sentence of 
that inexorable dispensation ; whereas, if by accept- 
ing of the offers, and acting up to the liberal spirit of 
the gospel, you vanquish those vicious habits which 
are stimulated and confirmed by the severity of the 
law, you will be received into favour, and Vv^ill even- 
tually be put into possession of that everlasting life 
which is promised by the gospel. 

(3. Of this privilege the gift of the holy spirit is 
a satisfactory evidence, as it both proves that God 
avows the relation of a father, and generates a filial 
spirit in those who possess it, ver. 14 — 17. 

For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these 1 4. 

are the sons of God. 

All who have been induced by the consideration 
of the miraculous powers communicated to Christ 
and his apostles, to embrace the doctrine of Christ, 
are nominally sons of God ; and if they are practi- 
cally influenced by the spirit of the gospel, they are 
really such, and heirs of immortality. 

For ye have not again^ received the spirit of 15. 

Again received, &:c.] This expression implies, that the 
apostle here considers himself as still addressing those who had 
before been under the yoke and bondage of thelaw. 

166 Part II. Case II. ROMAN S. Sect. IV. 6. 

Ch. VIII. bondage to fear, but ye have received the spirit of 
adoption^ by ivhich ive cry Ahba^ that is, Father, 

Those of you who were formerly subject to the 
law, and who suffered under the weight of its yoke, 
and were alarmed by the inexorable severity of its 
denunciations, are now relieved from your bondage 
and your terror. Very different indeed is the spi- 
rit of the new dispensation, of which you now have 
the happiness to be members. From slaves you 
are become children ; from bondage you have been 
introduced to liberty : and from a habit of regarding 
the author of our existence as an unrelenting judge, 
we, — for I was myself formerly in the same state 
of bondage and terror from which you have been 
recovered, — we, and all who enter into this new 
covenant, are allowed and encouraged to address 
our Maker as a father and a friend, to love him as 
our best benefactor, and to yield a filial and cheerful 
obedience to his commands. 
16, The spirit^ itself beareth ivitness ivith ks^, thai 
ive are the children of God, 

* The spirit itself beareth witness.'] As no apostle had yet vi- 
sited Rome, and as the apostle himself expresses his desire to 
visit them, in order to impart some spiritual gift, which was the 
prerogative of the apostolic office (see Rom, i. 11), it is pro- 
bable that the Roman Christians neither themselves possessed, 
nor perhaps had often witnessed the o})eration of miraculous 
powers ; but they had no doubt received credible and satisfac- 
tory evidence of their existence, which had probably been the 
ground of their receiving the Christian faith. 

* M'itli lis.'] (ir. " with our spirits j" that is, with ourselves. 
The si)irit of a man is a man himself, as the s])irit of God is God 
himself. 1 Cor. ii. 1 1. See also (ial. vi. 1« ; 2 Tim. iv. 22 -, 
rhilem. ver, 25. 

Part II. Case II. ROMAN S. Sect. IV. G. 167 

Those gifts of the holy spirit, of the existence of Ch. viii. 
which, though you may not yourselves possess them, 
you have no doubt been credibly informed, and 
which constitute the proper proofs of the resurrec- 
tion of Christ, and of the divine original of the 
gospel, are the most satisfactory evidence that we 
can possess or desire that we are taken into the 
new covenant, that v/e are no longer subject to the 
terrors of the law, and that we are adopted into the 
family of God, and acknowledged by him as his 

And if cMldren^ then heirs; heirs of God, and 17- 
co-heirs with Jesus Christ. 

And be it remembered, this title is not an empty 
name ; for, as on our part it implies duty and af- 
fection, so on the part of God, who condescends to 
acknowledge the relation of a father, it implies an 
engagement to treat us as children, and particularly 
to provide an inheritance for us ; an inheritance si- 
milar to that of which Jesus Christ, the first-born 
son, our dear elder brother, has already been put 
into possession^ namely, a resurrection from the 
grave, to a new^ a happy, and immortal life. 

168 Part HI. ROMANS. Sect. 1. 


SEVERANCE. Ch. viii. 17 to the end. 

1. Fellowship in suffering with Christ is the ap- 
pointed condition of participation in his glorious 
reward, — 17. 
Ver. 17. Seeing we suffer^ with him, to the end that we 
7nay he also glorified ivith him. 

The sufferings of Christ were the necessary pre- 
liminary to his glorification ; and if we aspire to 
participate in his reward, we must be content to 
take it in the same way : we must be willing to 
suffer with him and for Inm. And surely we can- 
not complain if we are only called to share in the 
fate and fortune of our glorious leader. 

' Seeing we suffer.] " Observe," says Dr. Taylor with his 
usual judgement, " how prudently the apostle advances to the 
harsh affair of suffering. He doth not mention it, till he had 
raised their thoughts to the highest o])ject of joy and })leasure, 
the ha})))iness and glory of a joint-inlieritance with the ever 
blessed Son of (Jod, This, with the additional consideration 
that we suffer with ('hrist, would greatly ciualify the transitory 
afflictions of this world, and dis})ose them to attend to the other 
arguments he had to offer." 

Part III. R O M A N S. Sect. 2. 169 

2. The severity of the suffering bears no propor- Ch. viii. 
tion to the value of the reward, ver. 18. 

For I compute'^ that the sufferings of the pre- Ver. 18. 
sejit season are not ivorthy to be compared with the 
glory which will hereafter he manifested to us. 

The sufferings and persecutions which in the pre- 
sent state we are constrained to endure for the sake 
of our profession of the gospel are sometimes very 
severe, and difficult to be borne, and what no wise 
man would voluntarily submit to without sufficient 
reason ; and you well know that I, as the apostle of 
the Gentiles, have my full share of them. But 
whatever the world may think or say, I can assure 
you, that in submitting to these sacrifices and pri- 
vations I have not been influenced by a spirit of 
enthusiasm or fanaticism, but have acted under the 
calm and deliberate conviction of judgement. For 
I have carefully counted the cost ; and I find upon 
accurate computation, that all I can do, or suffer, 
for the sake of Christ and his cause is nothing, and 
less than nothing, in comparison with that state of 
glory and happiness of which he is now in posses- 
sion, and in which all his faithful and persevering 
followers shall hereafter participate. Under all your 
sufferings, therefore, keep this immense prepon- 
derance of advantage continually in view. 

* I compute.'] Aoyi^o^oLi, " I find upon computation." Dodd- 
ridge. " I look upon the sufferings of this present time as of 
no consequence with respect to/' &c, Wakefield, ovx a^ix, 
*' as of no weight." " Vox deducta ex rebus qucc ponderautur.'* 

170 Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 3. 

Ch. VIII. 3. This glorious and happy state of things is that 
to which suffering nature instinctively points, and 
irresistibly tends, ver. 19 — 22. 

Ver. 19. For 1 the earnest longing ^ of the creation^ ivait- 
ethfor this manifestation of the sons of God^, 

I may add, that the actual state and condition of 
mankind makes it probable, not only that the vir- 
tuous believers in Christ will be put into possession 
of the promised inheritance, but that even they who 

* For^ or moreover. This word introduces a collateral ob- 
servation : not an inference from what goes before. 

* Earnest longing.'] " ixTroxcx,pado>iicc, vehemens desiderium, y.a- 
pa,h>i£iv, caput exserere spectatinn aliquid" Schleusner. " The 
ardent expectation even of the whole race of mankind consi- 
dered in general as God's creatures 3 earnestly desiring a bet- 
ter state than this, like a poor prisoner, who often puts his head 
out of the window of his jail, and looks for relief." Dr. Taylor j 
who observes from Dr. \\'hitby, that '' in the sacred dialect 
desire and expectation is ascribed to creatures in reference 
to the things they want, and which tend to their advantage, 
though they explicitly know nothing of them. Thus, the Mes- 
siah before he came is called the desire of all nations. Hag. 
ii. 7." 

^ Of the creation.'] kt'iosous- the word creation or the crea- 
ture in this text, I agree with Dr. Taylor in explaining of all 
mankind, and especially of the unbelieving world, see Mark 
xvi. IT), Col. i. 23 ; which interpretation he has justified in his 
notes. The various senses in which the word haa been under- 
stood in this passage by different expositors may be seen in 
Kosenmuller in loc. 

"* Manifestation of ilie sons of God.] aTfoxaXv^iv, x. r. A. 
i. e. the season when true believers shall be manifested to be 
indeed the sons of (iod by being ))ut into possession of the 
promised inheritance, Locke and W'akelield translate to the 
.sons of God, and sui)))ose a reference to tlie precechng verse, 
in which glory is mentioned as hereafter to be manifestc(l to true 
believers. That the genitive case is sometimes used objectively 
Mr. Locke argues, from Ilom. i. 5. tt sini. Either way the 
apostle's meaning is the same. 

Part III. ROMANS. Si:ct. 3. 171 

are at present excluded, will ultimately attain a si- Ch. viii. 

., ^ ^ Ver. 19. 

milar state. 

For the whole unchristianized world, in their 
present condition, are like prisoners in a dungeon, 
wishing and waiting for relief, and stretching out 
their necks from the window of their prison, look- 
ing and longing for their expected deliverer. 

Not indeed that they have correct ideas of their 
actual state, nor any explicit expectation of any 
thing better in reserve. But, bewildered in error, 
and enslaved to vice, they feel their misery, however 
ignorant of its cause, and have some title to hope, 
though they may not themselves be aware of it, that 
the benevolent and impartial Creator of all, who 
provides so munificently for the happiness of the 
virtuous behever who is taken into the relation of a 
son, will not ultimately forsake any of his rational 
and intelligent creatures. The happiness of those 
who are first chosen to salvation may be considered 
as a pledge and earnest of the eventual felicity of 
all mankind ; so that, as the first fruits are holy 
and happy, the whole mass shall in the end be holy 
and happy too. 

(For the creation ivas made subject to vanity ^ ; 20. 

* To vanihj.'] '' ro [LaroLiov, quodvis mutabile, caducum." 
Rosenmuller. The apostle plainly refers to the state into which 
mankind vvere brought by the Fall. I follow Locke, who in- 
cludes this verse in a parenthesis, except the two last words, 
which are connected with ver. 19. The creation waiteth, &c. in 
hope, that it shall itself be set free. Dr. Taylor objects, that this 
construction would imply, that all mankind wait, &c. j and 
such no doubt was the apostle's meaning, if l>e has any mean- 

172 Part III. R O M A N S. Sect. 3. 

Ch VIII. not wUfally ^ hut by reason of htm who made it 

^-•20- subject^.) 

And there is good reason why all mankind as 
well as believers should expect some improvement 
in their condition ; for, according to the account in 
the books of Moses, mankind were originally created 
innocent, happy, and immortal, but were soon re- 
duced to their present frail and degraded state, not 

iiijQ^ at all. His argument is, that as all mankind were brought 
into their present forlorn state, not by their own fault, but by 
the transgression of another, it is but reasonable that they 
should eventually be extricated from their miserable condition j 
and that the salvation of believers, who became such by no me- 
rit of their own, but by the free grace of God in giving privi- 
leges to them which were denied to others, is a good ground 
to hope that all will eventually be advanced to the same holy 
and happv state. — The argument here is similar to that in chap. 
V. 12. 

Observe, the apostle argues upon the assumption, that the 
Mosaic account of the Fall is historically true. But the argu- 
ment is equally valid, whether that narrative be an historical 
truth or an allegorical fiction. 

This is one of the strongest passages in the New Testament, 
in favour of the Universal Restoration of all mankind to virtue 
and hap])iness ; nor do I see what sense can be made of it upon 
any other interpretation. 

' Not ivUfuIbj.'] ovK mscra,. Compare Heb. x. 26, 2 Pet. iii. 
5. '* not by its ov/n criminal choice." Dr. Taylor. 

* On account or by reason of him ivJio made it suhject :'] ha,rov 
UTfora^avra. In consequence or upon occasion of Adam's sin, 
(lod subjected mankind to vanity. See Taylor, It is disputed 
who is the person intended by rov vT:(jra^a.vra,. Mr. Locke un- 
derstands it of tlie devil, who was the tempter j Dr. Taylor of 
(iod, wlio instituted the penalty and passed the sentence. The 
construction seems to require that Adam should be understood : 
q. d. mankind were made subject to vanity, not through their 
own voluntary act, but on account of the transgression of Adam j 
in which they had no concern, but which by the divine consti- 
tution involved in its conse(juences the whole human race. 
•* Propter crcatorem." RoscnmuUcr. 

Part HI. ROMANS. Sect. 3. 173 

by any voluntary act or fault of theirs, but by the Ch. viii. 
folly and transgression of their first ancestor ; in ' "^' 
consequence of which they were, by the awful sen- 
tence of God, made subject to sin and death. It 
seems equitable, therefore, that in due time they 
should be restored to their original state; and the 
reward which is promised to the virtuous believer is 
a pledge and foretaste of what is ultimately intended 
for all. And the painful consequences of their va- 
nity and folly in the present state, as they excite a 
wish of a better condition of existence, may be 
figuratively represented as an earnest, though vir- 
tual, expectation of it. Thus they wait. 

In hope, that even this very creation^ also shall 21. 
he delivered from the bondage of corruption, into 
the glorious liberty of the children of God, 

Having been placed by their wise and good Cre- 
ator in circumstances of such great natural and 
moral disadvantage, without any fault of their own, 
it is reasonable to expect that he will not leave them 
there to perish, and to curse their existence, but 

^ Even this very creation.'] See Wakefield. ^' y.oci avrrj oj Tcri- 
ctf " the expression is universal and emphatic. The self-same 
creation which suffered by the Fall, is to be set free from the 
bondage of corruption, and to receive the blessing of liberty. 
'' The creation itself," Dr. Taylor well observes, ^' is all man- 
kind, as well as Christians." But he adds, '' this is to be un- 
derstood of mankind only so far as, by answering the ends of 
their creation, they are prepared for immortality." It is ob- 
servable, however, that the apostle uses no siich.liniitation : he 
extends the promise to all who suffer by the Fall. All, without 
reserve, shall be brought into the glorious liberty of the chil- 
dren of God : ?. e. all shall be restored, first to vii-tue and then 
to happiness. 

174 Part III. ROMANS. Skct. 3. 

Ch. VIII. that he will ultimately advance them to a better 
and a happier state ; and the accession of true be- 
lievers (who without any antecedent merit were 
placed in circumstances of superior privilege,) to 
the happiness promised by the gospel, forms a 
strong moral presumption that even the unbeliev- 
ing worlds who without any fault of their own were 
naturally placed in a state of servitude to idolatry, 
and sin, and death, shall in their turn likewise be 
rescued from their cruel tyrants, be put into pos- 
session of their moral liberty, be adopted into the 
family of God, and be made partakers of the glori- 
ous and divine inheritance. 
22. /}>r we know that the tvhole creation groan- 
eth together, and is in labour together unto this 

And this in fact is all that I mean, when I state 
that the unbelieving world are longing after a bet- 
ter state of things. They have indeed no explicit 
expectation of it, nor have they any just ideas of the 
means by which they were brought into their pre- 
sent forlorn condition, or of the wise and merciful 
designs of God for their recovery and restoration. 
But they feel their ignorance, their weakness, and 
their misery ; and their wise men and philosophers 
are labouring, but to little purpose, to remedy the 
evil. They are as it were in the pangs and throes 
of child-birth ; and their moral state is so desperate 
that it seems almost to demand a divine interposi- 
tion to rescue his human offspring from destruction. 
Sucli is the present state of the heathen world, of 

Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 3, 4. \75 

which it is impossible that you who reside at Rome, Ch. virr. 
the imperial city, the chief seat of idolatry and vice, 
can be ignorant. 

Such are the glorious topics of consolation which 
the apostle suggests to his suffering friends, and by 
which he animates them to persevere in their at- 
tachment to the Christian faith. Not only are they 
encouraged to hope for a reward which will, beyond 
all comparison, outweigh their present sufferings, 
but they are taught to regard their own election to 
present privileges and their future exaltation to hap- 
piness, as an argument that all their brethren of 
mankind, not even excepting their enemies and 
their persecutors, will ultimately share in the same 
happiness and glory. For as he has proved in the 
former part of the epistle, that believers have been 
favoured with inestimable privileges without any 
antecedent merit, so he here argues, that it is 
but equitable that they who have been placed in 
circumstances of great moral disadvantage with- 
out any fault of their own, should eventually, in 
their turn, be advanced to the same privilege and 
happiness as their brethren ; so that the whole 
human race will in the end equally share in 
the love and favour of the great Universal Pa- 

4. The apostles themselves, and the primitive 
believers in Christ are in a similar state of suffering 
and persecution, ver. 23. 

^nd not only they, hut ourselves also, inho have 23. 

176 Part III. R O M A N S. Sect. 4. 

Ch. vrii. the first fruits of the spirit^, even we^ groan ivithin 
ourselves, ivaithigfor the adoption, that is, the re- 
demption of our body^. 

And further, that you may not be discouraged 
by the sufferings you are called to endure, remem- 
ber that you are not only fellow-sufferers with the 
unbelieving world, and with the mass of believers 
in general, but that we who are the apostles of 
Christ, and all those who are now living who saw 
Christ in the flesh, who conversed with him, who 
were witnesses to his resurrection, and participated 
in the earliest communication of the holy spirit, 
though we occupy the most honourable and the 
most important stations in his service, and are vete- 
rans in his cause, have no pre-eminence of exemp- 
tion from suffering ; on the contrary, our sufferings 
are uninterrupted and uncommonly severe, so that 
we have no consolation under incessant troubles of 
body and mind, but that of looking forward, with 
ardent expectation, to the glorious period when our 

' TJie frsf frnifs of the spirit :'] i.e. the apostles, and they to 
whom the spirit was communicated on the day of Pentecost. 
Or possibly, those believers who were favoured with the gifts of 
tlie holy s])irit ; which were the first fruits and the earnest of 
the promised inheritance, and which had not yet been commu- 
nicated generally to the believers at Rome, 

• Even we.'] Dr. Taylor has offered some good reasons to 
prove, that St. Paul by this expression alludes to the apostles 
and the earliest converts to the Christian faith. 

' Of our Ixxhj :'] i. e. our whole person. See ch. xii. 1. Re- 
demption, " airo^urpujcrt^, est liberatio ah inronimodo (iIkjuo, hoc 
inrommodum rou (ruji^oLro^ ipso cjusfragilitas. Ah hoc fragi' 
litnte, corpu.t- liherohihtr von in morte, sed in resurrectione. 1 Cor. 
XV, 42, &c." Rosen muller. See 2 Cor. iv. 17, v, 1 — 4. 

Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 4,5. 17/ 

privilege as children of God, and onr title to the Ch. virr. 
heavenly inheritance, shall be fully acknowledged ^'^^'' ^'^' 
by our resurrection to immortal life and happiness. 
It is worthy of remark here, that the consolation 
of the apostle and of the primitive believers, was 
derived, not from the hope of an intermediate state 
between death and the resurrection, of which they 
appear to have entertained no expectation, but from 
the hope of a resurrection, which indeed they pro- 
bably anticipated as very near at hand. 

5. As hope was the first inducement to the pro- 
fession of the Christian religion, so it ought to re- 
concile the true believer to patient expectation of 
its glorious object, ver. 24, 25. 

Moreover^ ive luere saved^ by this hope. 24. 

As a further consideration to reconcile our minds 
to a suffering state, I would observe that the gospel 
does not promise immediate possession of perfect 
happiness, it only excites a hope of a future resur- 
rection to a glorious and immortal life; and it was 
this hope that induced you to renounce the error 
and idolatry of your heathen state. 

But hope that is attained^ is no longer hope. 

^ We were saved.'] sa-cv^YitMsv. Wakefield renders it, *"'' we were 
saved under this hope." To be saved is to be rescued from our 
former state of bondage and to be introduced into the liberty 
of the Christian community. This hope is the hope of the 
"" redemption of the body," a resurrection to an immortal life 
and happiness. This glorious hope was our inducement to em- 
brace the Christian religion, and is our support under all our 
trials and persecutions. 

* Hope that is attained.'] Gr. '' seen." See Wakefield. 
VOL. I. N 

178 Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 5, 6. 

Ch. VIII. for what any one has attained, how can he yet hope 
^^' " ' for P 

As the gospel only professes to excite hope, it 
would be unreasonable to be dissatisfied if this hope 
be not immediately fulfilled ; for the attainment of 
the object of hope would produce a total change 
in the state of the believer. Hope would then be 
converted into possession, and would cease to be, 
what it now is, the ruling principle of the Christian 

25. JBirt if we hope for what lue have not attained, 
then do we ivith patience ^ wait for it. 

If we entertain a reasonable hope of some future 
advantage, we make up our minds to wait till the 
proper season comes, and we are not childishly 
fretful and impatient if we are not put into posses- 
sion before the regular and appointed time. So let 
us act in the Christian life, and, animated by a well- 
founded hope of joy unspeakable in a future state of 
existence, let us bear the evils of the present time 
with fortitude and resignation. 

6. This spirit of patience and of hope qualifies 
the prayers of true believers in Christ, and renders 
them acceptable to God, ver. 20, 27. 

26. Fart] termor e '^, this spirit also assists 3 our infir- 

» Do ice with patience wait.'] " oLKey.h'XJ'j^i^cL pro Ssi airsx.- 
Scysa-^oLiy Doederlein apud Rosenmuller. " let us wait with 
patience." Wakefield ; who says, tliat this sense is favoured 
by the Arabic Version. 

' Furthermore.'] " aj(roLvr(^jg, prcvterray Rosenmuller. Dr. 
Taylor says, ** lliis word always in NT., sipiifies in like man- 
ner, agreeably to what is mentioned just betbrc." 

Part III. ROMANS. Sect. G. 179 

mit'ies ; for we know not what to pray for as we Ch. viir. 
ought 4 ; but this spirit itself intercedes for us with ^^' ' 
groans that are not expressed^. But he who 27. 
searcheth the heart knoweth the mind of the spi^ 
rit 6, because it intercedes for the saints according 
to the will of God'^. 

The spirit which the apostle here intends, is that 
which he had just described, the spirit of hope, of 
patience^ and of resignation, which are the leading 
virtues of the Christian character. 

By a figure, not unusual with the apostle, he per- 
sonifies these virtues, and represents them as inter- 
ceding with God in secret groans for those who ai'e 

^ Ass'ists7\ a-vva,yri\ai/.^xv£rai, joins by taking up the bur- 
den at the other end : " Personificatur ro 'irvsufji^oc ut diJ^ccprix 
supra, c. vii. 1 7 — 20. Sensus est, ipse ille animus noster Chris- 
tlanusy quo Deiim veneramur et amamus, nobis affert magnum 
fructum et solatium in calamitatihus.'' Rosenmuller. *' The 
spirit lendeth us his helping hand," Doddridge. 

^ We know not, &c.] " Scspe incidere casus ubi Christiani, re- 
hus pressL adversis, nesciant quomodo voluntati Dei conformare 
debeant preces suas, an gravitatem miseriarum deprecan, anvero 
patienter ferre debeant, qu/p s'lbi contingant voluntaie Dei.'* 

^ Groans that are not expressed."] " Suspiriis tacitis, i. e. per 
breves mentis cogitationes, quum dicimus, Deus Pater, tibiper- 
mitto res vieas,*' &c. Rosenmuller. 

° The mind of the spirit.'] (ppovy)[jLX, the temper and disposi- 
tion of mind, Comp, ver. 6. This expression is very intelligi- 
ble if it refers to the inward feelings of the true believer j but 
it is difficult to give it a proper sense if it applies to God him- 
self, or to a subordinate spirit acting upon the human mind. 
'^ He knows, that is, he discerns and approves." Amos iii. 2 j 
Ps.i. 6; Rom. xi.2j 1 Pet. i. 2. 

' According to the will of God.] " Nihil aliud expetimus a 
Deo, nisi quod sit KXtx Qaov, congruat cum consilio Dei.'' Ro- 


ISO Part III. ROMANS. Sect. G. 

Ch. VIII. at a loss to know what to ask for themselves. Thus 
the spirit is said to assist their infirmities. 

Without the aid of this spirit, human nature 
would grow impatient under trials and sufferings, 
and would be importunate for relief. But hope 
and patience, the hope of the gospel, and that pa- 
tient fortitude which is generated by Christian prin- 
ciples, restrain the temper, and though they can- 
not stupify the feelings, nor suppress the sigh, yet 
they humble the spirit in the presence of God, they 
restrain intemperate language, and they bow the 
mind into calm and quiet subjection to the divine 
visitations, and into a humble and dutiful acquies- 
cence in the present state of suffering and trial, till 
the appointed season of deliverance comes. 

And that great Being who is acquainted with 
the secrets of all hearts, sees all that passes in the 
mind of his suffering servants ; he knows all their 
trials and how heavily they press upon them, and 
he sees and approves all their silent resignation and 
their patient hope: nor will he suffer this excellent 
spirit to go without its due reward. 

For this spirit intercedes for his chosen and de- 
voted servants agreeably to his own will ; or, in 
other words, God is better pleased with this silent 
dutiful resignation to his will, and hope in his mercy, 
than he would be with the most clamorous impor- 
tunity for relief. 

This interpretation of the text appears to me to 
be by far the most just, spirited, and appropriate, 
and it solves every difliculty. The apostle could 

Part III. ROMANS. Sect. ^,1. 181 

not, by the spirit in this connexion, mean the gifts Ch, vin. 
of the holy spirit, for of these the Roman Chris- ^^* ' ' 
tians did not then generally participate; and it would 
be extremely difficult to make sense of the passage, 
if by the spirit we should understand, as most inter- 
preters do^ a divine influence, or, that of any infe- 
rior agent upon the mind, to direct believers in their 
prayers. How can God, or any spirit subordinate 
to the Supreme, be said to make intercession for 
the saints with unutterable groans ? 

7. The apostle adds, as a further topic of conso- 
lation, the assurance, that to true believers in Christ 
all things co-operate for good, ver. 28. 

And lue knoiu that all things co-operate for good 28, 
to those luho love God^ to those who are invited ac- 
cording to his purpose. 

Whatever sufferings and persecutions it may be 
our lot to endure, there is one consideration which 
may well allay all discontent and reconcile us to our 
condition. We are assured, beyond all reasonable 

^ Most interpreters,'] even without excepting Mr, Locke and 
Dr. Taylor. The interpretation which I have given is that of 
RosenmuUer, who refers to a German divine named Junckheim^ 
in a work published A.D. 1775. Dr. Priestley also gives a simi- 
lar interpretation : '" By spirit in this place," says Dr. P. "" is 
not to be understood the holy spirit, properly so called, or the 
power of working miracles, but that principle of a new life 
v/hich the apostle supposes to be introduced by the gospel, in 
opposition to the flesh, or the principle by means of which men 
are subject to death and liable to condemnation. The workings 
of this spirit, or new principle, though we cannot always ex- 
press them in words, the apostle s lys that God knows and ap- 
proves 3 so that it may be considered as something within uqi 
T-hat pleads with God for us." 

182 Part III. ROMANS. Sect. /, 8. 

Ch. vill. doubt, that all the circumstances of our present 
state of trial are ordered in wisdom and mercy; all 
shall contribute to prove, refine, and confirm the 
virtues of the Christian character, so that no suffer- 
ing of any kind or degree shall be permitted which 
shall not be overruled to a greater good, provided 
that we persevere in our Christian profession, and 
having been invited into the Christian community 
by the free mercy of God, agreeably to his eternal 
plan of wisdom and benevolence, we manifest our 
sense of his distinguishing kindness by loving him 
with all our hearts and devoting our lives to his 

8. The apostle having alluded to the eternal pur- 
pose of God in the gracious dispensation of the 
gospel, proceeds to state, that all his plan of mercy 
shall be carried into complete effect, and that all who 
are included in his wise and benevolent design, shall 
be justified in this life and shall be made happy for 
ever, ver. 29, 30. 

29. For those whom he foreknew he also predesti- 
nated io be conformed to the image of his so7i, that 
he might be the first-horn among many brethren; 

30. and luhom he predestinated, those he hath also in- 
vited; and whom he hath invited, those he hath also 

justified; and whom he hath justified, those he hath 
also glorified. 

The eternal foreknowledge of God, and his free 
choice of the Hebrew nation to be his peculiar peo* 
pie, of his own good pleasure, independent of all 

Part III. R O M A N S. Sect. 8. 

antecedent merit of their own, is a topic much in- 
sisted upon in the Old Testament ; and, being fa- 
miliar to the pious Jews, it is very naturally and 
frequently applied, by the writers of the New Testa- 
ment, to the case of those who were invited and 
admitted into the Christian community ; and Paul 
having been educated among the Pharisees, who 
were strict predestinarians appears to have retained 
a pecuhar partiality to this doctrine, and frequently 
introduces it in a way which, though strictly true 
and perfectly consistent with the divine character, 
and with the most enlightened philosophy, is, never- 
theless, by many, thought to be unguarded, and even 
dangerous to good morals. It has also excited, in 
the minds of some, a most unreasonable prejudice 
against the apostle's waitings ; while others have 
endeavoured to vindicate him, by interpreting his 
words in a sense which they will not bear. 

The apostle however, in this instance, needs no 
apology. His assertions will be found to be strictly 
true; though they may perhaps require explana- 
tion, to guard against consequences to which pos- 
sibly he did not advert. 

For those whom he foreknew, \vq predestinated io 
be conformed to the image of his son J. 

^ ^^ This," says Dr. Taylor, ^' is the foundation, and this is 
the finishing, of the wonderful scheme. The foundation is the 
free purpose of God's grace ; the finishing is our conformity 
in glory to the Son of God." He agrees with Mr. Locke, that 
the apostle, in this passage and to the end of the chapter, 
has a principal view to the encouragement of the Gentile 

Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 8. 

From the ages of eternity, when the whole plan 
of providence was present to the Divine mind, hav- 
ing decreed that at the destined period Jesus of Na- 
zareth should appear in the world, as the deliverer 
of mankind from ignorance and idolatry, from vice 
and misery ; and that he should be raised from the 
dead, and put into possession of an everlasting in- 
heritance, God at the same time foresaw, that it 
would be right that some should believe in him, 
should become his disciples, and participate in his 
reward : and upon this foresight he did from the be- 
ginning determine to introduce into existence a cer- 
tain number of human beings^ and to place them in 
those circumstances and to expose them to those in- 
fluences which would produce the effect required, of 
forming them to a resemblance to Christ, both in 
his character and state. 

That he might he thejirst-horn among many hre* 
thren ^ . 

Or, in other words, that he who was the first- 
born might not stand alone, or be one of a small 
number only ; but that many, a great multitude, 
yea eventually the whole human race, might attain 
the same character and the same happiness. 

* That heviight be the first-born, &:c.] The apostle here ex- 
presses his meaning indirectly. Believers are predestinated, 
not that Christ might be the first-born, for that he is by his re- 
surrection from the dead, Col. i, 18 ; but that he, being the first- 
born, might have many brethren. A similar phraseolog)^ occurs. 
Gal. iii. 22 : " The scri])ture hath concluded all under sin, that 
the promise by faith of Jesus (Huist might be given to those 
who believe :" where the apostle's meaning })lainly is, tliat nono 
but those who believe should be entitled to the promise. 

Part III. R O M A N S. Sect. 8. 185 

And luliom he predestinated^ them he also in- Ch. viii. 
vkedK """■ ''■ 

All who are predestinated to salvation by Christ, 
either have been or in due time will be so invited 
to accept of the reasonable terms and the gracious 
offers of the gospel ; they either have had or shall 
have such means of information of their under- 
standings and conviction of their judgement, and 
shall have such motives applied to their affections 
and will, that they either have been, or will be, in- 
duced sincerely and practically to admit the truth 
of the gospel^ to acknowledge Christ as their mas- 
ter, and to govern their conduct by the views and 
principles of the gospel. 

y4?id whom he hath invited, them he hath also 

All those who have been, or, who will be, induced 
to accept the invitation of the gospel, of whatever 
nation or profession, whether Jew or Gentile, will 
be admitted into the new covenant, they will be 
acknowledged as the reconciled and holy people of 
God, and will be entitled to all the privileges which 
were once peculiar to the Hebrew nation ; and if 
they are practical believers they sh^U in due sea- 
son be acknowledged as liis children and be put 
into possession of the promised inheritance. 

And whom he hathjicstified, these he hath also 

* Invited.'] " called by his preachers ; justified by admission 
into covenant with him ^ glorified intentionally." Newcorae. 
^ Glorified. ] " This^" says Dr. Doddridge, '' is a memorable 

186 Part III. R OMAN S. Sect. S. 

Ch. VIII. Tliey who in the eternal councils of the Almighty 
are foreknown as those who will accept the offers, 
and comply with the terms of the gospel, are by the 
eternal decree of God ordained to eternal life : it is 
determined that they shall enter into the joy of their 
Lord, and shall be with him where he is. And 
so certain is it that the purpose and the promise of 
God shall be fulfilled, that though ages of ages may 
possibly intervene, it may nevertheless be spoken 
of as already accomplished in the view of that all- 
comprehending Being to whom things which are 
not are as though they were, and in whose sight a 
thousand years are as one day. 

Observe here, that the apostle speaks very fami- 
liarly of an event which exists only in the eternal 
immutable purpose of God as having actually taken 
place, even though it had not then, nor has yet come 
to pass. They who were foreknown, and predesti- 
nated, and invited^ and justified, are also said to be 
glorified ; that is, in the divine decree, which at the 
appointed time will assuredly be fulfilled : which 
to the all-comprehending mind of God appear as 
though they actually existed, in reference to which 
things that are not are spoken of as though they 

Let it not then be said, that those Christians per- 

instancc, and there arc scores and perliaps liiindreds more, in 
which things that shall certainly and speedily be done are 
spolien of as done already." See Improved Vers, in loc. whom 
he justified, them he also glorified : " viz. in his purpose." 
Locke. *' and whom he hatli justified, those he hath in pur^ 
pose glorified also." Newcome. 

Part 111. ROMANS. Sect. 8, 9. 187 

vert the plain language of scripture, who understand Ch. viir. 
our Lord's assertion of his existence before the time 
of Abraham, and of the glory which he had with 
the Father before the world was, as an existence and 
a glory which he possessed only in the divine de- 
cree ; for if it is quite necessary, in the case before 
us, to interpret the glorification of true believers as 
an event hitherto only existing in the divine mind, 
it is equally reasonable to explain the existence and 
glory attributed to Christ, as existing only in the 
divine decree. And it is only by a calm compari- 
son of the language of scripture in different passages, 
and a familiar acquaintance with scripture phraseo- 
logy, that the true meaning of the sacred writers can 
be satisfactorily elicited. 

The apostle suggests this gracious and immuta- 
ble purpose of God for the salvation of true believ- 
ers, as a consideration which might reconcile the 
minds of those who are thus predestinated, invited, 
and justified, to the difficulties and sufferings of an 
intermediate state of persecution and trial ; and 
surely no topic could be better adapted to soothe 
and tranquiUize the mind, and to reduce it to a com- 
plete acquiescence in the divine appointments. 

9. Tlie apostle concludes this portion of his dis- 
course with expressing his admiration of the un- 
speakable goodness of God, in the gift of his son ; 
and his cheerful conviction, that as nothing can ali- 
enate the love of God from the true believer, so 
that nothing shall alienate the heart of the believer 

188 Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 9. 

Ch.viii. from the love of God, and Christ, and the gospel, 

Ver. 30. o i on 

ver. ol — oV. 

[1.] Since God is their friend, and has given 
lip his son for them, all things are theirs, ver. 31, 

31. What t1 ten shall ive say to these things? If 
God be for ns, ivho is against us ? 

And now, my brethren, what can I add to what 
I have already said, to assure you of your admission 
into the new covenant, and to reconcile you to the 
difficulties of a suffering state ? If God be for us, 
as I have proved that he is ; if he acknowledges us 
as his people and his children, as I have proved 
that he does ; who is against us ? who will dare to 
dispute our claim, or what apprehension need we 
entertain of danger, even from adversaries the most 
powerful and malignant ? They can never invalidate 
our title to the love of God, nor hurt us while we 
are under the protection of omnipotence. 

32 He luho spared not his own son, but delivered him 
up for us all^, how shall he not luith Jam also freely 
give us all things 9 

Why should we doubt the mercy of God .^ why 
should we hesitate at the accomplishment of his 
promises, however rich and wonderful .^ He has 
done that for us which we could least have expect- 
ed : he has sent Jesus, tlu* son of his love, the ho- 
liest and best of men, and the greatest of the pro- 

* For us ail.'] " Gentiles as well as Jews," Lockc^ New-» 

Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 9. 189 

phets, to proclaim the joyful tidings, to publish the Ch. vin. 
new covenant, to invite all without distinction to ^^^ ' ^^' 
come to him for rest ; and more than this, he de- 
livered him up to his enemies to put him to a pub- 
lic and ignominious death, to seal his doctrine with 
his blood, and to open the way to life : can you, 
after this, doubt whether God is sincere ? will he 
not now fulfill all his promises, and exceed all your 
hopes ? 

[2.] No charge can be made good against the 
chosen people of God, so as to put them out of the 
pale of his covenant, and to alienate his love from 
them, ver. 33, 34. 

JVko shall accuse the chosen of God? JVill 33. 
God ? he who justifieth them 2 ? 

After this glorious display of the mercy of God 
to all who believe in Jesus, Gentiles as well as Jews, 
who will now say that they who are thus chosen to 
salvation shall be excluded from the holy commu- 
nity of the people of God, for not complying with 
the ceremonial laiv, or for any other supposed of- 
fence ? Will God, who alone has a right to judge 

2 Will God, &c.] '^ I here follow;' says Dr. Doddridge, 
" the pointing proposed by the learned and ingenious Dr. 
Sam. Harris in his Observations, (p. 54, 5.5,) which greatly il- 
lustrates the spirit of this passage, and shows how justly that 
author adds, that it is remarkably in the grand manner of 
Demosthenes. " This," says Archbishop Newcome, '' is the 
punctuation of Augustin, quoted by Lardner, Cred. part II. vol. 
X. 288 ; and of Locke." It is adopted by Newcome, by Gries- 
bach, and many others. '' Who shall be the prosecutor of those 
whom God hath chosen?" Locke. 

190 Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 9. 

Ch. VIII. in the case, impute this omission as a crime, and 
^^'*' ^^" cast tliem out of his covenant ? What ! God, the 
immutable Being ! who first chose them for his peo- 
ple, and who now declares them to be justified in 
his sight by faith only, without the works of the 
law ! What can be more absurd than such a sup- 
position ? And who shall dare to accuse, if God 
justifies and acquits ? 
34. Who is he that cojidemneth? is it Christ? he 
ivho died? Yea rather, tvho hath even been raised ? who is even at the right hand of God^ ? 
tvho is even interposing '^ for us ? 

Who will presume to exclude those from the 
community of the people of God, whom God him- 
self has chosen and justified ? All judgement is 
committed to the Son. Will Christ condemn 

* Uight hand of God!] The place of dignity and authority. 
To suppose that a local situation is alluded to, which, however, 
it is too probable that many do contemplate, is gross anthropo- 
morphitism. " Eex regiun, dominus dominantium. Id enim per 
deiteram Dei sign'ificatur" Grotius^ who refers to his note 
upon Matt. xx.21. 

^ Interposing^ '' maketh intercession." Public Version. 
'*" intercedeth." Newcomej who observes, that ^^ the word 
may be understood of intercessory prayer." " He manageth 
our concerns for us." Wakefield. " Kvrvyyjxvuj, proprie, adeOy 
convenio uliqueni quacnnque de causa. Act. xxvii. 24. (2) pre- 
cihus alujuem adeo. avr. uitzp rivog, sensu forensi, causam aiicu- 
jus agere et commendarc ; sim})liciter, interccdere pro aliquo, pro 
comrnodo aUcnjas fac.ere aliquid, adjiivare, opem ferre. Rom. 
viii. 27, 34 ; Ileb. vii. 25." Schleusner. 

The word intercede is a])])licd to (Mn-ist only twice in the New 
Testament: and it is so obvious that it })ropei-ly signifies nothing 
more than to act for the adviuitage of another, that it is sur- 
prising to think how a do(-trine so mysterious and unscriptural 
as tlie popular doctrine of Christ's intercession, could be erect- 
ed upon so slender a founchition. 

Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 9. 191 

whom God accepts ? ^Yhat ! Christ ! he who died Ch. viir. 
to reconcile sinners to God ! yea, who was raised 
again to establish their justification, and to prove 
the validity of the new covenant ? Yea, who as- 
cended to heaven, and is now invested with autho- 
rity over the church, and who is ever watchful over 
its interests, appointing and directing its ministers, 
and qualifying them for their work by the gifts of 
the holy spirit ? And if Christ, the appointed judge, 
does not pass sentence upon those who are chosen 
and accepted through faith alone, shall any presume 
to wrest his authority out of his hand, and to con- 
demn those whom God has chosen, and whom 
Christ acknowledges ? for whom he died and rose 
again ? and whom he has taken under his immedi- 
ate care ? 

Being placed at the right hand of God is a phrase 
expressive of dignity and authority, and the word 
translated intercede, which is applied to our Lord 
in this passage, and in the epistle to the Hebrews 
(ch. vii. 25), expresses not merely praying for an- 
other, but any kind of interposition on his account. 
The apostle here seems to refer to that sensible au- 
thority which Christ exercised over the church in 
the apostolic age, and particularly to the commu- 
nication of the holy spirit. These personal inter- 
positions and communications of the spirit were 
withdrawn when the apostles closed their commis- 
sion. But it by no means follows that our Lord is 
not personally present at all times with his church, 
superintending and managing its concerns, though 

192 Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 9, 

Ch.viii. in an invisible and imperceptible manner, so as not 

"' to authorize personal addresses to him. And in this 

sense it may truly be said, thathe ever lives tointercede 

for us ; to interpose in the concerns of the church, 

and to promote its prosperity and success. 

[3.] As nothing can alienate God from his chosen 
people, so the apostle expresses his confidence, that 
no difficulties, no persecutions, either present or to 
come, shall alienate their affections from God, and 
Christ, and the gospel, ver. 35 — 39. 

35. JVho shall separate us from the love of Christ ? 
After all this rich display of divine mercy in 

choosing us, in saving us, in justifying us freely 
against every accuser, in placing us under the care 
and enrolling us in the community of Christ, our 
great leader and kind intercessor, who, or what, is 
there that can tempt us to apostatize from his ser- 
vice, and to forfeit our allegiance ? 

Shall tribulation, or imprisonment ^, or persecu^ 
tion 2, or hunger, or nakedness, or peril, or sivord P 

36. (yls it is written. For thy sake we are killed all 
ihe day long^^: ive are accounted as sheep for the 
slaughter^.) Nay, in all these things tve are more 
than conquerors, tkrougli Jiim who loved us. 


^ Tmprisoumant.'] rcvoycvpicx,. Comp. 2 Cor. xii. 10. See 

* Persecution.'] 8icvy[jios' *' wrongful usage." Wakefield. 

^ ^11 the chnj louf^.] " oAr// rijv r^ixspOLv. Morth pcricnio expo- 
siti sumus quotidicy UosenmuUer. We are daily exposed to 
the danger of death. 

"* Destined for Hie alait^hler.'] See Doddridge. 

Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 9. 193 

As disciples of Christ, we are liable to troubles Ch. vni. 
of every kind, we are exposed to imprisonment, to ^^' ^^' 
barbarous usage, to be deprived of food and cloth- 
ing, to a variety of dangers, and to the sword of the 
e^iecutioner ; so that the words of the Psalmist con- 
cerning his countrymen, Ps. xliv. 2*2, describing the 
cruelty of their enemies in their captivity, are lite- 
rally applicable to the state of believers in Christ, 
that they are every moment exposed to a violent 
death like innocent and unresisting sheep who are 
reserved for the knife. But shall these dangers, 
shall these sufferings, shall death itself, whatever 
form of horror it may wear, tempt us to desert our 
Christian profession, and to forsake our beloved 
master? God forbid. Nay, so far are we from 
being intimidated by these terrors which set them- 
selves in array against us, we even bid them a proud 
defiance ; we trample them under our feet, we tri- 
umph over them all, in the name of our great Mas- 
ter, who loved us and who gave himself for us, 
who hath set us a glorious example of suffering 
virtue, and has infused into us those principles and 
that spirit which enable us to make light of every 
danger and of every suffering in his sacred cause. 

Foi' I am persuaded, that neither death nor life, 38. 
7ior angels, nor jmncipalitieSy nor poiuers ^, 7ior 

* Nor angels, &c.] are ayyzXoi, k. r. A. Locke and many 
other commentators understand the latter words, principalities 
and powers, of the civil magistrate ; but they seem puzzled how 
to interpret the word angels, which, however, they generally ex- 
plain, of evil angels, — '* Nor the temptations of the most power- 
ful evil angels, if we were actually exposed to them." Newcome. 

VOL. I. O ^'^•^^^^P'^ 

194 Part III. II O M A N S. Skct. 0. 

Ch. VIII. fhins:s present, nor thins'S to come, nor height, 

Ver 39 o » 

nor depth, nor any other creature \ shall he able 
to separate us from the love of God, ivhich is m 
Christ Jesus our Lord, 

I am justified in using this triumphant language, 
because I feel a firm and a joyful confidence, that 
there is nothing formidable in death, and nothing 
alluring in life ; that there is nothing which the ec- 
clesiastical or the civil power can say or do, to in- 
timidate or to persuade; that there is nothing which 
we are now suffering or can hereafter suffer ; that 
there is no extreme of any kind, whether of prospe- 
rity or adversity; in short, that there is no imagin- 
able consideration which now can, or ever will be 
able to influence us to abandon our Christian pro- 
fession, or to forego those exalted privileges, those 
precious promises, and those glorious hopes, of 
which we are now in possession, through the infinite 
mercy of God revealed by our blessed Lord and 
Master Jesus Christ, whose disciples it is our glory 
to profess ourselves, and whose authority we never 
will renounce. 

Perliaps the apostle means nothing more than the civil and ec- 
clesiastical ])owcrs. 'ITic same expression seems to be applied, 
1 Pet. iii. 22, to denote the Jewish hierarchy. In a similar 
sense similar expressions appear to be used by tlie apostle, 
Eph. i. 20, 21, vi. 12 j see Locke's Notes, Col. il. 15. In the 
Apocalypse, the angels of tlie seven cliurches are commonly 
understood to l)e the ministers of the churches ; and in the first 
chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, angels probably sigiwfy 
former propiiets and messengers of God. See Wakefield and the 
Improved Version hi loc. 

* Creature'] " Kri(n$, any other matter." Newcomc.-^" Ncc 
res ulla alia.'' Grotius. 

Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 9. 195 

In this eloquent paragraph it is obvious to re- Ch. VIII. 
mark, how plainly the apostle warns the Christian 
converts of the dangers and sufferings to which they 
exposed themselves by the profession of the Chris- 
tian faith. It was no trifling concern for a person 
to avow himself a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth. 
He must be prepared to make great sacrifices, to 
endure great hardships, and to expose even life it- 
self to the utmost hazard : and yet converts in- 
creased every day. How convincing must have been 
that evidence which could overpower the most inve- 
terate prejudices, and induce men to embrace the 
Christian doctrine in circumstances so unfavourable ! 

We may further remark, that those greatly mis- 
take the sense of the apostle who deduce from his 
words what is commonly called the doctrine of per- 
severance ; by which they mean, that if a person 
has once been sincerely virtuous, he will never fi- 
nally apostatize and perish. This is a very dan- 
gerous tenet, contrary both to daily sad experience 
and to the plainest declarations of scripture. The 
apostle does indeed express his joyful confidence, 
that he and his fellow- christians at Rome should 
never be either seduced or terrified into apostasy 
from Christ. But this is a very different case from 
the doctrine I am now stating, which probably ne- 
ver entered into the apostle's mind. 

I shall close this portion of the epistle with the 
judicious and forcible remarks of Dr. Taylor: 
" The conclusion of this chapter/' says he, " is 

\9G Part III. ROMANS. Sect. 9. 

Ch.Viii. the most elegant and sublime piece of writing I 
remember ever to have read. It is founded on the 
grand and solid principles of the gospel. It breathes 
the true spirit of Christian magnanimity ; raises 
our minds far above all things created, and shows 
in a bright and heavenly view the greatness of soul, 
and the strong consolation which the gospel in- 
spires. God grant it may stand clear before our 
understandings, and be transcribed into all our 
hearts ! They who despise the gospel, despise all 
that is great and glorious and happy." 



OF god's ancient PEOPLE. Ch. ix — xi. 


Cli. IX. 77ic (ijHhSllc (tnmmnccs and vindicates the present 
rejection of the J^ews^ and the invitation and ad- 
viission of helievinij^ Gentiles to the character and 
privilei:^es (f the people of God, Ch. ix. x. 


Tlie apostle, with great delicacy and great reluc- 
tance, but with great seriousness and solemnity, 

Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. i. 197 

announces the present rejection of his countrymen Ch. ix. 
from their state of covenant with God, ch. ix. 

/ declare the truth in Christ i : I do not speak Ver. l. 
falsely, my conscience bearing testimony with me 
that it is in the holy spirit ' . 

As the apostle of the Gentiles, I now announce 
a melancholy truth, which I have in charge from 
Christ: I solenmJy assure you it is no forgery of 
mine; my conscience bears its testimony, that the 
awful purpose has been revealed to me by the holy 

That I have great grief and incessant pain in 2. 

my heart, (for I myself once gloried in being an 3. 

alien from Christ^,) on account of my brethren^ 
my kinsmen according to the flesh. 

^ ^' In Christ,'' '' in the holy spirit .-"I i. e. by authority from 
Christ — revealed by the spirit, " as a disciple of Christ — as 
one enlightened by the holy spirit," Newcome. 

® For I myself, &c.] *' for I also was once an alien from 
Christ." Wakefield ; to whom we are indebted for the elucida- 
tion of this difficult passage, which most, if not all the critics 
who preceded him seem to have totally misunderstood. He 
illustrates the phrase by the EL'%oaa; sivcci of Homer, " I pro- 
fess myself to be :" and justly adds^ " this solution makes the 
passage rational and plain, ' 

'O^ yvv vroAAov apis'og zvi §-pa,7'u) svy(^sfo(,i sivcci. 

Iliad. A. v, 91. 73. 

Achilles here contemptuously represents Agamemnon as 
boasting of his superiority to the other chiefs : so the apostle 
not only was an alien from Christ, but he gloried in his enmity 
to him, and in being a savage persecutor of his disciples. It is 
this circumstance that he now reflects upon with deep regret 5 
and laments that so many of his beloved countrymen are actu- 
ated by the same spirit. Archbishop Newcome renders the clause, 
" I could wish that I myself were accursed by Christ." Dodd- 

198 Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. i. 

Ch. IX. I am indeed unwilling to name it; for my heart 
^^' ' is filled with anguish at the recollection which con- 
tinually haunts me, which indeed is never absent 
from my thoughts : namely, that the great mass 
of my countrymen, my brethren of the Jewish na- 
tion, are now, what I once madly boasted myself to 
be, aliens from Christ and his doctrine, haters of 
his name ; and thus excluded from all the benefits 
of the new covenant. Such is indeed their misera- 
ble state. 

The delicacy of the apostle's address upon this 
occasion is very striking. He begins with the so- 
lemn annunciation of a message from God. And 
what does he announce ? Apparently nothing more 
than this : That he having once been an enemy to 
the gospel and excluded from its benefits, is now 
full of trouble and anguish on account of his coun- 
trymen; and there he stops, leaving it to the reader 
to judge what was the cause of the distress which 
he then felt, and which it was too painful for him to 
name explicitly. 

The apostle calls the Jews his kinsmen " accord- 

ridge, after Waterland, renders it, '' after the example of 
Christ," 2 Tim. i. 3 : both very far from the simplicity and per- 
tinence of Wakefield, whose interpretation appears to be con- 
firmed by a similar phraseology, (ial. iv. 12, which in the com- 
mon version stands " be as I am, for I am as ye «re;" which 
hardly makes sense. '' Fivec-Qe wg sycu, ori y.oiya) ujc, J^e/;- " 
*' Be as I now am, for I once, was as you «o?y are-," that is, alien- 
ated from Christ and his doctrine, and attached to the rites and 
ceremonies of the law. I have long seen my error, and felt the 
benefit of the change: may you see yours, and act and profit 
as I have done. 

Paut IV. R O M A N S. Sect. I. i. 199 

ing to the flesh ;" by which every reader understands, Ch. ix. 
his natural relations : nor does any one imagine that ^^^* ^' 
he has any secret reference to supernatural kindred. 
Let this be remembered, when the same language 
is applied to Christ. 

The apostle now proceeds to enumerate the pri- 
vileges of God's ancient people, the original pos- 
session of which greatly aggravates the disgrace and 
misery of their present rejection. 

JVho are Israelites ^ . Who have the honour of 4. 

being descended fronl him v/ho was chosen before 
he was born, to be the heir of the promise ; and to 
whom a name was given as a pledge of the divine 

Whose is the adoption. Who are called sons of 
God ; being as it were new born, by their deliver- 
ance from the servitude of Egypt, and their inhe- 
ritance of the land of Canaan, which God had pro- 
mised to their forefathers. Hos. xi. 1. 

And the glory. Who were honoured with a vi- 
sible symbol of the divine presence ; first, in the 
pillar of cloud and fire which directed their march 

^ Mlio are Israelites.'] " who are the descendants of Israel, 
the adopted sons of God^ Exod. iv. 22, 23 5 among whom God 
displayed the glorious symbol of his presence ; with whom he 
entered into covenant by Abraham and Moses, see Eph. ii. 12 j 
to whom he gave the law of the two tables, and aftenvard the ce- 
remonial ordinances 5 to whom illustrious promises were made 
by their forefathers and by the prophets 3 whose ancestors were 
the patriarchs : and of whom, as to his human lineage, Christ 
descended, who is over all, Eph. i. 22, 23 5 Phil. ii. 9 j Matt, 
xxviii. 18. God, Matt.i. 23 ; Heb. i. 83 John i. 1. blessed for 
ever. Rev. v. 12, 13." Newcome. 

200 Part IV. R O M A N S. Sect. I. i. 

Ch.ix. through the wilderness; and afterwards in the She- 
^^' ' chinah or cloud of glory, which rested upon the 
mercy seat. 

^iid the covenants. To whom belonged the two 
tablets of stone on which the ten commandments 
were engraven by the finger of God himself, which 
were the terms of the covenant which God conde- 
scended to establish between himself and the Jewish 
people : and to which, if they had faithfully adhered, 
they would never have been rejected. 

And the givi?ig out of the law : in a solemn and 
public manner, from Mount Sinai. 

And the religions service, A ritual of worship 
instituted by God himself; and adopted, first in 
the tabernacle, and afterwards in the temple. 

And the promises. The promise of the posses- 
sion of the land of Canaan and of being supported 
there ; also, of triumphing over all their enemies, 
as long as they continued faithful to the covenant : 
and finally, the promise of the Messiah, in whom 
all the nations of the earth should be blessed, and 
under whose reign righteousness and peace should 
be established, universally, and for ever. 
5. JFhose are the fathers. AVho have the honour 
of being descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Ja- 
cob : a family who were selected by the wisdom of 
(>od from the rest of the world, and to whose pos- 
terity the covenant was limited. 

Of whom is Christ according to the flesh. Who 
may boast of Christ himself as their countryman 
and kinsman; descended from the same distin- 

Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. i. 20 1 

giiished ancestors, and subject to the same laws, to Ch. ix. 
the same dispensation of rites and ceremonies. It 
may here be important to remark, that the phrase 
" according to the fiesh," as applied to Christ, no 
more indicates a superior extraction, different from 
that of the flesh, than it does when applied (ver. 3) 
to the apostle Paul. It is a mere Jewish idiom, ex- 
pressing natural consanguinity. 

TVhose is the God over alP, blessed far ever- 

^ Whose is the God, Src] ccv o for 6 c/jv. This most probablv 
is the tme reading, agreeably to the juclicioiH conjecture of 
Slichtingias^ Whitby, and Taylor, though it is not authorized 
by any manuscript, version, or ecclesiastical authority : but the 
connexion seems to require it. It is next to impossible that the 
apostle, when enumerating the distinguishing privileges of his 
countrymen, shouJd omit the greatest privilege of all 5 namely, 
that God was in a peculiar sense their God, the God of Abra- 
ham, Isaac, and Jacob. This he has before mentioned, as the 
boast of the Jews, ch, ii. \7 ; and as the chief glory of believ- 
ers in Christ, who succeed to the privileges of God's ancient 
people, Rom. v, 1 1 j and he could not avoid repeating it here. 
And the verbal misplacing of cvv for wv is so verv inconsider- 
able, that it might easily escape the pen of some' early trans- 
criber : perhaps of the apostle's own amanuensis. — A similar 
construction, suggested by a learned friend, occurs in Calli- 
machus : 

cu ^ e^eXso TtroXicipy^oog 

AvrOVg, cvv VTTO %£<,ia ysujiJ.opof, ujv icpi; ociXM^r 

'X2v ^p^tYjg, coy irayTa. 

'Tfjiv. £1$ A I A, 73. 
If the common reading should be preferred, the proper trans- 
lation would be that of Erasmus, Dr. Clarke, Mr. Locke, Mr. 
Lindsey, and many others, viz. who is over all, God be blessed 
for evermore; or, God who is over allhe blessed for evermore. — ' 
Mr. Lindsey says, (Sequel, p. 204,) that this clause '' was read 
so as not to appear to belong to Christ, at least for the first 
three centuries. Origen calls it rashness to suppose that Christ 
is God over all." See also Clarke on the Trin. No. 539, and 
Taylor in loc. 

202 Part I\'. R O M A iN S. Sect. I. i, 

Ch. IX. 7?iore. Amoi. And to crown the catalogue of Jew- 
Ver. 5. .g|^ privileges, they have a right to boast in that 
God who is the Lord of universal nature, the ruler 
of all the nations of the earth, unchangeably glo- 
rious and happy, as in a peculiar sense their Father 
and their God: who owned the descendants of 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as his first-born among 
the families of the earth, and who provided for them 
a distinguished inheritance among the nations. 

Thus the apostle expresses his extreme regret 
that a nation, to which he was so closely allied, 
which was naturally so dear to him, and which had 
been so pre-eminently distinguished by its sacred 
privileges from all other nations, should now be 
rejected because of its unbelief. 


The apostle states and replies to certain objec- 
tions which are opposed to the doctrine which he 
here announces concerning the rejection of God's 
ancient people, ver. G — 24. 

Obj . 1 . This dispensation is no violation 
of the divine promise, ver. 6 — 13. 

Not that 1)1/ any means the word of God has 

It may perhaps be objected, that God cannot cast 

the Jewish nation out of his covenant; for this would 

direct breach of his promise, which is impossible. 

[l .] The apostle replies to this by stating, that 

Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. ii. 1. 203 

the promise was originally limited to a select num- Ch. ix. 
ber, and was not applicable to all who might claim ^'' * 
the benefit of it, whether they complied with the 
conditions or not. 

For all the posterity of Israel are not the true 
Israel ^ . 

It is perfectly analogous to the manifestations of 
the divine mercy in the Old Testament, that when 
a promise is made in general terms, it is to be un- 
derstood with reasonable limitations. Upon this 
principle the promises made indefinitely to the de- 
scendants of Jacob, are to be understood as limited 
to those only who, meeting the conditions of the 
covenant, were thereby proved to be Israelites in 
purview of the promise ; which many of Jacob's 
natural descendants are not. 

[2.] The apostle further illustrates the limita- 
tion of the divine promise by the entail of it upon 
the descendants of Abraham by Sarah, to the exclu- 
sion of all the rest, ver. 7 — 9. 

Aor, because they are the posterity of Abraham, 7- 

are they all\i\^ childreji; but, the posterity of Isaac 

' Tor all the posterity, &c.] Dr. Taylor, with Mr. Locke, in- 
terprets this passage, q. d. " the whole body of natural-born 
Jews are not the whole of the Israel of God 3" implying that 
the Gentiles also were included in the promise made to Abra- 
ham. But I cannot think that the apostle's words will bear the 
sense put upon them by these able expositors. The common 
interpretation appears to me unquestionably the true one : 
7. d. the promise is not so universal as to extend to all natural- 
born Israelites, without exception. 

204 Part IV. ROMANS. Sect, I. ii. 1. 

Cb. IX. only shall be called thine • . That is, the natural 
descendants are not the children of God^; but the 
children of the promise only are accounted the true 

Abraham had children by Hagar and Keturah as 
well as by Sarah, and he was anxious for their wel- 
fare ; but he could not prevail to have their names 
enrolled in the covenant. The answer of God to 
the patriarch's importunity was a peremptory de- 
claration, that the promise should be limited to the 
posterity of Isaac, Gen. xvii. 20, 21. This shows, 
that though the promise was made indefinitely to 
Abraham's descendants, it was in fact limited to the 
line of Isaac. And the promise to Jacob and his 
descendants must be understood with similar limi- 
9. For this is the word of promise. At this very time 
I will come, and Sarah shall have a son, 

I have heard thee, saith the oracle. Gen. xvii. 20, 
for Ishmael, and I will make him a great nation ; 
but my covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom 
Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the 
next year. 

p.] The apostle further illustrates the conduct 
of Divine Providence, in limiting the application of 
an indefinite promise, by the case of Jacob and 

' The posterity, &c.] (ir. *' through Isaac thine offspring 
shall be called." Newcome. 

^ Ttic natural descendants, &c.] Gr. '' they that are the chil- 
dren of the flesh." Newcome. 

Pabt IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. ii. }. 205 

Esau : the preference of Jacob being declared be- ch. ix. 
fore the twins were born, ver. 10 — 13. 

And not only this, but Rebecca also having Ver. 10. 
conceived by one person^ namely, our father Isaac, 
exhibits a similar example 3. 

Isaac is not the only instance of a special limi- 
tation to an indefinite promise; for though the 
covenant was established with Isaac and his descen- 
dants, it did not extend to both his children, but 
was limited to one only, who was chosen by the free 
mercy of God. And Rebecca, who had conceived 
twins by Isaac, was favoured with a memorable ora- 
cle which establishes this important fact. 

For before their birth, when the children had 11. 

done neither good nor evil, that the purpose of God 
according to election might stand, not according 
to works, but to the will of him who inviteth, it luas 12. 

said unto her, that the elder shall serve the younger: 
as it is written, Jacob have I loved , but Esau 13. 
have I hated. 

When Rebecca, in her state of pregnancy, being 
alarmed with respect to the event, expressed her 

' Exhibits a similar example!] Tlie sense is defective, and re- 
quires to be filled up. Archbishop Newcome supplies it in this 
manner : '' but Rebecca also had the word of promise,"" &c. 
The former seems more intelligible, it being the design of the 
apostle to show that an indefinite promise is not to be under- 
stood in an absolute sense. The promise was made to the pos- 
terity of Abraham, but it was limited to his posterity by Isaac ; 
and here again the promise is made to the children of Isaac, 
but it is limited to the descendants of Jacob. So the promise is 
made to the chikh-en of Israel^ but it is limited to those who 
are the true Israel. 

206 Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. ii. 1. 

Ch, IX. feelings and her fears in the presence of God, the 
Ver. 13. ^y^^Iq vouchsafed a gracious answer, Gen. xxv. 22, 
23. It was announced to her that she was about 
to be the mother of two children, each of whom 
would be the founder of a great nation ; but that 
the younger would be the most powerful, and that 
he would in fact be the inheritor of the promise, 
and that the descendants of the elder brother should 
be in subjection to those of the younger. Now 
observe, this arrangement was made before they 
were born, and before it was possible that either of 
them should be capable either of right or wrong, 
and consequently the designation of the younger 
was not the reward of merit, nor the rejection of 
the elder the consequence of demerit ; but all de- 
pended upon the sovereign will of God, who, for 
wise but unknown reasons, invited the one and re- 
jected the other. And in this sense we are to un- 
derstand the declaration of God by the prophet 
Malachi (ch. i. 2.), " Jacob have I loved, and Esau 
have I hated." Not that God is capable of loving 
or hating any of his rational offspring without rea- 
son ; but q. d. Without any regard to their cha- 
racter and merit I have, for reasons not divulged 
to mankind, appointed the posterity of Jacob to 
the possession of privileges which are not granted 
to the descendants of Esau ^ . 

' Upon this passage it is obvious to remark, that the words 
Zore and hairtd do not in this connexion express affections of 
the mind, (for what indeed can be more absurd than to attri- 
bute liuman passions to a Being of unchangeable benevolence r) 

Part iV. ROMAN S. Sect. I. ii. 2. 207 

Obj. 2. The present rejection of the Ch.ix. 
Jewish nation is not an act of injustice, upon 

but simply the purpose of the divine Being to place one of the 
persons alluded to in favourable and the other in unfavourable 
circumstances ; to select one as the heir of the promises in pre- 
ference to the other, and that antecedently to any personal me- 
rit or demerit on their part : and it is also evident that the pos- 
terity, and not the persons of the individuals named, were the 
objects of the prophecy, and that the distinction between them 
relates, not to their condition as individuals, but to their na- 
tional privileges. 

Hence we may take occasion to observe, that the scriptures 
ought to be read with due consideration and reflection 3 that 
much of its language is to be understood in a qualified sense j 
and particularly that where human passions, such as love, ha ' 
tred, indignation, and the like, are ascribed to God, these ex- 
pressions are never to be understood literally, but that they 
refer solely to dispensations of natural good or evil, with which 
individuals may be respectively visited, but which all flow equally 
from infinite benevolence under the direction of infinite wis- 

Also, though the reason of the appointment of some to ad- 
vantages and privileges which are denied to others may often 
not be discoverable by human sagacity, we are not for that rea- 
son to suppose that the great common Parent of mankind acts 
arbitrarily and from caprice 3 for infinite wisdom always governs 
its choice by the best motives, though they may be impercepti- 
ble or incomprehensible by the human intellect. It is also ob- 
vious, though it is not the immediate subject of the apostle's 
discourse, that the same principles must and do apply to indi- 
viduals as to communities. The Maker of all things appoints 
to every htiman being the circumstances of his birth, his talents, 
his constitution, his connexion, his education, his early impres- 
sions, his moral principles, the result of which is his moral and 
social habits, his character, his success in life, and his ultimate 
condition and state. God is the cause of all causes, all things 
come to pass according to his purpose, and, whatever inequali- 
ties may appear in his conduct to individuals, no one shall ever 
have reason eventually to complain of injustice 3 and in the 
grand result, all his creatures shall have reason to be thankful 
for their existence, and he will shine fortli as the kind impar- 
tial parent, benefactorj and friend of all his reasonable and in- 
telligent offspring. 

208 Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. ii. 2. 

Ch. IX. the principles of the Jewish scriptures, ver. 14 — 

The apostle first states the objection, ver. 14. 

Ver. 14. JFhat shall we say then ? is not God ujijiist ? 
Far from it. 

' We allow that an indefinite promise is not al- 
ways to be taken in its most extensive sense ; but 
is it not injustice in God from a number of equally 
unoffending individuals to select some for evil, and 
others for good .^ to appoint our ancestors to parti- 
cipate in his covenant, and so to order our circum- 
stances that we should be rejected.'^ ' The apostle 
meets this supposed objection with a direct nega- 
tive, and proceeds to suggest those considerations 
wliich he regarded as a satisfactory reply, and which 
to the Jews must necessarily have appeared con- 
clusive, because they consist of cases in point taken 
from their own scriptures \ q. d. God has actually 
pursued the conduct to which you object, and has 
claimed a right to act in this sovereign and arbi- 
trary manner with his creatures, and therefore you 
cannot dispute it. 

[1.] God, in his reply to Moses, expressly chal- 
lenges the right to dispose of his favours as he 
pleases, ver. 15, 16. 
15. For lie saith to Moses, I will shoiv mercy on 
whom I please to show mercy, and I will have com- 
passion upon whom I please to have compassion. 

When that highly favoured servant of God was 
desirous to see the divine glory, probably alluding 

Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. ii. 2. 209 

to some glorious vision which he supposed to be Ch. ix. 
contained within the pillar of cloud from which the 
oracle was delivered with an audible voice, the Di- 
vi'^e Being, in his reply, Exod. xxxiii. 19, conde- 
scendingly intimates that his essence was invisible, 
and that nothing of his nature could be understood 
by man but his benevolence. I will cause all my 
goodness, says he, to pass before thee ; and even 
this attribute he exercises in away beyond the com- 
prehension of man, and which must often appear 
arbitrary and capricious. I will be gracious to 
whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on 
whom I will show mercy. And from hence the 
apostle argues, that if he chose to reject the pre- 
sent Jews, though he had chosen their ancestors, 
he was only exercising a prerogative which he claim- 
ed as his right. 

So t/ie?i, it is not of hwi that ivilleth, nor of him IG. 

that runneth, but of God who shoiueth mercy. 

Upon this principle, Jacob and his posterity were 
selected to inherit the promise, very much against 
the incHnation of Isaac and the exertions of Esau. 
Esau was the elder son and the father's favourite, 
who designed the blessing for him, and sent him 
out to prepare the venison, that he might eat and 
pronounce the blessing : in the mean time Jacob 
came in, and surreptitiously obtained it ; so that 
Isaac's purpose and Esau's dutiful labours were de- 
feated by the fraudulent act of Jacob, and the bless- 
ing was entailed upon him ; not indeed as the re- 
ward of a lying fraud upon his aged father, which 

VOL. I. P 

no Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. ii. 2. 

Ch. IX. deserved severe reprehension, but because God, for 
wise and good reasons^ had determined before he 
was born that the promise should, independently 
upon Jacob's character, be entailed upon his fami- 
ly ; and he has a right freely to withdraw, what he 
thus freely, and independently of all antecedent me- 
rit, gave. See Gen. xxvii., to which the apostle 

[2.] God has exercised the same sovereign right 
in the case of Pharaoh, ver. J 7, 18. 
17. Moreover^ ^ the scripture saith to Pharaoh, For 
this very purpose have I raised thee up ^, that I 
may show forth my power hi thee, and that my 
name may he celebrated through all the earth. 

■ Moreover^ ycLp. This particle is here used us introducing 
a collateral argument, not as alleging a reason for an antece- 
dent assertion. 

"^ Have I raised thee iip.~\ " I have restored thee to health 
and preserved thee alive," &c. Taylor 3 who with Whitby, 
Ainsworth, and others, translates Exod. ix. 15, 'Tor now I 
stretched out my hand and I had smitten thee and thy people 
with pestilence, and thou hadst been cut (iff from the earth, but 
in veiy deed, &c." Dr. \\'hitby adds, " hence we learn how 
alien from the truth and from the import of the words is that 
exposition which saith, For this cause have I created thee, or 
raised thee to be the king of iEgypt." But if it was consis- 
tent with the Divine character to restore Pharaoh to health and 
to preserve his life, in order to place him in a situation in 
wiiich his obdurate guilt would magnify the Divine power and 
justice in delivering the Israelites, and in the punishment of 
Pharaoh and tlie Egyptians, it would have been equally con- 
sistent with the justice and benevolence of God, as no doubt in 
fact it was, to give him life at first, and to place him in circum- 
stances in which this was the foreseen and intended result. The 
difficulty, whiitever it be, is not to be got rid of merely by 
removing it a little further oft". 

Part IV. R O M A N S. Sect. I. ii. 2. 211 

The case of Pharaoh is another example of a Ch. ix. 
public person who, by the sovereign pleasure of ^*- '• 
God for reasons not communicated to man, was 
placed in circumstances of great moral disadvan- 
tage. For of him it is recorded, Exod. ix. 15, 16, 
that Moses declared to him., in the name and by 
the authority of God, that he had restored him from 
the plague with which he had been smitten, and 
had raised him up from the bed of sickness, for the 
express purpose of exhibiting him to the world as 
an awful monument of divine power and justice ; 
to show to what degree of depravity the repetition 
of crime might debase the mind ; and likewise to 
warn presumptuous sinners, that guilt, however 
hardened by practice or protected by power, was 
never beyond the arm of divine justice, which at 
the appointed time would never fail to seize its vic- 
tim, and to visit the obdurate offender with punish- 
ment proportioned to his crimes. 

So then iv'ith whom he pleases he deals merci- is. 

fully, and whom he pleases he treats harshly^. 

^ He treats harshly^ I have adopted the interpretation of 
RosenmuUer: " Ergo pro sua arbitrlo hunc henigne, ilium, mi- 
nus henigne, velduriter tractate This sense best keeps up the 
opposition in the two cluuses of the sentence, and seems best 
to support the a])ostle's conclusion. Most interpreters, how- 
ever, adopt the common translation, *' whom he will he hard- 
eneth," referring to Exod. x. 27., xi. 10, and other texts, in 
which God is said to harden Pharaoh's heart. And the latter 
interpretation seems to lay a better foundation for the follow- 
ing objection. Why doth he yet find fault ? This passage has 
given rise to the inextricable controversy among theologians, 
whether, and in what sense, God is tlie author of moral evil. In 
no sense^ however, can it be admitted that God is the approver 

:12 Pari Iv. R O M A N S. Sect. I. ii. 3. 

Cb. IX. Thus it appears that the sovereign ruler of the 
world not only claims a right to place his creatures 
in circumstances more or less advantageous, as he 
pleases, but that he has actually exercised this right 
in various instances, which those who profess ta re- 
ceive the Mosaic writings as of divine authority can 
neither deny nor impeach. And if he had a right 
to select Isaac and reject Ishmael, to choose Jacob 
and abandon Esau, to save the Hebrew nation by 
Moses, and to punish and destroy Pharaoh and the 
Egyptians, who shall deny that in these times he 
has an equal right to admit into his covenant the 
believing Gentiles, and to reject the unbelieving 
Jews ? 

Obj. 3. The apostle, upon general prin- 
ciples, vindicates the character of God as a righteous 
governor in the rejection of the Jews, ver. 19 — 24. 
19. Thou iv'ilt then say to me. Why doth he yet find 
fault P for ivho hath resisted his ivill ^ ? 

of evil ; though it cannot be denied, except by those who deny 
the foreknowledge of God, that he often places his creatures 
in those circumstances, the certain and foreseen result of which 
will be the production of a great mass of guUt and misery. 

' ff'/iif dotk he yet find fault ? Sec] If the common inter- 
pretation of ver. 18 be adopted, " whom he will he harden- 
eth," the objection, *' Why doth he yet find fault ? " is very na- 
tural ;, and can never be satisfactorilv answered by those who 
maintain the doctrine of absolute and arbitrary decrees. Nor 
is the answer of the apostle, as commonly understood, much to 
the purpose; for, instead of vincUcating the justice of God, it 
only appeals to his power, and silences the objection by urging, 
that it is useless for a creature to complain. 

But if the apostle's assertion is that God, at his good plea- 
sure, places some of his creatures in circumstances of moral 

Part IV. R OMAN S. Sect. I. ii. 3. 213 

Possibly some Jewish reader, not immediately Ch. ix. 
discerning the scope of the argument, may be ready 
to say, Well, and what is all this to us, and how are 
we to blame ? did any one ever object to the right 
which God exercised of selecting the Hebrew na- 
tion as his peculiar people, and of rejecting Esau 
and punishing Pharaoh ? 

The apostle silences the objector by reminding 
him^ that the same principles which apply to the 
conduct of Divine Providence towards the heathen 
nations, are equally applicable to the case of the 

[1 .] He reminds the objector, that the sovereign 

and political advantage, and others in circumstances of corres- 
ponding disadvantage ; and if he illustrates this conclusion to 
the satisfaction of the Jew by the examples of Ishmael and Isaac, 
of Esau and Jacob, the objection then stands thus : Be it so : 
Isaac and Jacob, and their posterity, are selected and preferred j 
Ishmael, Esau, and Pharaoh, are rejected and cast away • all 
has taken place according to the divine decree. Nobody re- 
sists, nobody complains ; why then is God dissatisfied ? ' vv'hy 
does he will to introduce a change, to choose the Gentile, to 
reject the Jew ? 

To this question the apostle's answer is full in point, and 
completely satisfactory. He first shows, ver. 20, 21, that God 
has the same right to dispose of one class or nation that he has 
of another, and that none of his creatures have a right to com- 
plain of their situation because of the inferiority of their advan- 
tages. And secondly, he argues, ver. 22 — 24, that no one could 
charge God with injustice if he deprived a nation of privileges 
which they had long neglected and abused, and imparted them 
to the Gentiles, who were prepared to receive and to improve 
them v/ell. 

Thus the apostle's reasoning is perfectly conclusive ; and this 
circumstance is highly favourable to the interpretation Vvhich 
Rosenmuller gives of the 18th verse, which is different from 
that of all other expositors wliich 1 have seen. 

ii4 Part IV. R O M A N S. Sect. I. ii. 3. 

Ch. IX. Lord and proprietor of all has an undoubted right 
to place his creatures in whatever circumstances he 
pleases, ver. 20, 21. 
i^O. A'flT/ hut^ O man., zvho art thou that disjmteat 
ivith God? shall the work say to the workman^ 
21. Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter 
power over the clay., out of the same mass to form, 
one vessel for an honourable and another for a dis- 
honourable use ? 

q, d. You are very well content with the rejec- 
tion of Esau and the destruction of Pharaoh and 
his host ; but you do not like that the Jews, in si- 
milar circumstances, should be treated in a similar 
manner. But why not .^ What claim has a Jew 
upon his Maker above a heathen, to entitle him to 
a preference .^ Shall a vessel say to its former. 
Why was not \ cast in a better mould, or made ap- 
plicable to a uiore useful or ornamental purpose "^ 
May a potter from the same mass of clay form ves- 
sels for very different purposes, each useful in its 
place ; and shall we deny to God the same sovereign 
authority over all his works ; the right to place some 
of his creatures in circumstances of great natural 
and moral advantage, and others of corresponding 
disadvantage ; and again, if he pleases, to reverse 
their condition, to depress those who were upper- 
most, and to raise those who were depressed ? and 
shall any in these circumstances presume to charge 
their Maker with injustice .^ 

[2.] To bring the matter home, the apostle chal- 

Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. ii. 3. 211 

lenges the objector to say why the Jew, who has Ch.ix. 
abused his privileges, should not be cast off, and ^^- *- • 
the Gentile, who is willing to accept of mercy, 
should not be received, ver. 22 — 24. 

What if God bore with much long-sifffering the 22. 
vessels of wrath^ fitted for destruction, resolving to 
manifest his lurath and to make knoiu?i his power i 9 

Suppose a nation highly distinguished by its pri- 
vileges : suppose this nation to have abused its pri- 
vileges, to have rebelled against its God, to have 
disobeyed his authority, and to have persecuted his 
prophets and messengers ; suppose that GocI in his 
mercy bore long w^ith these provocations, and used 
various means to reclaim a disobedient people, which 
notwithstanding all the means of recovery hardened 
itself still more in udckedness, rendering themselves 
the worthy objects of divine indignation and be- 
coming ripe for destruction ; and supposing that 
after all this forbearance God should at last resolve 
to manifest his displeasure, to reject them from his 
favour, and to make an awful display of his power 
and justice in the ruin and condemnation of a guilty 
nation, who shall in this case presume to arraign the 
wisdom and equity of the divine government, and 
to charge God with injustice ? 

And resolving likewise to make known the riches 23. 
of his glory towards the vessels of mercy which he 
has hefoi^e prepared for glory ^ even towards us 24. 

^ The apostle's extreme reluctance to express in plain terms 
the rejection of the Jews, renders his language obscure, though 
his meaning i;s sufficiently evident. 

216 P^RT IV. R O M A N S. Sect. I. iii. 1. 

Ch. IX. ivliom he has invited^ not only from among the 
Jews, hut from among the Gentiles also. 

And suppose further, that God being resolved 
to exhibit examples of mercy as well as of justice, 
and particularly to manifest the glorious riches of 
his gospel to those whom he has selected as vessels 
of mercy, and who, having been placed in situations 
in which they were taught the necessity and import- 
ance of heavenly aid, were prepared for accepting 
the offers of the gospel ; and suppose that agreeably 
to this benevolent purpose, he by his appointed mes- 
senger invited all persons of all nations to accept 
these inestimable blessings, and that he receives into 
covenant all who believe in the mission of Jesus 
Christ, whether Jews or Gentiles, and rejects all 
who decline to accept the gracious proposals of the 
gospel ; who will presume to arraign the wisdom 
and equity of the divine government in such a case 
as this, or to say that God is either unwise or un- 


The rejection of the Jewish nation in general, 
the admission of the Gentiles to a state of privi- 
lege, and the reasons of this dispensation, are di- 
stinctly marked by the prophets Hosea and Isaiah, 
ch. ix. 25 — 33. 

1 . The fact is stated by the prophet Ho- 
hca, ver. 25, 2G. 
"^. As he also sa'ilh in Ilosca, I ivill call those who 

Part IV. ROMAN S. Sect. I. iii. 1. 217 

icere not my people^ my people ; and her who ivas Ch. ix. 
not beloved, beloved. ^^^ • 

In Hos. ii. 23, it is written, " I will sow her unto 
me in the land ; and I will have mercy upon her 
that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to 
them which ivere not my people. Thou art my peo- 
ple ; and they shall say, Thou art my God." It is 
plain from these words, that a people who had been 
rejected by God were to be admitted into his cove- 
nant ; and this is applicable to the Gentile world, 
as well as to the Jews when restored after a state 
of rejection. 

And It shall come to pass in the place ivhere it 2G, 

was said to them, Ye are 7iot my people, thei^e shall 
they be called sons of the living God, 

Again, it is written Hosea i. 10, after God had 
threatened to reject the Israelites, " Yet the num- 
ber of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of 
the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered ; 
and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it 
was said unto them. Ye are not my people, there 
it shall be said unto them. Ye are the sons of the 
living God'." In both these passages it is evident 

' It is so plain from the context of the passages cited from 
Hosea, that the prediction refers to the restoration of the reject- 
ed Israelites, that I can by no means accede to the interpreta- 
tion of Dr. Taylor, that the object of the prophecy is the substi- 
tution of the Gentiles in the place of the rejected Jews. Arch- 
bishop Newcome explains the prophecy of the restoration from 
the Babylonian captivity ; but I incline to the opinion of those 
expositors who interpret the glowing language of the prophet as 
applicable to an event not yet accomplished. Sec Newcomc's 
Translation of Hosea. 

218 Tart IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. iii. 2. 

Ch. IX. from the context, that the prophet foretells the re- 
Ver. L6. g^Qj-r^^ion and prosperity of Israel after a previous 
rejection, amounting almost to extermination ; and 
in this view they might be properly cited by the 
apostle, in his delicate and covert manner, as in- 
cluding a previous rejection, which was the unpala- 
table doctrine he had immediately in view, under 
the pleasing anticipation of an ultimate glorious re- 

Nevertheless, as the apostle introduces the suc- 
ceeding quotations from Isaiah, as particularly ap- 
plicable to the Jews, he plainly intimates that those 
* from Hosea are applicable to the state of the Gen- 

tiles ; and if so, he quotes them in the manner in 
which the scriptures appear to have been usually 
cited by the Jews of that age by way of accommo- 
dation, not as expressing the original meaning of 
the prophet, but as language which was applicable 
to the doctrine which he meant to express. How 
far the apostle might himself be disposed to lean 
upon arguments of this nature, it may be difficult 
to ascertain, nor is it of much consequence ; it is 
sufficient that his doctrine is true, though his rea- 
soning may not always be conclusive. 

2. The rejection of the Jews is an event 
explicitly foretold by the prophet Isaiah, ver. 27 — 

27. But laaiah cr'ieth out concerning Israel, Though 
the 7mmher of the sons of Israel be as the sand of 

2^. the sea, the remnant only shall he saved. For he 

Part IV. ROMANS.. Sect. 1. m. 2. 219 

ivUl accomplish ' and speedily finish his righteous Ch. ix. 
account; surely the Lord luill inake a short reckon- ^*' " ' 
ing upon the land. 

This quotation is made from Isa. x. 22, 23, and 
the apostle quotes literally from the LXX., or Greek 
translation of the Old Testament, which does not 
exactly agree with the Hebrew. The prophecy was 
written soon after the captivity of Israel by the As- 
syrians, and Judah is threatened with a similar 
doom ; it is foretold that the invasion should be 
speedy and exterminating, so that a small remnant 
only should escape and be restored. This pro- 
phecy the apostle cites as descriptive of the present 
state of the Jews, who, like their apostate ancestors, 
were now, with the exception of a small remnant, 
rejected from the covenant of God. 

And as Isaiah had foretold. Unless the Lord of 29. 

Hosts had left us a seed, ive should have become as 
Sodom, and been made like unto Gomorrha, 

This passage is taken from Isaiah i. 9, in which 
the prophet describes some desolating judgements 
which threatened to lay waste the whole Jewish na- 
tion, had not God mercifully reserved a small rem- 

* He will accomplish, &c.] *' Xoyov, x, r. A. perficiet enim et 
subito absolvet rem pro veracitate sud.'' Rosenmuller. " cruvrs- 
Xsiv Xoyov, rem perjicere. c-wtsilveiv, breviter ahsolvere: decau- 
sis forensibus quce celeriter absolvimtur y Idem. " on Xtyw, 
X. t. X. rem sic decretam exsequefur Dominus in terrd. on redun- 
dat, vel vertendum, utique, profecto.'' Idem. 

The Alexandrine manuscript leaves out the words sv oizccio- 
cuvTi — cruvTsr^ij^syov, which makes the sense clearer, and the 
passage is so quoted by Eusebius. See Griesbach, and Dod- 
son on Isa. x. 23. 

220 Part IV. R O M A N S. S^cr. I. iu.3. 

Ch.ix. nant, which, Hke a seed remainhig in the earth, 
might again sprout up a vigorous and flourishing 
plant : in this language the apostle describes the 
present forlorn state of the Jewish nation, as re- 
jected, but not utterly hopeless. 

3. The cause of this dispensation is ex- 
plained, ver. 30 — 33. 

In the first place the fact itself is distinctly stated, 
ver. 30, 31. 

30. fj^/iat shall tve say then P That the Gentiles^ 
luho did not pursue justification, have obtained jus- 
tification, that justification, however, ivhich is by 

31. faith ; but that Israel, luho pursued a law of jus- 

tification, hath not attained the laiv '. 

What now is the true state of the case ? In 
plain words, the Gentiles, who had no expectation, 
and no desire of being admitted into covenant with 
God, have had the offer made to them, and many of 
them have accepted it, and have been freely admit- 
ted into the connnunity of God's chosen people, by 
their profession of faith in Christ as the Messiah. 
Whereas the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob, God's own ancient people, who highly valued 
this privilege and were desirous above all things to 
retain it, and who adopted what they thought the 
right means for this purpose, have lost their object, 
having failed in the moans which they employed. 

' Tiie lati\'\ The received text udds " ot' justifieation j" but 
the word oiKcuoa-uvrj^ is omitted in the Alexiindrine, Clermontj, 
and other vuluul)le copici. 

Part IV, ROMANS. Sect. I. m. 3. 221 

and being defective in their obedience to the written Ch. ix. 

The apostle next shows Vv^hat the mistake was in- 
to which the Hebrew nation had fallen, the conse- 
quences of which had been so very fatal, ver. 32, 33. 

JVlierefore P Because they pursued it ?wt hy Ver. 32. 
faith, but as if it were to be attained by the luorks 
of the laiu. 

It may naturally be asked, How could it happen 
that Israel, so proud of her privileges, so intent 
upon justification, so unvv^earied in the employment 
of what were believed to be the necessary means, 
should after all be defeated and disappointed in her 
main object .^ The answer is obvious : Israel could 
not bear to submit to the new condition ; they 
would not hear of faith in a crucified Messiah as 
the means of acceptance with God, but sought after 
justification in the old way by obedience to a law, 
the precepts of which they had repeatedly broke, 
and under the condemning sentence of which they 
lay without the hope of relief. 

For they stumbled against that stumblmg stone, 
as it is written. Behold I lay in Sion a stujubling 33. 

stone, and a rock to strike against; and no one 
who relieth upon it shall be ashamed^. 

" 'No one — shall he ashamed.'] The apostle quotes from ire- 
mory and from llie LXX. tVanslation ; and to answer his pur- 
pose he cites from two prophecies, Isaiah xxviii. 16, viii. 14, 
blending them together so as to express his own meaning in 
scripture language, probably by M'ay of accommodation only, 
und because the unpleasing truth would be less offensive when 
expressed in the words of scripture. The apostle seldom men- 

222 Part IV. 11 OMAN S. Sect. I. in. 3. 

Ch. !X. To receive as a prophet of God a man who had 
been born at Nazareth, rejected by the chief priests 
and pharisees, condemned as a blasphemer, and cru- 
cified as a malefactor, and to acknowledge and sub- 
mit to him as the promised Messiah, was a difficulty 
which these unhappy Israelites could not surmount ; 
and their sad case may be described in words taken 
from the prophet Isaiah, ch. xxviii. 16 : " Thus 
saith the Lord, Behold I lay in Sion for a foundation 
a stone," which though it is there justly described 
with respect to some, as " a tried stone, a precious 
corner stone, and a sure foundation," wall be what 
the same prophet represents, ch. viii. 14, " a stone 
of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses 
of Israel." And in truth upon this stone they have 
now fallen from that high eminence which they once 
held, and are so broken as scarcely to retain the re- 
mains of life. Yet still, it is added by the prophet, 
whosoever believeth in him who is the antitype of 
this figurative representation, whosoever builds upon 
this great and precious foundation, shall never be 
put to shame : for it is a foundation that will never 
fail; and though at present it is rejected by the 
house of Jacob, there is reason to hope that this 
blindness to truth and to their best interest will not 
always last. 


The apostle laments that his countrymen have 

tions tlie rejection of liis coiintrymt-n without suggesting a hint 
that this rejection would be neither total nor final ; and tiiis was 
probably his reason for inserting the conchuhng chuise. 

Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. iv. 1. 221 

grievously mistaken the proper means of justifica- Ch. x. 
tion and acceptance with God, which he particu- 
larly describes, and shows from the Jewish scriptures, 
that it is offered to all who believe, without distinc- 
tion of Jew or Gentile, ch. x. 1 — 13. 

1 . The apostle, while he bears the most hearty 
good will to his countrymen, is yet constrained to 
declare, that notwithstanding their earnest desire to 
abide in covenant with God, they had totally mis- 
taken the means, by misunderstanding the design 
of the law, chap. x. 1 — 4. 

Brethren^ the affectionate desire ^ of my hearty Ver. L 
andmy sujjplication to God for them'^, hfor their 
salvation 3. 

I assure you, my beloved associates in the faith 
of Christ, that whatever the treatment may have 
been which I have received from my countrymen, I 
harbour no resentment against them, but love them 
sincerely; and that my earnest affectionate wish and 
prayer for them all is, that they may escape from the 
condemnation of the law by embracing the doctrine 
of Christ. 

For I bear them testimony that they have zeal 2, 

for God^: but not accordijig to knowledge. 

' Affectionate desirel] Ev^q-hiol. "^ In the accomplishment of 
which I should find the greatest complacency." Doddridge. 

® For them.'] This is the reading of the Alexandrine, Cler- 
mont, and other copies, and is adopted by Griesbach. The re- 
ceived text reads, " for Israel." 

' Salvation.'] ''that they may be saved." Newcome ; who 
explains, " that they may enter into the covenant of salvation 
here, and into the glories of heaven hereafter." 

"* Zeal for God.] Gr. " zeal of God." "Hiis is the well known 

224 Tart IW ROMANS. Sect. I. iv. I. 

Ch. X. If they lose their high state of privilege, it is not 
because they are indifferent about it ; for I bear them 
testimony that they are solicitous above all things to 
maintain their near relation to God as his peculiar 
people : but they are grievously mistaken in the 
means which are necessary for this purpose. 

3. For being ignorant of God's method of justifi' 
cation, and seeldng to establish their own *, they 
have not submitted to the justification of God. 

Not being aware that the method of justification 
by the law is now superseded, and being unacquaint- 
ed with the new method which God hath lately in- 
stituted, of justification by faith ; they have sought 
to secure the divine favour by an unreasonable at- 
tachment to ceremonial institutions, and have neg- 
lected to inquire into, or have refused submission to, 
that which is appointed by God. 

4. For Christ is tJie end of the law for justif cation 
to every believer. 

The design of the Mosaic institute is to lead to a 
more generous and enlarged dispensation. Its fi- 
gures and its prophecies are fulfilled in Christ ; 
whose mission from God, as the saviour of the world, 
is now proposed as the object of that faith which is 
the ground of justification. 

form of the Hebrew superlative, and may signify nothing more 
tlum extraordinary zeal. Yet still the object of their zeal was, 
to remain in their station as the peculiar people of God : both 
these objects were probably in the apostle's contemplation. 

* Their ojtTi.] This is the reading of the Alexandrine and Cler- 
mont copies, and of the Vulgate Version. The received text 
adds^ Q^Y.oM7':yr^y , justificatiya. 

Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. iv. 2. 225 

2. The apostle distinctly explains the different re- Ch. x. 
quisitions of the gospel and the law, ver. 5 — 10. 

First, he states the requisition of the law ; name- 
ly, unfailing obedience, ver. 5. 

For Moses describeth the justification of the law^ Ver. 5. 
That the man ivho peiformeth them shall live by 

This is an exact quotation from Lev. xviii. 5. 
The Mosaic law, by which the Jews sought justifi- 
cation, cries, " Keep the commandments and hve." 
This condition the apostle has before shown to have 
been violated by the Jews ; and consequently that 
justification is not to be obtained by rigorous un- 
relenting law. 

Tlie apostle next describes the language of the 
new dispensation ; which requires faith in the divine 
mission and resurrection of Christ, as the reason- 
able and practicable mode of admission to the pri- 
vileges of the new covenant, ver. 6 — 10. 

But the justification by faith speaketh thus: 6. 

Say not in thy heart, Who shall ascend into hea- 
ven P that is, to conduct Christ down. 

To descend from heaven, was a familiar phrase 
among the Jews, to express the divine authority of 
a doctrine or a prophet. So our Lord saith. Matt, 
xxi. 25, " The baptism of John, whence was it ? 
from heaven or of men ? " And the meaning of 
the apostle is this : The language of the new dis- 
pensation is. Entertain no doubt concerning the 
divine mission of Christ : do not say. Who shall 
go to heaven to fetch him down from thence ? as 

VOL. 1. a 

226 Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. iv. 2, 

Ch. X. if he had not yet been manifested to the world. For 
Christ has ah'eady appeared on earth as a messen- 
ger from God, and has fully established his claim 
to a divine mission. 

7. Or ivho shall descend into the abyss? that is, 
to bring Christ up again from the dead^. 

Nor may you entertain any doubt of the resur- 
rection of Christ. You must not ask, *' Who will 
descend into the region of death, to bring up Christ 
from the grave?" as if you doubted whether he 
were already risen. No one who doubts concerning 
the mission and resurrection of Jesus Christ can 
with any propriety be admitted into the community 
of which Christ is the head, or to participate in its 
blessings and privileges. 

8. But what saith it ? 

Having seen what the new dispensation forbids, 
let us now consider what it requires : and to this 
the answer is very easy. 

— The doctrine is near thee, in thy mouth and 
in thy heart 2 ; that is, the doctrine of faith which 
we preach. 

You need not go far to seek an answer. All of 
you who have been converted to the faith of Christ, 
have been taught it already ; you have all learned 

' That is, to bring Christ, &c.] " For thiit is the same thing 
as to set aside the resurrection of Christ from the dead." 

* The doctrine is near, &c.] These words, and those in the 
sixth verse, are a quotation from Deut. xxx. II, 13} but it is 
plainly by way of accommodation, the apostle not meaning to 
build any argument upon it. 

Part IV. ROMAN S. Sect. I. iv. 2. 227 

to receive it as a truth of the highest importance : Ch. x. 
it is, in fact, that doctrine concerning faith in 
Christ, upon which we, who are authorized to 
preach the gospel, continually insist, as the princi- 
ple which lies at the foundation of our hope. 

That if thou confess with thy mouth that Jesus 9. 

is Lord^ and believe in thy heart that God hath 
raised him from the dead, thou shalt he saved. 

If you make a public profession that you ac- 
knowledge Jesus of Nazareth as your master, and 
that you bow to him as a teacher sent from God ; 
and if you seriously and sincerely believe that he 
was raised to life after his crucifixion, by the power 
of God ; you thus become a member of the com- 
munity of believers, and are entitled to the privi- 
leges of the people of God : you are rescued from 
the yoke of the law, and from the bondage of ido- 
latry and superstition, and are introduced into the 
glorious liberty of the children of God. 

And it is reasonable that such privileges should 
be entailed upon a sincere behef, and a pubHc pro- 

For, ivith the heart man believes to justification ; 10. 

and with the mouth jirofession is made to salva- 

If faith is sincere, it is known and accepted by 
God ; and if this faith is publicly professed, the 
believer is publicly received into the Christian com- 
munity ; and is rescued from the dominion of igno- 
rance and darkness, idolatry and vice. 

In this passage the apostle states, in the clearest 
a 2 

228 Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. iv. 2. 

Ch. X. language, the fundamental article of the Christian 
faith ; all that is necessary to entitle a man to be 
admitted into the community of believers, and to 
be acknowledged as a Christian brother. " If thou 
confess with thy mouth that Jesus is Lord, or Mas- 
ter, and believe in thy heart that God raised him 
from the dead, thou shalt be saved." How widely 
different is this truly apostolic symbol, not only 
from the long catalogue of mysterious and self- 
contradictory articles, which are the boast, and 
the disgrace, of many churches calling themselves 
Christian, but also from that shorter and simpler 
confession of faith erroneously called the Apostles' 
Creed, into which various articles are introduced to 
which the apostles were strangers! Nor can we 
ever hope to see pure Christianity firmly established, 
till these human formularies are laid aside ; and 
professing Christians become willing to return to 
the primitive simplicity of the gospel doctrine, and 
to own as brethren all who believe in the resurrec- 
tion of Jesus and who acknowledge him as their 

Be it further remembered, that the public pro- 
fession of truth is represented by the apostle as es- 
sential to an interest in the blessings of the new co- 
venant. What men believe in their heart, it is re- 
quired that they shall profess with their lips, and 
not shrink from any disgrace or persecution which 
may be the result of a fearless profession. If any 
are now ashamed of Christ and his words, the time 
IS coming when he also will be ashamed of them. 

Paut IV. R O M A N S. Sect. L iv. 3. 229 

3. The apostle appeals to the scripture, to con- Ch. x. 
firm his doctrine, ver. 11 — 13. 

Moreover the scripture saith, fVhosoever believ- Ver. 11. 
cth on hhn shall not he put to shame, 

I have already shown (ch. ix. 33), that the pro- 
phet Isaiah, ch. xxviii. 16, proclaims security to 
those who believe, and who build upon the true 
foundation. And it is obseiTable that he by no 
means limits the promise to the Hebrew nation : 
his expressions are general and indefinite, and in- 
clude all believers of all ages and countries. 

For there is no distinction of Jew and Greek ; 12. 

/or the same Lord^ over all is bountiful to all who 
call themselves by his name: for whosoever taketh 13. 

upon himself the name of the Lord shall be saved*^. 

* The same Lord, &c.] '^ all have the same Lord, abun- 
dantly kind (-TrAarwv) to all that call themselves by his name." 

^ IVJiosoever taketh upon himself the name of the Lord!] Ett;- 
KOLXscrritxi. So Wakefield. In the public version, " whosoever 
calleth upon," &c. The word will bear either sense. '' I can- 
not but think that ' all who call upon him,' ver. 1 2, signifies all 
who are open and professed Christians." Locke j who, in justi- 
fication of his interpretation, observes, " that it will be an ill 
rule for interpreting St. Paul to tie up his use of any text he 
brings out of the Old Testament to that which is taken to be 
the meaning of it there." Dr. Taylor, who does not quite ap- 
prove of Mr. Locke's remark, vindicates the apostle's method 
of quoting scripture, by observing, '' that he did not always 
quote in the same manner, or, for the same purpose." He adds, 
1 . Sometimes his intention goes no further than using the same 
strong expressions as being equally applicable to the point in 
hand, Rom. x. G, 7, 8, 18. — 2. Sometimes the design is only ta 
show that cases are parallel, or that what happened in his time 
corresponded to that which happened in former davs, Piom. ii. 
24, vili. 36, ix. 27, 28, 29, xi. 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, xv. 21.— 
3. Sometimes the quotation is intended only to explain a doc- 

2oO Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. v. I. 

Ch. X. You observe that the prophet makes no national 
distinctions. Nor is it reasonable that such di- 
stinctions should exist any longer; for God is equally- 
related to all his creatures, the kind impartial pa- 
rent and benefactor of all : and therefore all men 
of all nations who sincerely serve him, and who 
profess their regard to him in the way that he has 
appointed, shall be accepted by him. And to this 
doctrine the prophet Joel bears his testimony, as 
well as Isaiah. For he expressly declares, that in 
the times to which he alludes, all that worship God, 
and profess themselves his servants, shall be accept- 
ed by him and rescued from guilt and misery, Joel 
ii. 32. 


The apostle vindicates the mission of the preach- 
ers of the gospel ; though it was foreseen, that the 
offer of its blessiiigs would be accepted by the 
Gentiles and rejected by the Jews, ch. x. 14 to 
the end. 

I. None could ever become professors of the 
doctrine of Christ, if missionaries were not autho- 
rized to teach it, ver. 14, 15. 

trinal point, Kom. i. 17, iv. 0—8, ]8— 2l,ix. 20, 2J,x. 15, xv. 
li. — 4. Sometimes to prove n doetrinul point, Kom.iii. 4, 10 — 
19, iv.;i, I7,y. 12—14, ix. 7, 1), 12, la, 1.0, \7, x. .5, 11,13, 
xii. 19, 20, xiii. 9, xiv, 1 I . — .0. Sometimes to prove that some- 
thing was predietetl or properly foretold in the prophetie writ- 
ings, Kom. ix. 2.'), 20, :3;i, x.'lO, 19,20,21, xi. 26, 27, xv, 
9 — 1.}. 


Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. I. v. 1. 231 

Hoiv then can they take his name ^, on ivhoni Ch. x. 
they have not believed ? ^^' * 

How can any call themselves after the name of 
Christ, and thus become entitled to the blessings 
of the gospel, if they do not believe in his divine 
mission ? 

Andhoiu can they believe on him of whom they 
have not heard P 

How is it possible that men should believe Jesus 
to be a prophet of God, if they never even heard 
his name ? 

And how can they hear without a preacher P 

If no one will undertake to teach, how could any 
one ever learn ? 

And how can there be preachers^ unless they be 15. 
sent P 

To preach the gospel to good purpose requires 
peculiar qualifications. It is not every one who 
presumptuously intrudes into the office of a teacher 
that is duly qualified for it. A man, to preach ef- 
fectually, must receive a commission from God, 
and be suitably endowed with those gifts and powers 
which are necessary to excite the attention of un- 
believers, whether Jews or heathen, and to fix con- 
viction on the heart. 

The apostle is here speaking of the first teachers 

' How can they take his name, &c.] ^' How can they call 
themselves the disciples of a master,, and take his name as the 
followers of his doctrine, whom they never regarded ?" Wake- 
field. Gr. " How shall they/' &c. These are instances in 
which the future indicative has a modal sense, after the He- 
brew idiom. 

232 Part IV. ROMAN S. Sect. I. v. 1. 

Ch. X. of the gospel ; who could have little hope of success 
^*^*'* unless they were properly appointed and instructed 
by the apostles and evangelists, and invested with 
those spiritual gifts and powers which in the apo- 
stolic age were necessary to rouse the attention and 
to subdue the heart. And to such persons in a 
peculiar and appropriate sense may be applied the 
words of the prophet Isaiah. 

As It is written^ Hoiu heaiitifid are the feet of 
those ivho publish good tidings of peace, who pub- 
lish good tidij7gs of good things ! 

These words are borrowed from Isaiah, lii. 7, 
and in their primary sense they express the joyful 
acclamations of the watchmen of Jerusalem, when 
they first discover upon the mountain tops the he- 
ralds who are sent to announce the approach of Je- 
hovah at the head of his chosen people ; whom he 
hath redeemed from the Babylonian yoke^ and is 
conducting through the wilderness to their own 
country : and well does it describe the joy of those 
who justly appreciate the joyful tidings of deliver- 
ance from the yoke of the law, and the bondage 
of heathenism, which were announced by the first 
authorized publishers of the gospel of Christ. 

The apostle now draw's his conclusion, ver. 17. 
17. So then, this faith cometh by hearing, and this 
hearing by the word of God\ 

* .So //?(?/?.] CLocL av: tlie form in which the apostle introduces 
his grand conclusion. This transposition of the IGth and 17th 
verses, as suggested by L'Enfant, is so necessary to clearing u]) 
the apostle's rea.soning, that tlie ))ropriety of it can scarcely be 
doubted, though it is unsupported by authorities. 

Part IV. ROMAN S. Sect. I. v. 2. 233 

Thus it appears, that all who believe in Christ, Ch. x. 
believe in consequence of suitable instruction; but ^^^' '^* 
this instruction can only be communicated by those 
who derive their authority from God, and are duly 
qualified by him for the successful discharge of 
their office. 

2. The apostle argues, that the want of success 
is no objection against the divine commission of 
the first preachers of the gospel, ver. 16, 18. 

An objector may perhaps urge the fact, 

But all have not obeyed the gospel ; and he may 16. 

hence conclude, that God did not authorize the 
preachers of it : for, if he had, no doubt they would 
have been successful. 

This, however, the apostle remarks, is by no means 
a certain conclusion : 

For Isaiah saith, Lord^ who 2 hath believed our 
report P 

And this language he uses, Isa. liii. 1, when 
speaking under the character of the Messiah. But 
if the Messiah himself complains of his want of 
success, it can be no objection against his messen- 
gers, that their disappointment is similar to that of 
their master. 

This is one instance among many, of the apos- 
tle's sudden change of persons without particular 

* Lord, who, &c.] Isa. liii. 1 . The word Lord being found 
here and in John xii. 38, and also in all the copies of the LXX. 
has probably by some inadvertence been lost from the Hebrew- 
text. See Dodson's Isa. m lot: 

234 Part IV. ROMAN S. Sect. I. v. 2, 

ch. X. notice. An objection is started and the answer 
ver. 16. g'y^j^^ while the current of the discourse remains 
unbroken by any formal change in the construc- 

It may also be observed, that the apostle is very 
happy in his quotation from Isaiah; for the words 
being the complaint of the Messiah himself, the re- 
ply at once stops the mouth of the objector. 

The apostle proceeds : 
18. But I say^ Have they not heard? Yea, verily: 
their voice ivent forth to all the earth, and their 
words to the extremities of the world. 

Can it be denied, that the preachers of the go- 
spel have performed their duty ? Have not the glad 
tidings been circulated far and wide, both among 
Jews and Gentiles ? Undoubtedly they have ; and 
that to such an extent, that it may be said, in the 
language of the Psalmist, Psalm xix. 4, " that the 
light of the gospel, like that of the natural sun, 
has diffused itself over every part of the habitable 

Let it be remembered, that this language was 
used by the apostle within less than thirty years 
after our Lord's resurrection ; for the epistle to the 
Romans was written about a.d. 58. And this 
early and rapid diffusion of the gospel can in no 
way be satisfactorily accounted for, but by the 
gifts and powers with which the first teachers were 
endowed. The hand of the Lord was with them, 
and therefore multitudes believed, and turned to 
the Lord. 

Part IV. R O iM A N S. Sect. I. v. 3. 235 

3. Though the Jews have not received the go- Ch. x. 
spel, this is an event which, how Httle soever to be 
expected, and how deeply soever to be regretted, is 
no more than what the prophets themselves have 
foretold, ver. 19—21. 

But I sttT/f Hath not Israel hnoivn ^ P Ver. 19. 

It cannot be denied that the gospel has been suf- 
ficiently published to the Jewish people ; but have 
they acknowledged its authority ? Is it possible, 
when messengers were sent, with manifest creden- 
tials of a divine commission, to proclaim the tid- 
ings and to offer the blessings of the gospel, that 
while the Gentiles Hstened and obeyed, the Jews 
should have been so ignorant and so besotted as to 
turn a deaf ear to the message from heaven, and 
to reject the grace of the gospel ? Can human folly 
and depravity be equal to so absurd and perilous a 
determination.^ Alas! it is but too true. Yet 
their rejection of the message from heaven is no 

^ Hath not Israel kuoivn?'] '' known this." Newcome. Mr. 
Locke says, " In this and the next verses St. Paul seems to sup- 
pose a reasoning to this purpose : viz. Tliat they did not deserve 
to be rejected, because they did not know that the Gentiles were 
to be admitted." And most of the commentators interpret the 
text upon this principle, I think erroneously : for the apostle 
having stated the unsuccessfulness of the ministry as an argu- 
ment in the mouth of an objector against the authority of the 
gospel missionaries, continues his reply to this objection to the 
end of the chapter. He divides the objection into two parts : 
ver. 18, Have they not heard? Answer, They have ^ as it was 
foretold that they should. Ver. 19. Have they acknowledged 
and received the gospel r Answer, No ; as it v;as foretold that 
the Gentiles would embrace the offers of the gospel, but thiit 
the Jews would reject them. That tlie word yivcvcryM sometimes 
bears the sense o^ tiriyivijuo-Kiv, is well known. See Schleusner. 

236 Part IV. ROMANS. 

V. o. 

Ver. VJ 

ch. X. objection to its truth and authenticity, but the 
contrary ; for this conduct, strange as it is, both of 
Jews and Gentiles, was actually and in the clearest 
language foretold by the Jewish prophets i 

First, Moses sait]i\ I will move you to jealousy 
by those who are 7iot a people : 1 luill provoke you 
to anger by a nation void of understanding, 

Deut. xxxii. 21, God denounces his anger against 
apostate Israel ; and as they, his chosen people, had 
excited his jealousy and provoked his indignation by 
introducing idols as rivals of his authority, and co- 
partners in his worship ; so will he provoke them to 
jealousy by selecting as his people those who are 
not now his people, that is, the believing Gentiles ; 
and will excite their indignation by the favours 
which he will bestow on a people enlightened by 
his word, but who are now treated as ignorant and 
brutish by the Jews, who value themselves on their 
superior light, while they reject the vv^isdom which 
is from above. 

20 But Isaiah^ very boldly saith, I lu as found by 
them who sought me not : I was made manifest to 

21. those who inquired not after me. TFJiereas con- 

' Moses sn'iih, &c.] " The tlesign of Moses," says Dr. Priestley, 
*' was to describe the low state to which the Jews would be re- 
duced in consequence of their disobedience, so as to be op])ressed 
and insulted by the meanest nations ; but the ai)ostle applies all 
this to the provocations the Jews would receive from the ])reach- 
ing of the gospel to the Gentiles, whom they held in the great- 
est contempt." Dr. Taylor, however, contends, that the text 
as it stands in Deuteronomy, is full to the apostle's purpose. 

"^ But Isaidh, &C.] " In the ])assage here alluded to it is pro- 
bable the propliet only meant the Israelites, whom he was de- 

Part IV. ROMANS, Sect. I. v. 3. 237 

cerning Israel he sailh, I have stretched forth my ch. x. 
hands all the day long toward a disobedient and a ^^^^* 
gainsaying people, 

x\nd to conclude : nothing can be more plain 
and decisive than the language of Isaiah concern- 
ing both the Jews and Gentiles, Isaiah Ixv. 1, 2. 
When God is represented as being found and made 
manifest to those who were careless and indifferent 
to this great discovery, the Gentiles only can be in- 
tended ; because, at no time could it be said that 
the Israelites were indifferent to the high privilege 
of being the children of God. And it is no less 
obvious, that the Jewish nation falls under the se- 
cond description, of refusing the invitations of 
mercy, and rejecting the offers of the gospel : not 
because they were indifferent to the object, but be- 
cause they would not believe the testimony which 
was given to the divine legation of Jesus and his 

From all these considerations, therefore, the con- 
clusion however lamentable is undeniably true, that 
as the case now stands, the unbelieving Jews, who 
at present constitute the main body of that unhappy 
nation, are rejected from their former state of cove- 
nant with God, and are deprived of the honours 
and privileges which appertain to a covenant state ; 

scribing as having apostatized to idolatry." Dr. Priestley. — 
Bishop Lowth, however, Mr, Dodson, and most other com- 
mentators, understand the prophet's language in its primar)^ 
sense, as describing the call of the Gentiles and the rejection of 
the Jews. 

238 Part IV. ROM A N S. Sect. II. i. 

Ch. X. while the believing Gentiles, having listened to the 
invitations and complied with the terms of the go- 
spel, are admitted into the family of God, and are 
allowed to participate in those privileges, which 
were formerly limited to the posterity of Jacob. 


Ch. xr. The apostle proceeds to show, that this rejection of 
the *Jcivish nation is neither total nor Jinal; and 
that while it lasts, it answers very important 
purposes under the divine administration, ivhicli 
their iiltimate restoration, here eapressh/ fore- 
told, also ivilL Ch. xi. throvghoiit, 


This rejection of the Jewish nation, even at pre- 
sent, is not total, ch.xi. 1 — 10. 
Ver. 1. Do I say then, that God has rejected Ids peo- 
ple ? Far from it. 

I have but too undeniably proved, that the great 
mass of the Jewish nation are at this time rejected 
by God, on account of their unbelief: they have re- 
fused the offers of the gospel ; they are no longer a 
peculiar people. But do I mean to be understood 
in so rigorous a sense, as if God had excluded every 
individual of his ancient people from the hope of 
mercy, and from participating in his favour ? Very 
far from it : all are not unbelievers, and therefore 
all are not under the sentence of condemnation. 

Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. II. i. 1,2. 239 

1 . The apostle himself was a happy exception Ch. xi. 
from the general doom. 

For I am myself an Israelite of the race of 
j^braham, of the tribe of Benjamin, 

If the rejection were so universal as the question 
supposes, I must myself be lost ; for no person has 
better pretensions than I have, to a descent from 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But instead of being 
rejected from the covenant, I am not only admitted 
as a believer, but have been honoured with the 
apostolic character and mission. 

2. There is still a remnant of faithful worshipers, 
as in the time of general apostasy in the days of 
Elijah, ver. 2—6. 

God hath not rejected his people whom he fore- 2. 


God foresaw that though the Jews as a nation 
would reject the gospel, and would therefore be re- 
jected by him, a certain portion of individuals would 
nevertheless manifest a different spirit, and would 
become believers in Christ. And these, so far from 
rejecting, he would receive into favour, and admit 
to all the privileges of the new covenant. 

T>o ye not knoiv ivhat the scripture saith in the 
history of Elijah ? how he complained to God 
against Israel ^P " Lord, they have slain thy pro- 3. 

* How he complained, &c.] See Taylor and Macknight, The 
received text adds the word saijing, which is wanting in the best 
copies, " how he addresseth God." Abp. Newcome. " Sicut 

£yrvYy^(x.vgiv Citsp rtvci; estnegotium cdkujus commendare, itagV' 

240 Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. II. i. 2. 

Ch. xi. jyhets and have digged doivn thine altars ; and I 
am left alone, and they seek my Ufe^ 

Do not you recollect, at the time of the general 
apostasy cf Israel in the days of Elijah, when Je- 
zebel, the idolatrous wife of Ahab, had put to death 
all the prophets of the true God whom she could 
find, and had given orders for the execution of Eli- 
jah himself ; how that prophet, having escaped into 
the wilderness, and being questioned by the oracle 
why he had abandoned his post, is reported, 1 Kings 
xix. 14, to have replied in the language of complaint 
against his countrymen, that they had so univer- 
sally apostatized to idolatry, that having pulled 
down the altars of the true God and massacred his 
prophets, he was now the only true worshiper of 
God that was left in the country ; and that it was 
in vain for him to return, and to reclaim them to 
their duty, for he knew that orders had been is- 
sued to put him to death ? 
4. But ivhat saith the divhie oracle to him 9 ^^ I have 
reserved to myself seven thousand men, wlio have 
not bended the knee to BaalT 

The prophet was greatly mistaken in his calcu- 
lations; for the number of true worshipers, of those 
who secretly adhered to the God of Israel, and who 
resolutely abstained from every idolatrous act, was 
far beyond what he had calculated. He thought 
himself quite alone: but the oracle, having ordered 

ryyp^avEtv Y.a.rx 'tiv^j^ est uliquem accusare.'' Rosenmuller. — 
" how he ap})eareth before God with respect to Israel." Wake- 

Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. II. i. 2. 24 1 

him to consecrate certain persons as instruments in Ch. xr. 
the hands of providence for the extermination of ^^* 
idolatry, adds, ver. 18, ''This will not be the exter- 
mination of all the inhabitants of Israel. Solitary 
as you may suspect yourself to be, you have many 
associates : and when all the idolaters are slain, I 
have still reserved seven thousand in Israel, all the 
knees which have not bowed to Baal, and every 
mouth which hath not kissed him." 

And so also in the present time there is a rem- 5. 

nant according to the election of favour. 

Thus, to all appearance, in the present age, the 
Jews are nearly as unanimous in their rejection of 
Christ as their ancestors were in the worship of 
Baal. A superficial observer would conclude, that 
almost to a man they resisted the truth, and were 
persecutors of all who professed it. But this judge- 
ment would be erroneous : there are still a few, a 
select number, a small remnant, who believe in 
Jesus ; and who, in opposition to the great mass of 
their countrymen, joyfully accept the proffered mercy, 
and through the free and abundant favour of God 
are admitted into the community of true believers. 

But if it be of favour, it is no more of works ; 6, 

otherivise favour would cease to he favour i. 

Obsei-ve, I say, that they are chosen through fa- 
vour, by the free unmerited goodness of God : after 

* The received text adds, " but if by works, then it is no 
more through favour, otherwise work is no more work :" but 
these words are wanting- in the Alexandrine, Ephrem, and other 
manuscripts and versions, and are omitted by Griesbach. 

VOL. I. R 

242 Part IV. ROMA N S. Sect. II. i. 2,3. 

Ch. XI. having forfeited all claim to continuance in their for" 
' ' mer state of privilege, they are now admitted into 
the new and better covenant, by faith, and not by 
legal observances ; for if they could make good their 
claim by works of law, they would obtain that as a 
right which they now receive as a free gift, to Jews 
as well as to Gentiles. 

This observation the apostle crowds in, to recall 
to the attention and impress upon the minds of his 
readers a due sense of that important doctrine which 
he had established at large at the commencement of 
the epistle, that the dispensation of the gospel is the 
free unmerited gift of God. 

It cannot be amiss to remark here, that the faith- 
ful servants of God have no reason to be discouraged 
in evil times. In seasons of general apostasy there 
have always been, as in the times of the prophet, a 
chosen few who have been the depositaries of truth 
and virtue ; and who, however unknown or unno- 
ticed by the world, are all under the eye and protec- 
tion of an omniscient and a faithful God, who will 
at the proper season appear to plead his own cause, 
and to reward those who preserve their allegiance in 
times of prevailing declension. 

3. The chosen number having been thus admit- 
ted to the privileges of the gospel, the residue, that 
is J the great mass of the Jewish nation, are excluded, 
agreeably to the declarations of their own scriptures, 
ver. 7—10. 
7. How Is It then ? lu/uit Israel sec /cs, that lie hath 

Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. II. i. 3. 243 

not attained; but the elect i have attained it, and Ch. xi. 
the rest are blinded. 

What now is the real state of the case ? It is 
plainly this : that high state of privilege, and pecu- 
liar relation to God, which the Israelites always af- 
fected, and to which they continually aspired, they 
have failed in securing ; not indeed altogether and 
universally, for a select number, a small proportion 
who have submitted to the terms of the gospel, have 
obtained it ; and with less external pomp, and less of 
ceremonial detail, they are as rich in privilege as the 
Jewish nation ever was in its highestprosperity. But 
the bulk of the nation, labouring under a judicial 
blindness and hardness of heart, have not known the 
day of their visitation, and have rejected the offers 
of peace. 

As it is written (Isaiah xxix. 10, Deut. xxix. 4), 8. 

*' God hath given to them a spirit of slumber, eyes 
that they should not see, and ears that they should 
not hear unto this dayT 

Such is the amazing stupefaction which has seized 
the Jewish nation at this time, and such their gross 
inattention to the extraordinary scenes which have 
passed before them, and so obstinately have they re- 
sisted even the evidence of their senses, and rejected 
the repeated offers of mercy, that the emphatical 
language of Isaiah and of Moses is not too strong 
to express the folly of their conduct. 

And David saith (Ps. lxix.22, 23), " Let their 9. 

' Tht eZeci.] In the original, '' the election. 

^44 Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. II. ii. 1. 

ch. XI. table become a snare, and a net^ and a trap, and a 
recompense unto them ^ . Let their eyes be dark- 
ened that theij may not see, and keep their back coU' 
ti nil ally bent doiun. 

As the just retribution of this wilful blindness, the 
imprecation of David upon his malicious enemies 
may be regarded as prophetic of the present state 
of my unhappy countrymen . Let that which should 
promote their comfort betray them into misery ; let 
them never discern their true interest, and never rise 
from their depressed and miserable condition. 


The rejection of the Jewish nation is not final, 
but in the mean time it is productive of great bene- 
fit to the Gentiles ; and their ultimate restoration 
will produce still greater advantages : so that the 
chosen Gentile has no right to insult the rejected 
Jew. Ch. xi. 11 to the end. 

L The fall of Israel is not final ; but, being the 
means of exalting the Gentiles, will, by exciting 
emulation, operate to their own recovery, ver. 1 1 . 
11. I say, then, Have they stumbled so as to fall? 

' Mr. Wakefield observes, that *' there can be no doubt of an 
error in the last words of this verse, as unfaithfully exhibiting 
the sense of the original autlior :" he adds, *' it is surprising 
that our apostle should clioose to quote so jninctually from tlie 
version of the LXX., so outrageously absurd as it is in many 
places." Mr. W. a})proves '' tlie Syriac Version as more agree- 
able to the uniformity of Hebrew composition." " Let their 
table become a snare to them, and what should be a recompense 
a stumbling-block." The common translation, agreeably to the 

Part IV. ROMAN S. Sect. II. ii. 1,2. 245 

Far from it : but through their lapse, salvation 2 is Ch. xr. 
come to the Gentiles, to excite their emulation. 

I acknowledge and I lament the present unbelief 
and rejection of my countrymen. But let me not be 
misunderstood : is it supposed that I have asserted 
that they are so fallen as never to rise again ? I 
never intended any such thing. In fact, their rejec- 
tion of the gospel has been the cause of its being 
offered to the Gentiles ; for in all places the tenor 
of our commission was, first to offer it to the Jews. 
But the acceptance of the gospel by the Gentiles, 
and their consequent privileges, while the descend- 
ants of Abraham are left in a forlorn and wretched 
state, will eventually induce the Israelites them- 
selves to reflect upon their disgrace and misery, and 
to aspire to the recovery of their long lost privileges, 
which are now in the possession of those who w^ere 
formerly regarded as greatly inferior to themselves. 

2. The restoration of the Jevv^s to their former 
privileges, will be far more beneficial to the Gentiles 
than their rejection and unbelief, ver. 12 — 16. 

But if their lapse be the riches of the world, and 12. 
their diminution the riches of the Gentiles, how 
much more their fulness ! 

literal sense of the Hebrew, reads thus, '' Let their table be- 
come a snare before them, and that which should have been for 
their welfare, let it become a trap. Let their eyes be darkened 
that they see not, and make their loins continually to shake." 

^Salvation:] "When the Jews rejected the gospel, it was 
immediately preached to the Gentiles." Newcome. Salvation^ 
i.e. admission to the privileges of the gospel. See ver. 26,note^ 

M6 Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. IL ii. 2. 

Ch. XI. I have said, and it is true, that the Jews having 
^^" "* rejected the offer of the gospel which was first made 
to them, w^e were authorized to make the same offer 
to the Gentiles, who^ happily for themselves, listen- 
ed to it and embraced it : so that they were made 
rich by the folly of the Jews. But when the Jew- 
ish nation itself becomes wise and embraces the doc- 
trine of Christ, it cannot be doubted that their con- 
version will be still more beneficial to the Gentile 
world : for, being then animated by the benevolent 
spirit of the gospel, they will actively exert them- 
selves to diffuse its blessings. 

13. (For I direct my discourse to you Gentiles, in- 
asmuch as 1 am the apostle of the Gentiles I ho* 

14. nour my imnistry, rf ^V <^^y means I may excite to 
emulation my kindred, and may save some of them. ^ 

The apostle introduces this appeal to the Gentiles 
in a parenthesis, to show that in what he was about 
to advance, it was by no means his intention to 
disparage them, but merely to excite the emulation 
of his own countrymen and kinsmen : q. d, 

I am aware that I am writing to a church chiefly 
consisting of Gentile converts ; and it is my ho- 
nour that my apostolic commission is specially di- 
rected to the Gentiles : and so far from undervalu- 
ing the object of this mission, I glory in it as a high 
distinction, and feel a peculiar affection for convert- 
ed heathen : and this I state as a preliminary fact, 
tliat you may not suspect that in the language which 
I may use upon this subject, I have any intention 
to degrade you, or to represent you as in a state of 

Part IV. ROMAN S. Sect. II. ii. 2. 247 

inferiority. My only design is, if possible, to rouse Ch. xr. 
the dormant spirit of my beloved countrymen, and 
to excite their emulation to participate in the privi- 
leges which you now possess. Which happy event, 
whenever it takes place, will not fail to make a great 
addition to the privilege and happiness of the Gen- 
tile world. 

For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the 15. 
world, what will the reception of them be, but life 
from the dead ^ ? 

If, as I have just stated^ the unbelief and folly of 
the Jewish nation, and their contempt of the go- 
spel, have been the means of bringing the gospel to 
the Gentiles, who have accepted it, and have been 
admitted to all the privileges of the people of God, 
what will the ultimate conversion of the Jews be, 
but a resurrection to life ? They who are now dead 
to every virtuous principle, to every generous feel- 
ing, to every cheerful hope, and are excluded from 
the community of believers like a dead carcass from 
the living world, will then be animated by all the 
vivifying, invigorating, and benevolent principles of 
the gospel, and will be as active in promoting its 
doctrine, its temper and spirit, as they are now in- 

' Life from the dead^ " Meaning to the world, to us Gen- 
tile Christians." Dr. Taylor^ who explains the text, as meaning 
that the Gentile Christians shall, by the conversion of the Jews, 
be advanced to a state of improvement as much superior to that 
in which they antecedently were as life to death. Perhaps the 
sense may be, that the Jews being raised to life by their con- 
version to the Christian religion, will infuse a new spirit into 
the Gentiles. The elliptical style of the a})o?3tle renders his 
meaning ambiguous. 

248 Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. II. ii. 2,3. 

Ch. XI. sensible to its excellence, and hostile to its inter- 
ests. And this active zeal of the converted Israel- 
ites, cannot fail to be attended with the most re- 
viving and beneficial effects upon the Gentile church. 
Nor can it be doubted, that this most desirable event 
will be accomplished in its season. 
] 6. For 1 if the first fruit be holy^ so also is the mass; 
and f the root be holy^ so also are the branches. 
See Numb. XV. 20, 21. 

As a cake of the first meal after the harvest, of- 
fered as the law directs, consecrates the whole mass 
of bread, and as the virtue of the root must natu- 
rally be communicated to the branches, so Abra- 
ham and his immediate descendants, being the root 
and the first fruits of the Hebrew nation, and being 
freely chosen by God, and consecrated to his ser- 
vice, and taken into his covenant, are a pledge, not- 
withstanding present iiiifavourable appearances, that 
Israel shall not be finally and totally rejected, but 
that in due time they shall again be reclaimed, and 
restored to the honours and privileges which their 
ancestors possessed. 

3. Under the emblem of wild branches engrafted 

upon a good stock, the apostle warns the converted 

Gentiles not to insult the rejected Jew^ ver. 17 — 22. 

17. Now fsomc of the branches ivere broken ofi\ and 

thou being a wild olive-tree ivert grafted in among 

* For?^ The Alexandrine copy instead of <^£ reads y^p, which 
suits the connexion best. 

Paet IV. 11 OMAN S. Sect. II. n. 3. 249 

theniy and wert made a partaker with them of the Ch. xi. 
root and fatness of the olive-tree^ boast not against Ver. 18. 
the branches : but if thou boast, remember thou 
bear est not the root, but the root thee. 

The apostle's meaning is sufficiently intelligible, 
though his illustration is inconsistent with general 
usage ; as the wild scion is never grafted into the 
good stock, and if it were, it would not be improved 
by it. The meaning of the apostle, however, is 
obvious. The Jewish nation were originally the 
chosen people of God, and as such, were possessed 
of many valuable privileges, which at one time they 
improved, and bore fruit in proportion, honourable 
to themselves, acceptable to God, and useful to 
others. They are now degenerate, the barren use- 
less branches are broken off, and their place sup- 
plied by scions from a different stock ; upon which 
it is expected that good fruit will grow. But let 
not these engrafted boughs set themselves up against 
the natural but discarded branches. Let not the ac- 
cepted Gentile taunt and insult the rejected Jew : 
the ancient, but now revolted and discarded people 
of God, are objects of compassion, rather than of 
contempt. But if you, the favoured Gentile, will 
indulge your sarcasms against the degraded Jew, re- 
collect that you are not so much his superior as you 
may imagine. The Gentile is more in debt to the 
Jew than the Jew to the Gentile : in fact, the He- 
brew nation owe nothing to the Gentiles; while all 
the privileges of converted Gentiles are but the ac- 
complishment of the promise made to Abraham. 

250 Part iV. ROMANS. Sect. II. ii. 3. 

Ch, xr. Thus strenuously does the apostle plead for kind- 
^^' ' ness to his countrymen, even in their fallen and re- 
jected state : but with how little success, the sad 
history of the ancient people of God, from the apos- 
tolic age to the present hour, too plainly demon- 
strates. Surely it ill becomes those whose Saviour 
was of the Jewish nation, to insult and persecute 
those whom he calls his countrymen : still less does 
it become the true disciples of Jesus to imitate that 
unhappy people in the worst feature of their cha- 
ID. If^li thou say then^ The branches have been 
broken off^ that I might be grafted in 9 

Wilt thou plead in defence of this contemptuous 
treatment of the fallen Jew, that he is cast away as 
a worthless branch, to make room for thee as a 
fruitful bough .^ 

20. JFell. They were brohen off for unbelief and 
thou standest by faith. Be not high minded, but 

2 1 . fear. For if God spai^ed not the natural branches, 

bev/are lest he spare not thee. 

True ; it cannot be denied that you who are ex- 
pected to bear fruit, are substituted in the room of 
the withered branch. Yet this affords no cause for 
boasting. The Israelites lost their interest in the 
covenant, because they would not attend to the cre- 
dentials of the true Messiah. And remember, you 
took their place, not upon the ground of antecedent 
merit, but solely because you were wise enough to 
accept the offers of the gospel : and while you con- 
tinue to believe in Christ, you will be acknowledged 

Part IV. ROMAN S. Sect. II. ii. 3, 4. 251 

as members of his church, and entitled to the pri- Ch.xi. 
vileges of believers ; but no longer. If temptation 
and persecution cause you to apostatize, all your pri- 
vileges are forfeited. Instead, therefore, of insult- 
ing the fallen Jew, be solicitous to maintain your 
own station, and to guard against apostasy : for if 
you fall away, God will no doubt deal with you as 
he now deals with his ancient people. 

Behold^ therefore, the goodness, and the severity 22. 
of God: towards those who have fallen, severity; 
hut towards thee, goodness, if thou continue in his 
goodness * ; otherwise, thou also shalt he cut off. 

Reflect seriously upon the diversity of the divine 
dispensations towards different characters, as they 
improve or neglect their respective privileges ; how 
severe to his ancient people who have apostatized 
from his covenant ! how kind to thee who art ad- 
mitted into their place ; not upon the ground of 
merit, but of pure and undeserved mercy : which 
mercy will doubtless be continued as long as it is 
valued and improved ! But if you, like Israel, neg- 
lect and despise your privileges, you, like them, 
shall be cut off, and cast away. 

4. Under the same symbol the apostle represents 
the propriety, and probability of the restoration of 
Israel, if they should receive the Christian faithj 
ver. 23, 24. 

And they also, if they do not continue in unhe- 23, 

' In his goodness^ '* deserving his Icindness." Newcome. 

252 Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. II. ii. 4. 

Ch. XI. licj\ shall he grafted m; for God is able to graft 
Ver. 24. them 171 again. For if thou wert cut out from the 
olive-tree naturally wild, and contrary to nature 
ivert grafted into a good olive-tree, how much more 
shall these, luho were the natural hvdnches, he graft- 
ed into their own olive-tree P 

But if^ arguing from the severity of God, we con- 
clude that the Gentile believers will be discarded, 
if they should apostatize like the Jews, much more, 
arguing from the goodness of God, may we conclude 
that if the Jews abandon their unbelief, they shall 
again be received into favour. It may indeed ap- 
pear impossible to graft a withered and a severed 
branch again into the parent stock : but nothing is 
too hard for God. And if you, a wild branch of a 
wild olive-tree, have contrary to nature been grafted 
into the good olive-tree, it is surely still less im- 
probable, that they who were originally branches of 
the good olive-tree should be restored to their pri- 
mitive state. 

The apostle's meaning is very clear, though his 
parallel does not hold ; for in the culture of fruit, 
no such thing is known as the grafting of a wild 
scion into a good stock in order to improve it ; or, 
the restoration of a withered branch to the parent 
tree. But the writer's object being to make him- 
self understood, he did not concern himself about 
the correctness of his similitude. 

5. The apostle directly asserts that it is the plan 
of providence announced in prophecy, that the Is- 

Part IV. ROMAN S. Sect. II. ii. 5. 253 

raelites shall in due time be restored to favour, ver. Ch. xr. 

Moreover^ brethren^ 1 ivould not have you igno^ Ver 25. 
rant of this mystery ', lest you should have too high 
an opinion of yourselves^ that a partial blindness 
hath happened to Israel, till the complement of the 
Gentiles'^ shall have entered in. 

And, to put an end to all doubt upon this sub- 
ject, and to prevent Gentile believers from being un- 
duly elated at their present temporary superiority 
over the fallen Israelites, I now announce to you, as 
a part of tliat revelation with which I am entrusted, 
and which was formerly unknown, that this blind- 
ness of the Jewish nation to the claims of their 
Messiah, and their obstinate rejection of him, is but 
partial and temporary; it neither extends to the 
whole nation, nor will it be perpetual : and it is per- 
mitted in the plan of providence to take place at pre- 
sent, and they unwittingly give up their station in 

* TKis mystery ?\ *^ this hidden truth which I now reveal. See 
1 Cor. XV. 51, on which place Dr. Wall defines a mystery to 
be, what God purposes to do, but that purpose of his, has not 
till now been declared." Newcome. 

* The complement of the Gentiles^ ro irXi^pojucc' not as is usu- 
ally understood, till the whole body of the Gentiles is complete- 
ly introduced into the church, but till the Gentiles who being 
the complement, or that portion which when added to the Jews 
makes the church complete, have obtained an entrance into the 
church. So that the Jews are described as leaving the church 
to make way for the Gentiles ; but not as vv^aiting till all the 
Gentiles are come in before they return again. Comp. ver. 12, 
15. For this sense of the word TTAij^w/xa, see Eph. i. 23 ^ and 
Locke on that passage. See also Matt. ix. 16, where 'TrXr)pcv[j.oc 
signifies the patch that is put in to fill up the rent in an old 
garment. See Macknight's note on ver. 12. 

254 Part IV. R O M A N 3. Sect. II. ii. 5. 

Ch. XI. the church, in order to make room for the accession 
^' ■ ""'' of the Gentiles, who in the divine contemplation con- 
stitute an integral portion of the universal church, 
without which it would not be complete, and who 
take advantage of the secession of their elder bre- 
thren, the Jews, to enter, and to occupy their pro- 
per station in the church. 
26. And so all Israel will he saved ^ ; as it is luritten^ 
The deliverer will come out of Sion, and he will 
2j. turn away impiety from Jacob; and this shall be 
my covenant with them when I shall take away 
their sins". 

Thus Israel, having in part left their place to 
make room for their Gentile brethren, when this end 

^ Will he saved,'] i. e. ^^ will be converted to Christianity." 
Newcome. — " They are said to be saved, because, by their 
coming into the Christian church they shall have the means of 
salvation bestowed upon them. See ver. 11." Macknight. — 
'^ The first step the goodness of God took in execution of his 
purpose of election, was to rescue them from the sin and idola- 
try of their heathen state^ and to bring them into the light and 
privileges of the gospel. With regard to which the language 
of .scripture is, that he saved them. 1 Cor. i. IS, vii. 16, x. 33 ; 
Eph. ii. 8 5 1 Thess. ii. 16 -, 1 Tim. ii.4 3 2 Tim. i. 9." Taylor's 
Key, No. 93,91 

* As it is written, &c.] The quotation is from Isaiah lix. 20, 
21, in the LXX., which differs materially from the Hebrew. 
Bishop Lowth and Mr. Dodson both prefer the reading of the 
LXX. in ver. 21 j and Mr. Dodson supposes that the clause 
*• when I shall take away their sin" has been dropped both from 
the Hebrew and the LXX. The Hebrew is thus translated in 
the public version : '' And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, 
and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the 
Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the 
Lord J My spirit that is u])on thee, and my words that I have 
put into thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out 
of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's 
seed, saith the Lord^ from henceforth and for ever." 

Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. II. ii. 5. 255 

shall have been accomplished, and the Gentiles have Ch. xi. 
been received into the church, they who went out "'* 
shall be invited back, and shall all find safety and 
peace in the church of Christ. Thus shall the pro- 
phecy of Isaiah be fulfilled, Isa. lix. 20, 2 1, the sense 
of which is, that a great deliverer would in due time 
arise among the Jews, who would put an end to all 
idolatry and apostasy, and who would restore them 
to that state of privilege from which they had fallen, 
and from which they would never apostatize again. 

Upon this paragraph it may be remarked, that 
the word mystery is here used to express, not v^^hat 
is now unintelligible, but what being formerly un- 
known is now revealed, and which the apostle was 
commissioned to publish ; such was the ultimate 
restoration of the Jews to the privileges which they 
had forfeited. 

Further, when it is said, that ** all Israel shall be 
saved," the meaning is, not that every individual 
shall be brought into a state which shall ensure his 
final happiness, but that all shall be introduced into 
the community of believers and become partakers of 
its privileges ; they shall cease to be outcasts from 
God ; the sentence of outlawry shall be reversed. 
This is one instance out of many in the writings of 
the apostle, in which the word salvation expresses 
present privilege, not ultimate happiness. 

The prophecy is quoted chiefly from the LXX. 
or Greek translation ; it differs a little from the He- 
brew, and is probably in this instance more correct. 
It appears to be a prophecy of the advent of the Mes- 

256 Part IV. ROMAN S. Sect. II. n. 5, G, 

Ch.xr. siah, for the purpose of recovering and restoring 
^*' ^^' Israel ; it finishes abruptly, and in the original it is 
a promise of the perpetuity of the new covenant 
which probably the apostle had also in view. 

6. Though the temporary rejection of the Jews 
may be incidentally beneficial to the Gentiles, yet 
the gracious purposes of God towards his ancient 
people shall not be revoked, ver. 28, 29. 

28. JVith respect to the gospel^ they are enemies be- 
cause of you ; hut iv'ith i^espect to the election, they 

29, are beloved because of \hQ\x fathers . For the free 
gifts and the i?ivitatio?i of God are not to be re- 
pented of. 

The true state of the case is this : The moral 
condition of the Israelites may be considered in a 
twofold view, as it regards the success of the gospel, 
and as it regards the purpose and promise of God. 
With respect to the former, the Jews are permitted 
to fall away through unbelief, and to exclude them- 
selves from the blessings of the covenant, to make 
room for you Gentiles, to whom the gospel is offer- 
ed, in consequence of the rejection of '. by God's 
ancient people. pir "^.S 

But with regard to the purpose of uod, who se- 
lected this favoured people as the depositaries of his 
will, and the heirs of his mercy, and who promised 
to their pious forefathers, that their po. verity should 
be eminently blessed, he still loves them for their 
fiithers' sake, and will eventually fulfill every pro- 
mise. For all his promises are founded upon a cer- 

Part IV. ROMANS. Skct.IL ii. 6,7. 257 

tain fore-sight of every event ; so that his counsels Ch. xi. 
are not liable to be changed by any unforeseen oc- 
currence ; not even by the evil affections, or per- 
verse conduct of any of his creatures. For while, 
as in the present case, he overrules the apostasy of 
the Jewish nation for the production of a greater 
good, he will not suffer their apostasy and guilt to 
interfere with his kind designs towards them, but 
will fulfill all his gracious promises to his ancient 
people to their utmost extent; and by means abun- 
dantly efhcacious, though at present not revealed, he 
will reclaim the posterity of Abraham to the privi- 
leges and blessings which their ancestors possessed, 
and which he promised to their descendants. 

7 . The design of providence in permitting the 
unbelief, first of the Gentiles, and now of the Jews, 
is, that each in their turn should be, and should 
acknowledge themselves to be, objects of mercy, 
ver. 30—32. 

Moreover^ as ye forinerly luere imhelievers in 30. 
God^ hut noiv, through their imbelief, have become 
objects of mercy ; so, likeivise, these are now become 31, 
unbelievers through the mercy shoiun toyou^, that 
they also may become objects of mercy. 

^ Through the mercy shown to you, that, &c.] tuj Vixsrspuj 
sXssi, Iva,, X. r. A. '' even so have these also now not believed, 
that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.'* This 
is the public version, and most generally adopted. But the 
version in the text better coiTesponds with the arrangement in 
the original ; and is thus explained by Mr. Locke : " As you 
the Gentiles formerly stood out, and were not the jjeople of 

VOL. I. S 

258 Part IV. R OMAN S. Sect. II. ii. 7, 

Ch. xr. As a further illustration of the wisdom of divine 
^'" "^ ' providence in the present rejection of the Jews, it 
may he ohserved, that you Gentiles were formerly 
aliens from God, but that the privileges of the go- 
spel having been offered to you in consequence of 
the rejection of them by the Jews, you wisely ac- 
cepted them as a free gift, as an act of the free 
grace and mercy of God. And in the same man- 
ner, the Jews, having now become unbelievers, and 
that in a great measure in consequence of the free 
admission of the Gentiles into the church, are now 

God, but yet have now obtained mercy so as to be taken in 
through the standing out of the Jews, who submit not to the 
gospel, even so they now have stood out, by reason of your be- 
ing in mercy admitted, that they also — may again hereafter be 
admitted." Dr. Taylor objects that this interpretation involves 
the apostle in a contradiction, viz. " that the Gentile was taken 
in because the Jew stood out ; and the Jew stood out because 
the Gentile was taken in." It is plain that the apostle means 
to make a verbal antithesis, in which he often delights ; but, as 
Dr. Doddridge well observes, the writer refers to different pe- 
riods. The Gentiles were rejected because they continued ido- 
laters, when Abraham believed, and his posterity were taken 
into covenant : now, under the gospel dispensation, Abraham's 
posterity are rejected because they disbelieve ; and one great 
cause of their unbelief is the mercy shown to you by the free 
offer of covenant blessings unincumbered with ritual obligations. 
See Acts xiii. 4G, xxii. 22, And the great design of all is, that 
the Gentiles now, and the Jews eventually, may obtain the 
same blessing j and that it maybe obtained by both parties, not 
as a right, but as a free gift ; not as the reward of merit, but 
a.s the boon of mercy. 

Mr. Wakefield translates the j)assage, " So have they now 
disobeyed the mercy shown to you, and will hereafter obtain 
mercy. "^ I5ut as in the next verse he translates airsiSsia un- 
belief, it seems better to adliere to the same signification through 
the whole context. It is clear, however, tliat this learned critic 
did not ap})rove the construction of the public version. Rosen- 
muller gives both interpretations. 

Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. II. ii. 7. 259 

placed in a situation from which there can be no Ch. xi. 
hope of rehef but from free and unmerited mercy. ^^^' ^^' 

For God hath included alV together in unbelief, 32, 

that all miglit he objects of mercy. 

Such was the plan of the all-wise providence of 
God. It was his will to hide pride from man, and 
that all should know that the invaluable privileges 
of the gospel covenant, and the promise of eternal 
life, w^ere not the reward of human merit, but the 
free gift of abounding mercy. And to this end he 
permitted both Jew and Gentile to fall into a state 
of ignorance, and vice, and misery, from which no- 
thing could extricate them but the arm of un- 
bounded mercy. All, through unbelief, are become 
prisoners of his justice; that all might be, and might 
be made sensible that they were, the objects of his 
mercy : to which, and not to their own antecedent - 
merits, they are wholly indebted for the blessings^of 
the gospel. 

^ Hath included all, &c.] cvvs-x-Xzia-z, " has locked them up 
together." Taylor. See Luke v. 63 Gal. iii. 22, 23, '' God has 
put up together in a state of revolt from their allegiance to him, 
all men, both Jews and Gentiles, that through his mercy they 
might all, both Jews and Gentiles, come to be his people : i. e. 
he has suffered both Jews and Gentiles in their turns not to be 
his people, that he might bring the whole body both of Jews 
and Gentiles to be his people." Locke. To which may be add- 
ed, what neither of these great critics appears to have sufficiently 
attended to, viz, that the main design of these dispensations is, 
that the whole might be, and might appear, and be acknow- 
ledged to be, an act of mercy, and not the reward of merit. 

Mr. Locke and Dr. Taylor, in their veiy judicious notes upon 
this passage, have shown that the apostle in the whole of this 
discourse, is treating of national privileges, and not of personal 

OO Paut IV. ROMANS. Sect. II. ii. 8. 

Ch. XL 8. The apostle bursts out in an eloquent apo- 
strophe, upon the unsearchable wisdom of the di- 
vine counsels, challenging any one to advance any 
just claim upon his administration, and ascribing 
glory to the great all-comprehending mind ; and 
thus he concludes his present subject and the argu- 
mentative part of his epistle, ch- 33 — 36. 
33. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and 
the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are Ids 
judgements, and his ways not to be traced ^ ! 

Upon the review of the conduct of divine provi- 
dence towards Jews and Gentiles, at one time se- 
lecting, and at another time rejecting, each of these 
great portions of mankind as the objects of peculiar 
favour, while we admit with the fullest assurance 
of conviction the infinite wisdom of the divine go- 
vernment, we are constrained to acknowledge our 
total ignorance of the reasons of the divine conduct, 
and our utter incapacity to explain why privileges 
are granted at one time and denied at another, or 
why they are communicated to some and withheld 
from others. 

» O the depth, &c.] Mr. Locke justly observes, that " this 
emphatical conclusion seems in a special manner to regard tht; 
Jews } whom the aj)ostle would hereby teach modesty and sub- 
mission to tlie over-ruling hand of tlie all-wise Ciod, whom they 
are very unfit to call to account for his rejecting them, and 
dealing so favourably with the (ientiles. His wisdom and ways 
are infinitely above tiieir comprehension ; and will they take 
ii])on them to advise him what to do ? Or is God in their debt ? 
This is a very strong rebuke to the Jews ; but delivered, as we 
see, in a way very gentle and inollensivc." 

Part IV. ROMAN S. Sect. II. ii. 8. 26 1 

For ivho hath hnown the mind of the Lord? or Ch. xi. 
ivho hath been his counsellor P ^^^'' *^^' 

Who among the sons of men can pretend to un- 
derstand or to explain the reasons of the divine con- 
duct in every particular ? though, as I have ah-eady 
shown, some general explanation may perhaps be 
given. But who is there that will pretend to form 
a true judgement of the divine dispensations, from 
beginning to end, and to exhibit them in so clear 
and satisfactory a light that it may appear as if he 
had even suggested the plan to the Supreme Being? 

Or who has first given to him, and it shall be 35. 

paid him again P 

Who can say that his Maker is his debtor ? let 
him make out his claim, and full payment shall be 

The apostle alludes to the folly and presumption 
of the Jews ; who fondly dreamed that they had an 
hereditary and indefeasible right to privileges su^ 
perior to those of the Gentiles, whom they despised 
and hated ; and of whose equality to them in the di- 
vine favour, and in a covenant state, they could not 
endure to hear, q, d. If the Jews have sustained 
any injury, let them make out their case, and it 
shall be redressed. If their Maker is their debtor, 
let them produce the account, and it shall be dis- 
charged. But what can equal the folly and pre- 
sumption of those Vv^ho, either directly or by impli- 
cation, advance so extravagant a claim ? 

For of him, and through him, and to him^ are 36. 

all things : to him be glory for ever. Amen, 

262 Part IV. ROMANS. Sect. II. 11.8. 

Ch. XL The unreasonableness of the supposition that a 
poor helpless dependent creature can lay his Creator 
under obligation is most manifest, if we recollect 
that the universal plan of the providential and mo- 
ral government of God originates in his own infi- 
nite wisdom and benevolence ; that it must there- 
fore be perfect in its conception ; that it is carried 
into effect by his almighty power : it cannot, there- 
fore, be defective in the execution. And, whatever 
judgement frail and erring mortals may pass on the 
minute and detached portions which fall under their 
notice, it cannot be doubted, that when the glorious 
scheme is complete it will appear most worthy of 
the divine perfections, and productive of the great- 
est possible sum of virtue and happiness : so that 
the great Maker of all will have no cause to dis- 
avow his work, or to complain that in any particu- 
lar it has fallen short of his magnificent design. 
And for this glorious scheme let his matchless wis- 
dom, power, and goodness, be for ever admired and 
celebrated by all his creatures. Amen. 




The apostle having finished the doctrinal 
and argumentative part of the epistle, 
the remainder chiefly consists of prac- 

to the end of the Epistle, 

First, The apostle exhorts believers, in considera- 
tion of their free admission to the privileges of the 
gospel, to adorn their profession by the practice of 
Christian virtue, and by a faithful performance of 
the duties of their respective stations in the church, 
ch, cvii. throughout. Secondly, Upon Christian 
principles he urges the practice of ail civil and so- 
cial duties, eh, xui, throughout. Thirdly, He 
recommends mutual candour to those who differ 
upon things indifferent ; and particularly to those 
who held different opinions concerning the holiness 
of days and distinctions of food, ch, xiv, — xv, 13. 
Fourthly, He apologizes for his freedom; relates 
his success; and expresses his intention of visiting 
Rome in his way to Spain, after having finished his 
mission at Jerusalem ; requests their prayers, and 
adds his blessing, ch, xv. \3 to the end. Fifthly, 

264 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. I. 1. 

The epistle concludes with many salutations, the 
usual benediction, and a doxology, ch,xvu through- 


C h. XII. The apostle urges tipon the Christians at Rome, 
the regular and diligent practice of Christian 
duty, from the consideration of the great mercy 
of God in admitting them to the privileges of 
the gospel, Ch. xii, 

1 . He exhorts them to make an entire surrender 
of themselves to God, ver. 1 . 
\'ci. I. / beseech you titer ef ore, brethren, by the mercies 
of God ^, that ye present yourselves^ a living sacri* 
flee, holy, acceptable to God, which is your rational 

q. d. You cannot but be deeply apprehensive of 
the great mercy and compassion of God in com- 
municating the gospel to you, and in admitting you 
to a participation of its privileges upon such easy 
and merciful conditions : I entreat you, therefore. 

* Mercies of God.'] " Oi>cripiJ.(juv, insignia ilia hencjicia quce 
misericordicc Dei dchemus."'' RosenmuUer. " these compassion- 
ate kindnesses." Wakefield. 

^VrcHcut yourselves^ Gr. " your bodies ;" i. e. your whole 
persons. — A living sacrijice: i.e. in contradistinction to a dead 
victim. — Ifoltf. " Sancluni in lege dicitur qu.irquid Deo ohlatuni 
est: quod vero sine rilio esse dchehnt. Ia'v. i. ',], 10." Rosenmul- 
ler. — Rational .service. " Oj)ponilur ridhus et cerenionis.'' Ro- 
senmuUer. — *' Saer'tjicium ntentr animoquc, offcrendum . Opposi- 
tum bva-ia. ^vouiv oiKoyMv.'' K()j)pius. — •" 'Hiat religious service of 
reason which ye owe." ^\'akeiield. ROMANS. Sect. I. 1,2. 265 

my beloved brethren, and, as a joint-partaker with Ch. xir. 
you in the blessings of the gospel, I implore you to 
make a suitable return to the divine goodness. Ani- 
mal sacrifices are no longer required : the death of 
a victim is not enjoined. But there is one sacrifice 
which may still be presented : it is that of your liv- 
ing selves ; it is the consecration of your whole per- 
sons to God; and that for the performance, not of 
a ceremonial, but an intellectual worship. And 
under the new dispensation assure yourselves that 
this service of reason, this consecration of your 
whole life to God and duty, will alone be accept- 
able to a Being of perfect moral rectitude. 

2. The apostle exhorts them to a behaviour agree- 
able to their profession, and not according to the 
fashion of the world, ver. 2. 

u4/id be not fashioned according to this iuo7*ld; 2. 

but be transformed by the reneiving ofyourinind^^ 
so that ye may exhibit in yourselves that will of 
God which is good, and acceptable, and perfect. 

No longer act as the heathen do, whose immo- 
ralities I have faithfully pourtrayed. But, having 
entered into a new profession, consider yourselves 

' Be ye transformed.'] " Sed aliam personam induite emenda- 
fione animi vestri.'" Rosenmuller. — That ye may exhibit : Soxi^cc- 
^siv ^'^ show in yourselves." Wakefield. — "^ Ut exploretis {ct 
probetis) quid Deus velit (a vobis fieri) ^ Rosenmuller. " that 
ye may search out." Nev^Tome. — That will of God. " Post ^ba. 
0s8ponendum essevidetur comma." Rosenmuller. — '' ro ccyahv, 
rectum, honestum. rsASiOv, labe carens, perfectum, quod omnes 
suas partes habet.'" Rosenmuller. — Dr. Taylor understands this 
verse as addressed to the heathen^ and the former to the Jews, 

266 Div.ll ROMANS. Sect. I. 2,3. 

Ch. XII. as new persons, and let your mind be disciplined 
^'^^' ^' to its new and holy state : so will you experience in 
yoLirselves, and exhibit to others, the will of God. 
You will be living patterns of what God requires ; 
namely, a conduct right in itself and flowing from 
good principles, well-pleasing to God and man, and 
consistent throughout, without any allowed devia- 
tion from the practice of virtue. 

3. The apostle charges the believers at Rome not 
to be too nnich elated by their privileges, but to act 
as becomes them in their respective stations, ver. 
3. For by the favour^ granted to me, I charge 
every one ainong you not to he elated above ivhat 
lie ought to think ; hut to think luith moderation^ 
according to the measure of faith ivliich God has 
distributed to each. 

And to enforce this exhortation more especially 
upon the Gentile believers, in virtue of my aposto- 

^Fax)our?\ '' ^api$, munus aposfoUcum.'' Roscnmiiller. St^e 
Rom, i. 5, XV. 15 ; I ('or. iii. \0 ; Eph. iii. 8. — " y^rj virspiZpovEiv, 
ne quis superhiat, vcl immodeste de sa senfiaf.'' Rosenmullcr. — 
*' irirs'Ms, nil Deus ciiivis mensuram aliqitdm scientiie trihuif,'" 
Id. This apj)cars to me to be the true meaninp; ot'7r<r»f in this 
connexion : christian knowle(lu:e. Dr. Taylor and Mr. Locke 
suppose an allusion to miracidous gifts ; but it does not ajipear 
that the Roman believers as yet possessed any ; tor the apostle, 
ch. i. 11, expresses a wish to visit tliem, for the ex]jress pur- 
pose of impartin,^^ some spiritual ii^W'l to them. Rut we know, 
from chap, xiv., that the believers at Home consisted both of 
Jews aiul (ientiles; and that the latter, having no regard to di- 
stinctions of days or of food, were disposed to treat the more 
Kcruj)ulous Jewish believer with contempt. This seems to be 
the .spirit to which the aj)ostle here alludes. 

Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. I. 3, 4. 267 

lie office, I strictly charge you all, without excep- Cb. xii. 
tion, and those in particular who may possess more 
extensive and correct ideas of gospel liberty than 
others, not to be too much elated by their superi- 
ority over their less informed brethren ; but let them 
remember, that if their own faith is more correct, 
and their own views more enlarged, than those of 
their brethren, they are indebted for this advantage, 
not to their own merit, but to the gift of God. 

For as in one body we have many members, but 4, 

all these members have not the same office : so we, 5. 

though many, are one body in Christ, and each of 
us severally fellow members thereof-. 

Let not the enlightened Gentile convert despise 
his over- scrupulous Jewish brother, who may not 
be altogether emancipated from the bondage of the 
law. For in your respective stations you are all in- 
corporated in the Christian church, and are mem- 
bers of the mystical body of Christ, which would 
not be complete if any individual were wanting. 
Being thus intimately united to him as your com- 
mon Head, far from despising each other, you 
should cultivate kind affections and mutual sym- 

4. The apostle directs to an active and faithful 

* Eacli of us severally.'] So Wakefield. This image of the 
Christian church as a body^ of which individuals and particular 
churches are severally members^ and Christ the Head, from 
vi'hich life and sense and vigour are dispensed to the whole, is 
a great favourite with the apostle, who introduces it and argue? 
upon it in many of his epistles. Seel Cor. xii. 123 Eph.iv.25^ v.30. 

268 Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect. I. 4 

Ch. XII. discharge of their respective offices in the church, 

ver. 6 — 8. 
Ver. 6. Havuig therefore different gifts according to the 
favour granted to us i, if it be pi^ophecy, let us 
prophesy agreeably to the analogy of faith ". 

Each of us being members of Christ's mystical 
body, let each keep the place and perform the office 
belonging to it. In our respective stations in the 
church some are better qualified for one office, and 
some for another : one has a peculiar talent for 
public preaching, and is perhaps appointed to the 
office of a presbyter. Let him then in this way edify 
the church : only let him adhere to the rule of faith, 

* TJie favour grantedJ^ yiocrocrrjv ')(^a,piv i'YjV ^oQsicrav. This is 
a repetition of the phrase used in ver. 3, where it unquestion- 
ably expresses the apostle's appointment to his apostolic office, 
it is probably used in a similar sense here, and might perhaps 
be more intelligibly translated, '' having therefore different du- 
ties or qualifications" {')(^api(T[, in allusion to %«::;;), " ac- 
cording to the office assigned to us," &c. He then goes into de- 
tail oi'])reachers, deacons, catechists, almoners, &c. This seems 
to be the true meaning of the passage, though it has almost 
escaped the notice of the commentators. 

* Let us prophesy .'] " If to explain the scriptures, let it be 
agreeable to the faith." ^Vakefield. If the Roman believers 
v\ ere not endowed with spiritual gifts, this lowest sense of the 
word prophecy is that in which it is to be understood in this 
passage. " Pro})hecy," says Dr. Priestley, in his note upon the 
text, " often signifies exhortation; and indeed notliing that the 
a})Ostlc says in the course of this epistle implies that the Chri- 
stians at Rome had as yet received any miraculous gift of the 
spirit, nor does it aj)pear that any a])ostie had been there to im- 
part them ; and it was l)y tiie inijiosition of their hands that 
those gifts were ordinarily communicated. In this manner it 
pleased Ciod to distinguish tlie twelve apostles." Perhaps irpo^ 
(pY,raia. may be used to ex])ress tiie office of the presbyter or bi- 
shop, as ihe next exhortation relates to the office of deacon. 
" 7ris-i$,csl scientia utj ver, 3." Rosenmuller. 

Div. IL R OMAN S, Sect. I. 4. 2G9 

and interpret the scripture consistently with the Ch. xn. 
doctrine of Christ, as far as his knovv^ledge extends. 

Or if the office of a deacon^ let us attend to the Ver. 7- 
deaconship . 

If we are placed in a lower situation in the church, 
and our office is to supply the tables of the poor, let 
this work be done faithfully and impartially. See 
Acts vi. 

The histructor also to instruction^ the ecvhorter 8. 

to exhortation. 

Let him whose office it is to teach the young and 
the uninformed, be diligent in his work, and acquire 
the happy talent of communicathig knowledge in 
the most agreeable manner; and let him whose pro- 
vince it is to exhort or to console, acquire a famiHar 
acquaintance with the most powerful motives to duty 
and the most efficacious topics of consolation, and 
urge them at the most convenient seasons and in 
the most impressive manner. 

He that distributeth, let him distribute ivith sini' —8. 
plicity'^; he that presideth, luith diligence^; he that 
showeth mercy y with cheerfulness. 

^ Distribiiteth.'] It is commonly believed that the apostle is 
here speaking of private charity, but he probably continues to 
address his advice to the officers of the church. See Taylor and 
Schleusner. Dr Taylor supposes that the deacons are ad- 
dressed ; but they have been mentioned before. Perhaps the 
distinction m.ay be, that the deacons were to attend to the se- 
cular concerns of the church, and to the poor members of the 
community ; and the distributors, or almoners, to the external 
poor. — dTrXorrjtr in this connexion, impartiality, as well as libe- 
rality. '^ with an honest and disinterested mind." Taylor. 

^ He who presideth.'] o it^o'is'ccf/.ivos. The sense given in the 
paraphraiie \h adopted by Dr. Taylor from Lord Barrington's 

270 Div.ll. ROMANS. Sect. I. 4, o. 

Ch. XII. Let him who is appointed to distribute the ahns 
^^*' ^' of the church to strangers, or to the poor, distribute 
with an impartial hand. Let those who preside 
over charitable distributions, or who undertake to 
patronise or provide for the persecuted brethren, 
perform their duties with attention and zeal. And 
let such as are engaged in offices of humanity to 
the sick and afflicted, discharge the necessary and 
painful duties of their station with that ready and 
cheerful spirit which doubles the blessing to the 
sufferer, and exhibits in the most engaging manner 
the excellence and efficacy of the principles of the 

5 . The apostle recommends mutual affection, hu- 
mility, diligence, and zeal, ver. 9 — H. 
9- Let /ove be undissemhled. Abhor evil; adhere 
to goodness i . 

The profession of the gospel requires fraternal 
affection among the followers of Jesus. Let that 
affection be sincere. Abhor all malignity and mis- 
chief; and cherish in your hearts the kindest and 
best affections. 
U). Be tenderly affectionate one to another, iv'ith 
brotherly love ; in honour preferring one another. 

Let your affection to each other resemble that of 

.1//.SC. .S^/c. Essay I. It Is conCirmc^d l)y tiu' of the Avonl 
irporocris, Rom. xvi. 'J. IMu-br, :i douc-oncss, is spoken of as a 
siK'courer of many. 

^ Abhor, &c.] (ir. " abhoniii;^- — clcaviiii^' :" a Hebraism, 
f'liniliar to the apostle. 

Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. I. 5, 6. V\ 

the nearest kindred ; and do not individually and Ch.xii. 
eagerly affect pre-eminence, but readily give place 
to others who may have a better claim. 

Not slothful in bnsi/iess : fervent in spirit ; avail- 1 1 • 

ing yourselves of opportunity 2. 

A^^atever business you undertake, perform it tho- 
roughly and with dispatch. Be always on the alert : 
ready for action. And whatever be the duty of the 
present hour apply to it ; and let no temptation di- 
vert you from it. 

6. The apostle exhorts to the practice of various 
duties, and particularly recommends such as were 
adapted to a suffering state, ver. 12, 13. 

Rejoice in ho J) e"^ I ^-• 

Many of you are sufferers in one shape or an- 
other for your faith in the gospel. Let that hope 
which the gospel inspires cheer your spirits. 

lie patient in tribulation. 

Animated by such glorious prospects, bear pre- 
sent trials^ however severe, without murmuring or 

Persevere in prayer. 

Look up to God : pour out your heart before him : 
cast your care upon him. 

- AvalUng yourselves^ &c.] t'cu xocipuj hXsvovrsg' " serving 
yourselves of the opportunity." Wakefield. This is the reading 
of the Clermont and other manuscripts : it is adopted by Gries- 
bach, and best suits the connexion. The Alexandrine, Vatican, 
and many other copies read Kvpiw, *' serving the Lord," which 
is the Received Text. 

' Rejoice in hope .'] " Si res adverse ingruunt, Christlani de- 
bent memores esse se non carere spe."' Rosenmuller. 

272 Div. IL ROMANS. Sect. I. 6, 7. 


Ch. xir. Cwnmumcate to the wants of the saints i. 

Be liberal in your benefactions to your indigent 
brethren . 

Pursue hospitality 2. 

Be kind to strangers, and especially to believers 
who, being persecuted at home on account of their 
Christian profession, may find it difficult to obtain 
admission into the houses of those who were for- 
merly their friends. Look out for such, and do 
not wait till they com.e to your door : search for 
them in the places of public resort ; bring them to 
your houses, and entertain them in the best way that 
prudence will admit. 

7 . The apostle recommends good will to perse- 
cutors, sympathy, humility, and self-diffidence, ver. 
J 4 Bless those who persecute you: bless, and curse 

Let not any provocation, nor any injury which 
you may receive on account of your Christian pro- 
fession, induce you to retaliate upon your persecu- 
tors : but speak mildly, even to those whose lan- 
guage and conduct are most malignant. 

' Wants of the saints.'] Roscnmuller observes, that this epistle 
was vsTitten about the time of the famine in the reign of Clau- 
dius, Acts xi. 28, when many strangers flocked to Rome. 

* Pursue hospital it Jj.] hor/.cra, seek occasions for hospitality. 
Hospitality was a virtue of great importance, when the want of 
inns rendered it difficult for strangers to obtain accommodations. 
And Dr. Doddridge obser\'es, after Blackvvall, that many Chri- 
stians might be banished their native country for their religion, 
and perhaps bid under a ban of excommunication ; wliich would 
render it a high crime to receive them into their houses. 

Div. Ih ROMAN S. Sect. I. 7, 8. 273 

Rejoice with them that rejoice ; weep with them Ch . xii. 
that weep : having the same dispositions towards ^ ^^ ' ^^ 
each other 3. 

Sympathize with each other : avoid a narrow sel- 
fish spirit. Enter into the cases of your brethren. 
If they are cheerful, rejoice with them ; if they mourn, 
participate in their sorrows. Let every one feel for 
another as for himself. 

Affect not superiority^ but be guided by the hum- 
ble 4, Be not wise in your own conceit. 

Know your proper place : do not set yourselves 
up above your brethren, but be willing to yield pre- 
eminence to others. Take for your examples those 
who are of a humble spirit, who rather decline than 
covet distinction. Be not puffed up with the con- 
ceit of superior wisdom. 

8. The apostle warns against revenge, and en- 
joins honourable and peaceful behaviour, ver. 17, 

Render to no one evil for evil. 17. 

The spirit of the gospel prohibits all retaliation 
and revenge. 

Be commendably prudent in the sight ofallmen^. 

^ I follow Wakefield in joining this clause to the 15th verse, 
and borrow his translation. 

* Affect not J &c.] (ppovsiv t'oc v^yjXo,, malo sensu est, velle sem- 
per antecellere alios. 01 raitsivoi h. 1. 7ion sunt vitce statu, sed 
mente humlles. (rvvociraysa-^ai rivi, alias, in partem sinistrajn 
dicitur. Sed Paulus usus est hoc verbo in meliorem partem. Du- 
camini exemplo demissorum." Rosenmuller. " Be guided by 
humility." Wakefield. 

^ Be commendahhi prudent.'] q. ttpovoskt^s zccXms. I follow 

VOL. 1. T 

274 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. I. 8,9. 

Ch. XII. Let your conduct in the world be so governed by 
prudence, as to entitle you to respect, and to guard 
you from reproach. 

18. IJ it be possible, to the utmost of yojir power ^ live 
peaceably with all men» 

Offer no provocation to any ; give no intentional 
offence; be circumspect in your conduct: do all 
you can to promote peace and quietness. After all, 
peace may not be in your power ; but let not the 
blame of contention rest with you. 

9. The section concludes with an earnest dissua- 
sive from revenge, ver. 1 9 — 2 1 . 

19. Beloved, avenge not yourselves, but yield to an- 
ger 1 ; for it is luritten, P^engeance belongeth to 
me ; I will recompense, saith the Lord. 

Though you have an unquestionable right to 
stand upon self-defence, yet if a man is violently an- 
gry it will be advisable not to increase his irritation 
by fruitless opposition, but to leave his fury to ex- 
haust itself in empty words. And if he should even 
proceed to mischief, and should commit injury, do 
not retaliate evil : for no one can be an impartial 
judge in his own cause. If you have no just means 

Rosenmuller, who, with More, interprets xaAa iis the adverb 
xaAw; : 7. d. ** coram omnibus hon'uiibus vivite caute. Ut for' 
inula prospiccre bene, descrihat homincm provklum, prudentem, 
cautnmque. 2 Cor. viii. 21." 

' Yield to anger .•] i. e. as some explain it, '' give place to, 
make way for, the anger of God." So Chrysostoni understands 
it • and HosenmuUer says tliat the connexion requires this sense. 
So Archbishop Nevvconie : see his note. Mr. Wakefield renders 
it " the anger uf another .'' which is the sense tluit 1 prefer. 

Div. If. ROMAN S. Sect. I. 9. 275 

of redress, commit yom* cause to God. He claims Ch. xir. 
this prerogative as his own: 'To me (saith he) be- ^^' ' 
longeth vengeance and recompense.' Deut. xxxii. 
35. And in due time he will call the offender to 

Therefore^ if thine enemy hunger, feed him ; if 20. 
he thirst, give him drink : for by doing this thou 
shalt heap coals of fire upon his head'^. Be not 21, 

overcome by evil^, hut overcome evil with good. 

In the mean time, endeavour by forbearance and 
kindness to bring your adversary to repentance, and 
to save him from ruin. Not only abstain from all 
acts of revenge, but abound in those of benevolence ; 
relieve his sufferings, supply his wants, anticipate 
his application. If his heart is not unusually hard, 
this conduct will soften him, and bring him to a 
better temper. In the best sense of the words, you 
will heap coals of fire upon his head ; you will melt 

* Coals of fire, &c.] This sentence is a quotation from Prov. 
XXV. 22, where it is added, ' and the Lord shall reward thee.' 
Idsifeceris dolorem ipsi injicies maximum. As some understand 
it, ' you will fill him with remorse.' According to others, *^you 
will aggravate his final condemnation,' See IlosenmuUer. But 
this latter surely is a very unworthy motive, and by no means 
likely to have been the intention of the apostle. The sense 
given in the paraphrase is most agreeable to the spirit of Chris- 
tianity, and therefore most probably the true meaning of the 
passage. See Doddridge in loc. 

^ Overcome by evil.'] " This," says Dr. Priestley in his note 
on this text, " is a very happy expression. By calling doing 
evil a being overcome of evil, implies a weakness of mind in giv- 
ing way to it, and that doing good is a conquest over evil prin- 
ciples : so that there is great heroism and magnanimity in vir- 
tue, and as great weakness and meanness in vice." • • - - 


276 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. II. 1. 

Ch. XII. him into penitence, and cast his niind into a new 

^"•-'- mould. 

Upon the whole, suffer not evil affections to be 
excited in you by the bad conduct of others ; but 
subdue the evil passions of others by your own gen- 
tleness, forbearance, and generosity. 


Ch. XIII. The apostle inculcates the practice of all civil and 
social duties upon Christian principles , Ch. xiii. 

1 . The apostle strongly presses the duty of obe- 
dience to the civil power, ver. 1 — 5. 
Ver. 1. Let every one he subject fo the supreme authori- 
ties. For there is no authority hut from God, and 
2. those which exist are appointed by God: he^ there- 
fore, ivho setteth himself against this authority, rC' 
sisteth the appointment of God; and they who re^ 
sist will bring upon themselves condemnation. 

The Jews regarded themselves as living under a 
theocracy, or a special divine government, acknow- 
ledging no law but that which was given by God to 
Moses upon mount Sinai, and owning allegiance to 
no sovereign but God himself. Hence they held 
all other governments in contempt and detestation. 
And not only were they impatient of the Roman 
yoke in their own country, but were prone to sedi- 
tion in other nations where they were settled. They 
had been expelled from Rome for their turbulent 

Div. II. R OMAN S. Sect. II. T. 277 

spirit by the emperor Claudius, a few years before Ch. xiii. 
this epistle was written, and had but lately been per- 
mitted to return. The believers in Christ, who ori- 
ginally consisted chiefly of Jewish converts, were 
for some time confounded with the Jews, and some 
of them might be disposed to embrace the Jewish 
principles of civil government, and to conclude, that 
by their conversion to the faith they were released 
from all subjection to the civil power, and that they 
owed no allegiance but to God. It is to rectify this 
misconception that the apostle gives the advice con- 
tained in this portion of his epistle ^ 

Let every one be subject to the supreme authori' !• 

ties 2 ; and let none of the holy community of be- 
lievers in Christ imagine, that by taking upon him- 
self this sacred profession, he is released from the 
allegiance which he owes to the civil power : but 
let all obey the sovereign authority. 

For there is no authority but from God; and 
those which exist^ are appointed by God, 

It is a mistake to suppose that Moses is the only 
divinely commissioned legislator, and that the Jew- 

* " Hanc doctrinam, Iinperatoribus non esse prcebendum ohsc" 
quium, Judcei sine dubio hauserunt e doctrina Pharisceorum, Jo- 
seph. Antiq. xviii. 2, 4." RosenmuUer. 

'^ Supreme authorities.'] " intelligendisunt summi magistratus 
in universuui : ac imprimis Imperatores Romani. Nam vrspey^siv 
dignitatis quandamprcRstantiam prcealiis indicat. Joseph. B. L 
vii. II. i." RosenmuUer. The supreme imperial power. 

' Those which exist.'] In the received text " the authorities " 
which exist -, but the word authorities {s^8(riai) is omitted in 
the Alexandrine, Cambridge, and other manuscripts, and by 
Griesbach. — Are appointed by God. *' All other governments de- 
rive their power from God as well as the Jews." Locke. 

— 1. 

1/8 Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect. II. I. 

ch. XIII. ish government is the only one which derives its 
authority from heaven. There is a sense in which 
civil government, as such, is derived from God; be- 
cause it is for the happiness of mankind to form 
themselves into civil communities for mutual pro- 
tection and security : and therefore it is the will of 
God that such communities should exist. And 
there is also a sense in which the actually existing 
governments are of divine appointment ; because, 
in their different forms, they have for wise and good 
reasons been permitted to establish themselves in 
the world ; and so they are to remain, unless very 
substantial reasons require a change. 
^- He, therefore, tv/io setteth himself against this 
authority^ resisteth the appointment of God ' ; and 
they luho resist, will bring upon themselves cojidem^ 
7iation 2. 

He who resisteth lawful authority, and who would 
introduce anarchy and confusion, opposes an insti- 
tution which God has appointed for the benefit of 

' He who setteth himself, &.C.] So Wakefield. *'' avr<rao-cr£Q-- 
Oa<, 'per vim se opponere. Quicunque se oppouit rcgi, idem est 
lit si se opponeret majcstati divincB.'" Rosenmuller. — " The sense 
is, thiit Christians, by being Christians, are not any vvay exempt 
from obedience to tlic civil magistrate, nor ought by any means 
to resist them 5 though, by what is said, ver. 3, it seems that 
St. Paul meant here, magistrates having and exercising a law- 
ful power. ]>ut whether the magistrates in being, were, or were 
not such, and consequently were, or were not to be obeyed, 
that, Christianity gave them no peculiar power to examine. 
They had the common riglit of others, their fellow citizens, but 
had no distinct privileges as Christians." Locke. 

- i'ondrmfKftion.'] " They who resist, will be ])unislied by powers whicli they resist." Locke. " Vnnicuiur turn a 
magistraidms, lum^ alia raiamc, a Dlo ipso." Rosenniuller. 

Div.II. ROMANS. Sect. II. 1. 2/9 

mankind. And he who opposes the existing au- Ch. xiii. 
thorities, and endeavours to overthrow them under 
any pretext whatever^ incurs a most serious respon- 
sibiUty : for he opposes that which God in his pro- 
vidence has permitted to exist ; and of wdiich he 
wills the continuance^ till the evils which result 
from its existence exceed those which will follow 
from its overthrow. And they who thus resist the 
civil power, must of course expect the vengeance of 
the penal laws ; and if they oppose it wantonly, in- 
considerately, and unjustly, they will incur the dis- 
pleasure of heaven. 

The apostle does not mean to affirm, that all re- 
sistance to tyrannical authority is in all cases un- 
lawful. God forbid. That would be the extreme 
of injustice. Nor does the apostle's argument war- 
rant such a conclusion. All evil is in some sense 
of divine appointment ; and it is no more unlaw- 
ful to put an end to a tyrannical and oppressive go- 
vernment, because such a government is, in the 
course of providence, permitted to exist, than it is 
unlawful to use every possible means to put a stop 
to the pestilence ; because that likewise is an evil 
under the direction of God. And, in fact, a re- 
formed government when once introduced and set- 
tled, is as much the appointment of God, as that 
which has been displaced by it. But it was no 
part of the apostle's intention, nor was it the object 
of his mission, to enter into political discussions. 

For these rulers 3 are not a terror to good zcorks, 3. 

* These rulers.'] Ol ycco OLpyj-jvi^c. So \\'akcficld. Are not a 

280 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect.1I. 1. 

Ch. xin. but to evil : luouldcst thou then not he afraid of the 
authority ? do that which is light, and thou wilt 
be praised by it ; for it is the minister of God to 
thee for good. 

The rulers to whom I allude, and whom it would 
be impious to resist, are such as perform their im- 
portant duties with fidelity; who protect the vir- 
tuous, but are a terror to evil-doers. If, therefore, 
you would avoid the frowns of those who are in 
power, perform your duty, and the power of the vir- 
tuous magistrate will be your protection : for such 
is the design of providence in the appointment of 
civil institutions. 
~A. But if thou do evil, be afraid; for it beareth not 
the sword in vain ^ ; for it is the avenging minister 
of God for the punishment of the evil-doer. 

If, indeed, you violate the laws of the communi- 
ty, if you deceive, oppress, and injure your neigh- 

terror, &:c. It vaiiy seem surprising, that the apostle speaks so 
respectfully of Neros government. And some have argued from 
this liict, the disgraceful and degrading doctrines of passive obe- 
dience and non-resistance, even under the most tyrannical and 
arbitrary governments. But this epistle was written in the third 
or fourth year of Nero's reign ; and it is to be remembered, 
that the government of this emperor for the first few years was 
temperate and just. Wlicn Paul vras himself a prisoner at 
Rome, there were believers even in C'esar's househoUi, Philip, 
iv. 22, And Burrhus, the preceptor of Nero, and prefect of the 
Pnetorian guard, is said to have favoured the Christians. — It 
is flip, viinisfcr. So W'akefiehl. 

' // hcdrrdi not the sword, &c.] This e\])ression seems to im- 
ply, that in extreme cases, tlie civil magistrate htus a right to 
take away life. lUit surely this authority should be very sparing- 
ly used. Wilful murder seems to be almost the only oftcnc c 
xvhich will jnslify capilal jmnishment. — It is, ^i:. for t/ie pu- 
inslimtnl. So Wakefield. 

Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect. II. 1, 2. 281 

hour, you have reason to be afraid ; for a just ma- Ch. xiii, 
gistrate will do his duty, and will use his authority ^^' ' 
for visiting the wicked with condign punishment. 
For he is as much the instrument of God to execute 
his righteous judgement upon the wicked, as to pro- 
tect and reward the virtuous. 

Therefore^ it is necessary to yield subjection, not 5. 

only on account of punisJunent 2, but also for con- 
science sake. 

Upon the whole, therefore, it behoves you to live 
in due subjection to a just government, not only 
through fear of punishment, but from a sense of 
duty, and from obedience to the will of God. 

2. The apostle exhorts to a conscientious dis- 
charge of what was due to the established govern- 
ment, ver. 6, 7. 

Moreover^ for the same reason, pay tribute like- 6. 

wise; for they are servants of God, continually 
attending to this particular object^. 

Be as strictly conscientious in the payment of 
your proportion of the public contributions, as in 
performing your civil and social duties. Magis- 
trates are the servants of God ; whose duty it is, to 
devote their whole time and all their powers to the 

* On account of punishment.'] Sicc tr^y opyr^v. Wakefield. New- 

* Attending.'] " Tliey employ their care, time, and pains, for 
the public weal." Locke. " A very delicate lesson is obli(|uely 
conveyed to the magistrate," ver. 3, 4, 6. Nevvcome. " for 
thev who attend to thij» ba-iiness, are public servants of God." 

282 Div. II. R O M A N S. Sect. II. 2. 

ch. xrii. service of the public, to administer justice, and to 
preserve peace. They are fully entitled to ample 
remuneration from the public purse. To defraud 
them, therefore, of their just dues, is an act of dis- 
honesty, and will be visited as such by the just 
judgement of God, who will protect the rights of 
his faithful servants. 
7. Therefore^ render to all their dues: tribute ^ to 
ivhom tribute is due; custom^ to ivlwm custom^; 
reverence^ to whom reverence; honour^ to whom ho- 

Pay, therefore, to every individual the respect 
which is due to him. Pay taxes and customs to 
those who have a right to demand, and are appoint- 
ed to receive them. Let those who are in power be 
respected and obeyed. Let superiors in age or of- 
fice, who adorn their stations by their virtues, be 
honoured as they deserve. And let not the Chris- 
tian religion be reproached as tending to dissolve 
the bonds of society. 

Upon the whole, we may remark with how much 
prudence and caution the apostle urges his exhor- 
tations upon the subject of political obligations. 

' Tribute — custom.'] '' ^O (popog tributumdcnotat quodpersou'is 
hnpomtur — ro rsXog, vect'iii^al, fjuod pro incrcium transportatiouc 
solvitur.'' Roscnmullcr. DocUlridj^^c well observes, tiuit this 
])assuge is directly levelled at a favourite notion of tlie Jews ; 
that, as the j)eculiar ])eo|)le of (iod, they were exempted from 
obligation to pay tribute to the (ientiles, though without point- 
ing them out in an invidious manner. 

" lievf'rf'nrc — honour.'] ** Co^os, rcvcrnicc, expresses the in- 
ward disi)osition, see Eph. v. ult. rttj.Yj, honour, exj)resses the 
conduct and external behaviour proceeding from it." Doddridge. 

Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect. II. 2,3. 283 

While he strongly inculcates the duties of subjects, Ch. xiii. 
he indirectly, but clearly and pointedly, lays down 
the duties of magistrates ; and though he says no- 
thing concerning the lawfulness of resistance to a 
tyrannical power, his arguments for obedience only 
apply to the civil authority when it is exercised for 
the benefit of the community, and fulfills the pur- 
poses for which it was instituted 3, 

3. The apostle recommends universal good will 
as the sum of social virtue, ver. 8 — 10. 

Owe nothing to any man hut mutual love ; for 8. 

he who lovethhis neighhour^ hath fully performed 
the law. 

Incur no debts ; for they will entangle and dis- 
tress you. But to this injunction let there be one 
exception. Regard benevolence^ and a constant 
disposition to perform kind offices, as a debt owing 
to all mankind. Universal benevolence is a pre- 

^ '' The apostle, without entering into any question about the 
lawfulness of government, or, in what cases it was lawful, and 
in what unlawful [to resist], considered it as the duty of Chris- 
tians to submit to that government which they found established. 
He represents the government they were under, as that to which 
God had thought proper to subject them, and in which they 
ought to acquiesce. These maxims, therefore, are to be con- 
sidered as applying to the particular circumstances of the times 
in which the apostle wrote, and it is absurd to plead them in 
favour of a government manifestly unjust and tyrannical, from 
which it is in the power of the people to relieve themselves." 
Dr. Priestley. 

■* Lovcth his neighbour?^ So Wakefield 3 and this is the true 
sense of the passage. Literally, '' the other," or " another," 
which in the English idiom takes away the universality of the 

284 Div. II. R O M A N S. Sect. II. 3, 4. 

Ch. XIII. cept of indispensable obligation under the Chris- 
^^^' ^' tian law. And it is the whole of Christian duty. 
For he, who truly loves his neighbour, will not fail 
to perform every act of social virtue. 
9. For that commandment, Thoii slialt not com- 
mit adultery^ Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not 
steal ', Thou shalt not covet ^ and every other com- 
vmndmcnt^ is summed vp in this one, Thou shalt 
10. love thy neighbour as thyself. Love doeth no ill 
to its neighbour ; thereforCy love is the fulfilling of 
the law. 

The law of the second table consists chiefly of 
prohibitions of injustice. And all its precepts, 
whether negative or positive, are comprehended in 
the single rule, Love your neighbour as yourself; or, 
in other words. Always do to others, what, in an ex- 
change of circumstances, you might reasonably de- 
sire that others should do to you. Acting upon 
this principle, you will infallibly steer clear of all 
injustice; and will, in fact, abound in acts of bene- 
volence. So true it is, that Love, and that alone, 
is the complete accomplishment of social duty, and 
of obedience to the law of God, both in the letter 
and the spirit. 

4. The apostle enforces these duties from the 
consideration of the brevity of human life, and 

' Thou sJiall not steal.'] The rcciMvcd texts adds, " Thou shalt 
not bear false \viltH?;s." Tiut these words are wanting in the 
oldest and best nKiniiSLrii>l^, and Griesbach has excluded them 
tVoni hi«i text. 

Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. II. 4. 285 

the excellence of Christian privileges, ver. 11 — ch. xiii. 

And this let us do, considering the season^ that Ver. H, 
it is now time for us to arise from sleep ; for our 
salvation ^ is nearer noiu than when we first be- 
lieved. The night is far spent; and the day is 12. 
draiving 7iear, Let us then lay aside the works 
of darkness, and put on the apparel'^ of light, 

' Our salvation .•] i. e. as is commonly understood, the second 
coming of Christ to raise the dead, and to reward the just j 
which was expected by the primitive believers, and probably by 
the apostles themselves, to take place in a very few years, (see 
2 Thess. ii. 1,) and before the generation then existing became 
extinct. See Locke and Grotius in loc. But tliough the lapse 
of ages has demonstrated the vanity of this expectation, yet the 
argument holds good to every individual : for to every human 
being, the appearance of his Lord to judgement vvill succeed 
instantaneously to the moment of dissolution, though ages of 
ages should intervene. ** Swrvjoia, salutis cognitio.'' llosenmul- 
ler J who explains the passage thus : q. d. We ought the ra- 
ther to lay aside all indolence in the discharge of Christian duty, 
as our knowledge of the gospel is so much improved since we 
first professed the Christian faith. But this, which is also the 
interpretation of Macknight, seems a harsh interpretation. Dr. 
Taylor disapproves of Locke's and Grotius's supposition, that 
the apostle was mistaken in the time of our Lord's appearance 
to judgement, 

' The apparel'] " roL litXcL, instrumenta, arma, sed at vestes.'' 
Rosenmidler. — '' The attire." Newcome: see Beza and Wake- 
field.-^*' Observe," says Dr. Taylor, " the lively and beautiful 
metaphor. This present imperfect state of trial, the apostle com- 
pares to the night. And the salvation and glory we all have in 
prospect, to the day. He supposes Christians may be asleep, 
negligent of their most important concerns, or immersed in sen- 
suality. He, as the apostle of Christ and preacher of the go- 
spel, knocks at the chamber door, and calls to them, ' It is 
high time to awake out of sleep : the day appears, the glorious 
day of your everlasting salvation : Awake, awake ; throw oft* 
your loose clothes, which cover you in the night, and in which it 
is unseemly to appear before men ; and put on that comely 
dress which is agreeable to the day, and gives a decent and ho- 

^86 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. II. 4. 

Ch. xiii. And let us be the more earnest in the discharge 
of duty, considerhig how short and precariovis the 
opportunity is, which still remains. We have no 
time to lose. If we have hitherto been negligent 
and slothful, it becomes us now to rouse our spirits 
to activity and energy, and not to lose another hour. 
For the season of the accomplishment of our Chris- 
tian hopes is rapidly advancing ; and is now nearer 
than when we first professed faith in Christ, though 
we were then told that it was near at hand. The 
judge is at the door ; the night of darkness and ig- 
norance is past ; we cannot plead that we do not 
know our duty. Let us then no longer practise 
the vices of our heathen state, but let us act as pro- 
fessors of the pure religion of Jesus. Let us put 
off our night clothes by which we should be encum- 
bered and disgraced, and put on the useful and or- 
namental apparel of the day. 
13. y^s being m the day ^, let us lualk gracefullij, 
not in rioting and drunkenness, not in dehauchery 
and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 

The religion of Jesus is broad day-light ; it ad- 
mits of no concealment. The disciple of Jesus is 

noura])le apjjcarance in the world.' Meaning that disposition 
and conversation wliich is agreeable to the gospel, lovely in tlie 
eyes of mankind, and which fits us to appear among the blessed 
in the realms of light." 

' An hvAn'^ in the day.'] *' cug ev rjuspa., as in the day-time.*' 
Wakefield. — " Gracefully, becomingly." Newcome. — " ^^<^yj)- 
fj.ovuis, qui (Icccutcni (jiunidani indiiclxnit ptrsonam.'" Rosenmul- 
ler. ** Let us widk lw)n()ural)ly and gracefully : so sv(ryjr,iiovMg 
exactly signifies. Dr. Milncr renders it, Let us walk with a 
grace." Doddridge. — Not in debauchcrij, &c. " Y^oirr^, alias nw- 
bile, liic, concubitum dvnotaty RosenmuUer. 

Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. III. 1. 287 

to act in retirement, as if he were under constant Ch. xiii. 
inspection. Let us, therefore, at all times, and in ^^^* 
all places, behave with the decorum which we should 
think necessary if we were under the public eye ; 
and let us ever shun those hateful vices, which even 
they who practise them are ashamed to avow, and 
endeavour to conceal under the darkness of the 

JButput ye on the Lo7^d Jesus Christ ^ and make 14. 
no provision for irregular desires'^. 

Study the character of your master, Jesus Christ, 
and array yourselves in those virtues which shone so 
conspicuously in him ; this will be your most ap- 
propriate and most glorious dress ; this will secure 
universal esteem and affection. But as for those 
gross vices, which are so common among the ido- 
latrous heathen, renounce them all together, as ut- 
terly inconsistent with the character of a disciple of 


The apostle recommends mutual candour to those Ch. xrv. 
who entertained differ eiices of opinion conceiv- 
ing things indifferent^ and jmrticularly concern- 
ing the distinctions of meats and days, Ch. xiv. 

1 . The apostle advises generally, that those who 

* Make no provision, &c.] '^ Et corporis curam agite sic, ut 
cupiditates non incendantur .'" Rosen muller. 

2S8 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. III. 1. 

Ch. XIV. entertain scruples should be treated with indulgence 

by those who have none, ver. I . 
Ver. 1. Moreover, receive Idndbj him ivho is lueak in 
faith 1, not censuring him because of his doubts'^. 
The society of believers at Rome consisted of 
converts both from Jews and heathen. The Jew- 
ish Christians, still attached to the law of Moses, 
adhered scrupulously to all its distinctions concern- 
ing the lawfulness of different kinds of food, and 
the holiness of certain days. These the apostle 

* Him who is weak in faith.'} Rosenmuller observes, that faith 
here signifies not an assent to doctrine, but a persuasion con- 
cerning the hiwfuhiess or unlawfulness of a practice : one who 
is weak in faith, therefore, is one who is doubtful in points of 
))nictice. ** Not fully persuaded," says Mr. Locke, ** of his 
Christian liberty in the use of some indifferent thing." 

* Not ce}isuring him because of his doubts.'] y.-r} sis SiocKpicrsi^ 
SiaXoyia-iMUJv' q. d. kvsxcc ha.Xoyia-[KUJV, not to vexatious cen- 
sures because of his doubts. See Acts xi. 2. They of the cir- 
cumcision contended with Peter, ha.y.pivovro, q. d. angrily dis- 
puted with, and censured Peter. See also Jude ver. 9. Mac- 
knight renders the words, *' not in order to the strife of dispu- 
tations." — *' Siccxpiysr/, dijudicare. Matt. xvi. 3 ; 1 Cor. vi. 5 j 
Si:/,Xoyicrfj,oi, cogitationeSy Matt. xv. 19, q. d. ne in ipsius senten- 
tidni curiosc inquiratis, eamque severe damnctis.'' Rosenmuller j 
who nevertheless adds, that others interpret the sense, q. d. do 
not quarrel on account of opinions ; others, 7. d. avsu Siccycpiasujs 
y.^1 ^iccXoyicr[X8, without doubting or disputing j but lie prefers 
tlie first. *' not unto doubts and reasonings." Wakefield ; who 
reads oia XoyiauMv as two words. " Live together in a free and 
friendly manner, without any regard to tlie differences among 
you, about the lawfuhiess of any indifferent things." Locke. 
** Do not teaze and disquiet them with grievous censures or 
vexatious disjnites about their sentiments." Dr. Taylor j who 
remarks in liis note, that the apostle, by " him that is weak in 
fi'.itli, means the Jew, who he knew assuredly was in the wrong; 
yet he uses him very tenderly, and avoids saying any tiling of 
him that was harsh or ovcrl)earing." — " Not teazing him with 
co!itroversies about things in doul)t. ' Dr. Priestley, 

Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. III. 1. 289 

calls " weak in faith." Not fully understanding the Ch. xiv. 
extent of Christian liberty ; and making themselves ^*' 
uneasy with unfounded scruples. On the other 
hand, the Gentile believer, not having been accus- 
tomed to lay stress upon distinctions of this nature, 
felt no scruples upon the subject: all days, all kinds 
of food, were alike in his estimation. And these 
two classes of believers, as too frequently happens 
in similar circumstances, were disposed to entertain 
an ill opinion of each other. The Jew would not 
hold communion with the Gentile believer, the lax- 
ity of whose conduct in these particulars gave him 
a bad opinion of his character, and led him to con- 
clude, that though he professed to believe in Christ, 
he was little better than a heathen. While the more 
enlightened, and free thinking Gentile, not making 
sufficient allowance for the early prepossessions of 
his Jewish brother, was disposed to look down upon 
him with contempt, as a weak and narrovz-minded 
bigot. The apostle, who, most evidently, both here 
and elsewhere, decides the question in favour of the 
liberty of the Gentile believer, is, nevertheless, very 
anxious that the two parties should entertain their 
separate opinions, and observe their respective prac- 
tices, in the exercise of mutual candour and good 
will. They were both influenced by the same mo- 
tive, a desire to do credit to the doctrine which they 
professed ; and therefore both were equally accept- 
able to God, and neither party was authorized to 
condemn the other. He therefore strictly en'oins 
the Jewish believer, not to anathematize the Gen- 

VOL. I. u 

-DO Div. IL R O M A N S. Skct. III. 1, 2. 

Cii. XIV. tile professor ; and the Gentile believer, not to de- 
"■ ' spise and insult his Jewish brother; and requires, 
that while each follows his own judgement each 
should allow his neighbour to do the like in all cases 
of mere ritual institution, which did not interfere 
with the great law of moral rectitude. The Gen- 
tile brethren appear to have been the more nume- 
rous party, and he begins with them, q. d. I have 
been exhorting you to mutual benevolence. Let it 
particularly appear in this case. Kindly entertain 
your less informed brother ; bear with his long 
established prepossessions, and do not wound his 
spirit, and irritate his feelings, by treating his con- 
scientious scruples with levity and contempt. 

2. The apostle states the specific cases in which 
the parties differed, and enjoins mutual forbear- 
ance, ver. 2 — 6. 
2. Fo7' one believeth that he may eat any kind of 
food ; another, tvho is weak, eateth only herbs. 

The Gentile believer, who has just conceptions 
of Christian liberty, pays no regard to ceremonial 
distinctions, but eats one kind of food as freely as 
another ; while the Jewish convert, still adhering 
to the engagements of the law, and fearful lest, in a 
heathen country, he should, notwithstanding all his 
care, expose himself to ceremonial pollution, judgCvS 
it to be the safest course to abstain altogether from 
animal food, and confines himself wholly to a ve- 
getable diet, with regard to which the law laid him 
under a a restrictions. 

Dn-. 11. ROMANS. Sect. III. 2. 291 

Let not him who eateth, despise him who eateth Ch. xiv. 
not ; and let not him who eateth 7iot, condemn him ^^^* ^' 
who eateth : for God has accepted him. 

Let not the Gentile believer, flushed with the 
possession of his liberty, treat his Jewish brother 
with contempt ; and view him as a weak and silly- 
bigot, because of his conscientious scruples. Nor, 
on the other hand, let the scrupulous, and self-de- 
nying Jewish believer, denounce judgement upon 
the free thinking and free living Gentile Christian, 
as though he were insincere in his profession, and 
no better than a heathen ; for in this judgement he 
would be very much mistaken : for I have authority 
to assure him, that under the gospel covenant the 
heathen convert is admitted into favour, without 
subjecting himself to any of those ceremonial re- 
straints, which, for wise reasons, were imposed upon 
the Israelites by the law of Moses. 

JVJio art thou that condemnest another marts 4. 

domestic P to his own master he standeth or fall- 
eth : but he shall he established ; for God is able 
to establish him. 

How unbecoming is it in any one to interfere 
officiously in the domestic economy of another ; to 
condemn the servant for disobedience, when the 
master finds no fault ! "Who then art thou that art 
thus passing sentence upon thy fellow servant .^ 
what are thy claims, and where is thy commission 
to exclude from Christian fellowship all those who 
do not adopt thy ceremonial scruples .^ You are not 
his judge; let him answer for himself ; and await 

u 2 

292 Div. II. R O M A N 3. Sect. III. 2. 

rh.xiv. the decision of him to whom alone he is amenable. 
Nor need he fear an unfavourable sentence. What- 
ever your erroneous judgement may suspect or de- 
nounce, if, in these indifferent matters only, he is 
deficient, he shall maintain his character and sta- 
tion in the church, and shall be accepted in the 
end. For God is able and willing to support and 
establish him in the Christian faith without the ob- 
servance of ceremonial institutions, as well as if he 
subjected himself to the burdensome yoke of the 
5. One man estcemeth one day above another : but 
another man esteemeth every day alike ^ . Let every 
one freely enjoy Ids own opinion ^. 

The converted Jew observes his sabbaths, his 
new moons, his fasts, and his festivals. The Gen- 
tile believer, unaccustomed to sabbatical distinc- 
tions of every kind, regards all his time as equally 
appropriated to God, and does not esteem any one 
day as more holy than another. Be it so. Let everj^ 

' Esteemeth every day alike.] " Kpivsi ina.aa.vriiLEcav, sc. Kxry. 
qucmvis diem paritcr sanctum hahet : npivsi cestimat, itt 1 Cor. 
ii. 2." Ilo.senmuller, See also Raphelius. 

* Let every one freely enjoy his own opinion .•] '^ itKyjcoipopBi- 
a-^co. T[\r,p. pleno motu in aliquidferor, et est naviiim, qua; 
plenis velis (itritantur et in portum firuntur.'' Schleusner. *' Let 
every man freely enjoy his own sentiment, and go on in his 
own way without impediment or censure." Doddridge j who 
observes, in his note, " How strong a text this is for tlie right 
of private judgement ! " It is surprising that the obvious and 
important meaning of this piLssage sliould luive been so gene- 
rally overlooked, and that a sense should iiave been commonly 
given to the passage, which, tosav tlie least, is obscure and ir- 
relevant j q. d. " Let every one be fully persuaded in his own. 
mind :" an exhortation which is not always practicable. 

Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect. III. 2. 293 

one act as in his conscience he judges right. Let Ch. xiv. 
him enjoy his liberty, without censure and without ^^' * 

He who regardeth the day regardeth it to the (J. 

Lord^l and he who disregardeth the day disre- 
gardeth it to the Lord. 

Positive institutions are nothing in themselves : 
it is the motive only which gives the observation of 
them a moral complexion- Whether a man abstains 
from all labour and recreation upon a particular day 
of the week, or whether he allows himself in both 
equally on every day, is in itself a matter of perfect 
indifference: but if one observes the day as a day of 
rest, because he thinks that God requires it, and 
that Christ is honoured by it, while he retains that 
conviction, he does well in regulating his conduct 
accordingly. And on the other hand, if another 
conscientiously believes that God has imposed no 
such restraints, and that the Christian doctrine, as 
a law of liberty, is more honoured by the disregard 
of all sabbatical distinctions, he also does equally 
well in following the dictates of his judgement. 
The observer and the nonobserver of holy seasons 
are alike acceptable to God, if they conscientiously 
obey the dictates of their respective understandings, 
and act in obedience to the will of God, and in a 
way which they deem most honourable to their 
Christian profession. 

^ Regardeth it to the Lord.'] '^ regardeth it to a master,'^ 
Wakefield 3 and in this way he translates the word_, ver. 8, 9, 

l\)4: Div. II. R OMAN S. Sect. III. 2. 

Ch. XIV. Tliere is no meaning in language if the apostle 
^'^^* does not here pronounce that all sabbatical disthic-- 
tions are abolished under the Christian law. The 
apostle uses the utmost latitude of expression : 
whatever is fit and lawful upon one day is fit and 
lawful upon another, without any distinction be- 
tween the first, or the seventh, and any other day of 
the week. But mark, the apostle is not treating 
upon the subject of Christian worship. This is un- 
doubtedly a duty of universal obligation, which, for 
the sake of order and decency, must necessarily be 
carried on at some convenient and appropriate sea- 
son. Nor is he to be understood as saying any 
thing to contravene that ancient and useful practice, 
which the Christian church in all ages has derived 
from the apostles, of observing the first day of the 
week as a Christian festival for the religious and 
joyful commemoration of the death of Christ, and 
of his resurrection on the third day. The opposi- 
tion made by the apostle is to sabbatical imposi- 
tions, not to religious institutions. 
— 6. Also^^ he IV ho eateth, eatcth to the Lord, for 
he giveth thanks to God; and he luho absta'uicth 
from eating'^, abstahieth to the Lord, and he giv* 
cth thanks to God, 

' Also?^ This connecting particle is added in Griesbachs se- 
cond edition, upon the authority of the most valuable manu- 

^ lie ivlio absla'nieth, &c.] Gr. •' lie that eateth not to the 
Lord, he eateth not." The apostle's meaning is obvious ; viz. 
that both the person who hud no scruples, and he who had 
scruples, acted iVoni the same motive, a desire to approve him- 

Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect. III. 2, 3. 295 

Similar observations may be applied to the ques- Ch. xiv. 
tion concerning different kinds of food. The be- ^^^' ^* 
liever who lays himself under no ceremonial re- 
straint, but who eats indifferently of any kind of 
wholesome food which is placed before him, without 
a scruple and without asking any question, acts thus 
because he thinks it an honour to the Christian re- 
ligion that it lays no stress upon such distinctions ; 
and he thanks God for his Christian liberty. On 
the other hand, he who abstains from certain arti- 
cles of diet, because they are forbidden by the law 
of Moses, believes that he shows respect to the 
Christian institution by associating the profession 
of it with the discipline of the law ; and he thanks 
God, that by combining the requisitions of both 
covenants, he can secure, as he believes, the bene- 
fits of both. And thus both parties in their respec- 
tive practice being influenced by the same motives, 
are equally admitted by Christ, and equally approved 
by God ; and therefore they ought to be mutually 
candid and tolerant to each other. 

3. It is the true spirit of the Christian religion, 
that they who believe in it should devote themselves 
wholly to their Master and his cause, ver. 7 — 9. 

Fo7' none of us liveth to himself, amino one dieth 7- 

to himself 

By the law of our profession, self, the great idol 
of the unbelieving world, is totally annihilated. 

self the true disciple of Christ : but there is an ambiguity in 
the literal translation which it vvas thought expedient to avoid. 

296 Div. II. II O M A N S. Spxt. III. 3. 

•Ch. XIV. Neither the attainment of wealth, nor the gratifi- 
^^■'' cation of the passions, nor the preservation of U- 
berty, nor social enjoyments, nor the love of life, 
nor the fear of death, are any longer suffered to pre- 
dominate in the breast, or to maintain any undue 
influence over the mind. When a man becomes a 
believer in Christ, he learns to look beyond himself, 
and to direct his regards to worthier objects. 
8. For ivhethcr we live, ive live to the Lord^, or 
whether we die, we die to the Lord: ivhether, there- 
fore, we live or die, ive are the Lord's. 

Bv our profession of the Christian doctrine we 
enlist ourselves in the service of a Master, and in 
that service we must live and die. If the cause in 
which we embark may be best promoted by active 
exertion, however laborious, we must be willing to 
live, and to exert our powers, whatever they be, not 
in those situations which w^e would choose for our- 
selves, and which are most easy and commodious, 
but in those in which the Master places us, and in 
which we may be most useful. If the state of 
things be such, that the Master's cause will be best 
promoted by the sacrifice of life and all its enjoy- 
ments, the man who loves his Master and his ser- 
vice, and who breathes the spirit of his profession, 
does not hesitate a moment to make the most 
costly sacrifice ; happy in the opportunity of testi- 
fying his gratitude and zeal. In lite and in death 

' LvoB to the Lord, &c.] Tcu Kvoiuj' " to this master." Wiiko- 
^,eld : i. c. to God. See vcr. (i. V 

Div.II. ROMANS. Sect. III. 3- 297 

the true believer has but one paramount object in Ch. xiv. 
view; and that is, to approve himself the faithful ^^' 
and dutiful servant of the Master of his choice. 

For to this end Christ both lived and died, and 9. 

rose again J ^ that he might be Lord both of the dead 
and of the living. 

And that Master is Christ, the prophet of Naza- 
reth, once in a humble and suffering state ; now 
exalted and triumphant. He lived, and died, and 
rose again, not for his own benefit, but for that of 
all mankind, both the living and the dead. He de- 
scended to the grave that he might rise again, and 
might exhibit himself as the prince and leader of 
life ; the example and the pledge of immortality to 
those who inhabit the dark mansions of the tomb. 
And he was raised and exalted to glory, that he 
might possess universal dominion; and that the 
whole race of mankind, under his benign adminis- 
tration, might be conducted to virtue, life, and hap- 
piness. His design was not to aggrandize himself, 
but to do the will of his heavenly Father, by raising 
mankind to glory and immortality ; and nothing 
can be more acceptable to him, than that his disci- 
ples should manifest a kind and forbearing spirit 
towards each other. 

- Lived and died, and rose again .•] elr,(Ts, xtxi octsQavs, xai 
avsry). This is the reading of the Clermont manuscript. The 
received text reads, '^ y.oh ccttz'Jccvs, xoci avsfrj, xat cx,v£^Yicrsv,'' 
both died, and rose again, and revived. The reading which 
Griesbach selects is, " tcoli aTt&^avs, -/.oli e^^o-sv," he both died 
and lived. The copies vaiy, but the sense is nearly the 

298 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. III. 4. 

Ch. XIV. 4. The account which each is to render of liim- 
self to God, makes it particularly unbecoming to 
indulge in mutual censures, ver. 10 — 12. 

Vei. 10. But thou, tvhy dost thou condemn thy brother? 
and thou, luhy dost thou despise thy brother? since 
we shall all present ourselves before the tribunal of 

If we were made responsible for each other, there 
would be some reason why we should interfere with 
each others conduct ; but, as each individually is to 
answer for himself at the tribunal of God, and to 
abide the award due to his own character, how un- 
becoming and how culpable is it to sit in judgement 
upon one another! Why then do you, the Jewish 
believer, presume to pass a sentence of condemna- 
tion upon your Gentile brother ? And how is it 
that you, the Gentile convert, not satisfied with 
quietly enjoying your own liberty, behave with a 
supercilious air to your more scrupulous brother, 
who still owns subjection to the impositions of the 
Mosaic law ? Nothing can be more unbecoming, 
or more remote from the genuine spirit of Chris- 

' Present ()iirsrlresh(fore the tribunal of God.'] JSoc\V'akcficId, 
God, is the iciiding of the Alexandrine, Clermont, and other ma- 
nuscripts. Christ, is the received text, ^vhich (irie^bach ])rel'er.s. 
Dr. Priestley remarks, that" the judii^ement-seat of (Mirist, and 
that of (iocl, are the same ; not because (,'lirist is God, but be- 
cause he acts in tlie name and by tlie authority of (iod, wliich 
is fully expressed when it is said that ' (lod will jud^e the world 
by Jesus Christ.' " Mr. Dodson contends that God is the true 
leadinfr. See his note on Isa. xlv. 2'A. Archl)ishoi) Newcome 
observes that in this verse, and also in ver. ,S, " it is the Jewisii 
i:ijn\crijudgt's, and ti'.c Gentile convert dcs]>ises.'' 

Div. II. R OMAN S. Sect. III. 4, 5. 299 

tianity, than such a conduct as this in either Ch. xiv. 

Ver. 11. 


l^or it is written^ As / live, saith the Lord, 12. 

every knee shall how to me, and every tongue shall 
acknowledge God'^. So then, every one of us must 
give an account of himself to God, 

The language of the Jewish prophet (Isaiah xlv. 
23), foretelling the conversion of the heathen na- 
tions, does in effect declare the same awful truth 
that God is the universal judge. For God is repre- 
sented as announcing, in the most solemn manner, 
that every individual of the human race shall ac- 
knowledge his authority and submit to his jurisdic- 
tion. It follows, therefore, that every human being 
will be accountable to God for his own character and 
behaviour ; and consequently, that it is his duty and 
his wisdom to prepare for his own account, and not 
to sit in judgement upon others. 

5. The apostle warns those who entertain just 
views of Christian liberty, not to indulge their li- 
berty in such a manner as to ensnare the minds of IJ. 
their less enlightened brethren, ver. 13 — 21. 

Let us then no longer judge one another, but do 

^ It is written, &c.] The received text in Isaiah xlv. 23^ which 
the apostle here cites, stands thus in the public version : '^ I 
have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in 
righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee 
shall bow, and eveiy tongue shall swear." Mr. Dodson thus cor- 
rects the text and the translation : " By myself I have sworn, 
saith Jehovah (truth is gone forth from my mouth, the word, and 
it shall not be revoked), that to me every knee shall bow, and 
every tongue shall confess to God." See Dodson in loc. 

oOO Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect. III. 5. 

Ch. XIV. ye judge this rather^, not to lay a stumbling block, 
^^' ' or a snare-, in your brother s way. 

Instead of wasting our time, and disgracing our 
character, by uncharitable censure on the one hand, 
or contemptuous scorn on the other, let those who 
understand the Hberty of the gospel, and the little 
stress which it lays upon things indifferent, rather 
resolve upon laying a voluntary restraint upon them- 
selves, and not use their liberty in circumstances 
which may mislead others, and tempt them to do 
what they believe to be wrong. 
14. I know, and am fully assured by the Lord Je- 
sus^, that nothing is unholy in itself; but to him 
ivho esteemeth any thing to be unholy, to Mm it is 

^ Let us judge — do ye judge.'] xf/vw/xev — xpivccrs. The apostle 
uses the same word in difterent senses, q. d. Let us not judge, 
i. e. Let us not censure, one another ; but rather do ye judge, 
i. e. determine not to lay a stumbling block. " Let us not judge 
— but do ye rather determine." Wakefield. 

• A stumhluig block — a snare?^ irpoa-KOiMiJ.oc, a stumbling 
block. '' Offendiculam, lapis, vel obstaculum aliquod, in ina 
positum, in quod si quis impingit, cadere, aut cespitare debet." 
Schleusner. — crxav^aAov, a snare. " Lignum incurvum quo ten- 
dicuta sen decipula sustinetur, et in quod impin gens animal ipsani 
tendivulam in se subita ruina evertit.'' Schleusner. See W'et- 
stcin Nov. Test. tom. i. p. 302. — " Apiece of wood which sup- 
ports a trap, which falls on its being moved ; and so may with 
peculiar propriety signify, whatever may be the occasion of en- 
r,naring another, and (h-awinghim into sin and mischief." Dodd- 
ridge. Hishop Pearce thinks that the words t) cxav^aAov are a 
marginal gloss. See Newcome. 

^ Assured by the Lard ./< \//,s.] " I know and am satisfied that 
under the Lord Jesus." Wakefield. This makes excellent sense j 
but it seems more ))r{)bable that the apostle alludes to the in- 
struction which he had personally received from Jesus 
SeeGal. i. l:.\ 

Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. III. 5. 301 

I was once a Pharisee, brouo:ht up in all the scru- Ch. xiv. 

. Ver 14. 

pies of that ceremonious sect ; but when it pleased 
our Lord Jesus Christ to invite me into the church, 
and to reveal his gospel to me, that I might be 
qualified to instruct others, he then made known to 
me the nullity of those distinctions upon which I 
formerly laid so great a stress ; so that I am now 
fully convinced that no wholesome food is unlawful 
in itself, and that all ceremonial distinctions are 
abolished under the new covenant. Still, however, 
if any one thinks otherwise, it is unlavv^ful for him 
to eat food which he believes to be forbidden. Nor 
can he innocently relax from ceremonial restraints 
till his mind is more enlightened. 

But if, because of food thy brother be disquieted, 15. 

thou no longer ivcdkest in love : Destroy not him ^ 
by thy food for ivhom Christ died^. 

If you eat without regard to ceremonial distinc- 
tion, you act innocently so far as you are yourself 
concerned ; but if your conduct gives uneasiness to 

^ Destroij not him.'] " Lead him not to eat food contrary to 
his own conviction j" ver. 23. Newcome. Rather, Do not com- 
pel him to apostatize. As those who were converted to the 
Christian religion are said to be saved, so they who apostatize 
from it may be described as destroyed; because they have re- 
turned to those courses which lead to destruction, and from which 
it is probable that they will never be reclaimed. See Heb. vi, 
4—9; 2 Pet. ii. 20—22. 

* For whom Christ died.] The death of Christ ratified that new 
covenant, to the privileges of which both Jews and Gentiles were 
equally admitted, 1 Cor. xi. 25. Christ, therefore, died for all 
who had by baptism professed faith in his mission, and had been 
reo^larly admitted into that holy community of which he was 
tlie head. 

302 Div. II, R O M A N S Sect. III. a. 

€h. XIV. your neighbour, if it induces him to think ill of his 
Ver. 15. (]j^i.jstian brother, if it excites prejudices against the 
Christian faith, or if it tempts him to indulge in a 
liberty which in his conscience he believes to be un- 
lawful, you are the means of harassing his mind, and 
exposing him to self-reproach. This is not kind, and 
the consequences may be more serious than you 
imagine ; for who can tell to what issue a disregard 
to the remonstrances of conscience, even in cases 
comparatively indifferent, may eventually lead .^ Do 
not then, my enlightened brother, by the imprudent 
exercise of your Christian liberty, impel to apostasy 
and expose to ruin, one whom Christ has owned as 
a disciple, and whom he has admitted into that 
community which he has consecrated by his blood. 
16. Let not then your ^ jnivilege become a subject of 

Do not use your Christian liberty so as to ensnare 
your brethren, and thus to excite prejudice and oc- 
casion reproach, either to yourself or to the gospel 
which you profess. 
] 7. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink -, 
but justification, a?id peace y and joy, in the holy 

' Your privilege^ Gr. " good." Many manuscripts and ver- 
sions read *' our/' whick Wakefield prefers ; who also trans- 
lates aya^ov privilege, which is more intelligi])le. — " Liberia. " 
RosenmuUer. — " Let not then your liberty, which is a good you 
enjoy under the gosi)el,be evil spoken of." Locke. Dr. Taylor 
gives the sjune sense, and refers to 1 Cor. x. 29, 30, with Locke's 
paraphrase ujwn it. 

« h not meat and drink.'] The apostle's meaning is well ex- 
pre.ssed in Mr. Locke's paraphrase: ** The privileges andadvan- 

Div. II. R O M A N S. Sect. III. 5. 303 

That happy and privileged state to which you are Ch. xiv. 
advanced, and in which you glory, does not consist 
merely or chiefly in your emancipation from ritual 
distinctions : these are the least and lowest of your 
privileges. Your happiness, as believers in Christ, 
consists in your acquittal from the condemning sen- 
tence of the law ; in your reconciliation to God, 
from whom you were formerly alienated by wicked 
works; and finally, in the gift of the holy spirit, 
which being the earnest of our admission into the 
family of God, excites a joyful assurance that we 
are the heirs of immortal life. Possessed of these 
glorious privileges and exalted hopes, can we for a 
moment hesitate whether v/e should practise a little 
self-denial in a case in which the most important 
interests of our brethren are endangered ? 

Moreover^ he ivho in these things is the servant is. 

of Christy is luell pleasing to God, and approved by 

I add further, that as these are the great privi- 
leges of the gospel, so every one who, under the in- 

tages of the kingdom of God do not consist in the enjoyment 
of greater variety of meats and drinks/' &c. q. d. It is true that 
the gospel indulges more liberty in this respect than the law, 
but this is the least of its claims upon our gratitude : the bless- 
ings it confers are so unspeakably more valuable, that we may 
well be willing to sacrifice these trifles to the good of our neigh- 
bour. Joy in the holy spirit is mentioned as one of the privileges 
of the gospel. The Roman converts had not indeed yet received 
the holy spirit : but they probably knew and conversed with 
many who had received it, or at least they possessed abundant 
evidence that the spirit had been communicated, and of the im- 
portant purpose for which it had been sent. See Rom, viii. 

304 Div. 11. ROMANS. Sect. III. 5. 

Ch. XIV. fluence of these high privileges and of these glori- 
ous hopes, yields a cheerful and uniform obedience 
to Christ as his master, and to the laws and requisi- 
tions of the gospel ; and who, happy in the conscious- 
ness of his own liberty, avoids laying a stumbling 
block in the path of a less enlightened brother, is 
an ornament to his profession, and will secure by 
his judicious and exemplary conduct both the favour 
of God and the approbation and love of all wise and 
good men. 

19. Let us therefore pursue the things ivhich tend to 
peace and mutual edification. 

Since all who believe in Christ are at peace with 
God, partakers of the same distinguished privileges, 
and co-heirs of the same eternal inheritance, let us 
not contend about trifles, but let us all endeavour 
to live in peace ; and instead of judging and con- 
demning one another, let us to the best of our power 
promote each others improvement in knowledge 
and in goodness. 

20. Do not for the sake of meat destroy the work of 

All who believe are, as such, the workmanship of 
God ; created anew by Jesus Christ, and by the 
profession of the gospel brought as it were into a 
new world. Do not, for want of a little self-denial 
in the article of food, deface the work of your 
Maker, and tempt your less enlightened brother to 

' The work of God:'] i.e. *' u Christian. 1 Cor. ix. 1 ; Eph. 
ii. 10 ; Phil. i. G. Desfrotjiiig him, liere and ver. 15, is causing 
him to apostatize^ or renounce the Cluistian faith. " Taylor. 

Drr, II. R O M A N S. Sect. III. 5. 305 

desert a profession which gives countenance to what Ch. xiv. 
he apprehends to be unlawful indulgences ; or to 
comply with a practice which, however innocent in 
youj would in him be a virtual renunciation of his 
allegiance to Christ. 

All things indeed 2lvq pure, but it is ivrong for a 
man to eat so as to cause another to stumble 2. 

All kinds of wholesome food are innocent and 
lawful considered in the abstract ; but he cannot be 
pronounced guiltless, who^, by inattention to the 
views and prepossessions of others, tempts his bro- 
ther to do what he thinks wrong. 

It is light neither to eat fleshy nor to drink wine, 21. 

7ior to do any thing else ^y ivhich thy brother is^ 
7nade io stumble, or is ensnared, or is made weak"^. 

Upon the whole, it is right to abstain from every 
thing, however innocent and agreeable, and to live 
even upon bread and water, rather than by self-in- 
dulgence in any article, however innocent, to en- 
snare the mind of a weaker and less informed pro- 
fessor, and tempt him, either to do what he believes 
to be wrong, or to abandon the faith of Christ as 
being inconsistent with the institutes of Moses and 
the law of God. 

* To cause another to stumble.'] '' to cause offence." New- 
come. — " who maketh others stumble by what he eateth." 
Wakefield. — " The eating ought to be avoided when it cannot 
be done without endangering another man's stumbling, and fall- 
ing away from the gospel." Taylor. 

^ Or is ensnared, or is made weak.'] rj o-Ka,v$a.Ki^sT!X.i, t) a^h'/si. 
These words are wanting in the Alexandrine, Ephrem, and 
other manuscripts and versions. Griesbach retains them, but 
Wakefield drops them; and Archbishop Newcome says they 
hav^e the appearance of a gloss. 
VOL. I. X 

'MV') i),v. II. R O M A N S. Sect. III. 5,6. 

Ch. XIV. This advice of the apostle as a general rule is ex- 
cellent : Let nothing be done, however innocent in 
itself, which might induce well-meaning but unin- 
formed persons to do what they believe to be wrong, 
which in them might be attended with the worst 

The rule, however, like other general maxims, 
has its limits. If the wise were invariably to sub- 
mit to the foolish, and the well-informed to the ig- 
norant, the reign of prejudice and of superstition 
would be perpetual. Christian liberty must not be 
sacrificed to ignorance and error. Paul himself con- 
tinued to associate with the Gentile believers at An- 
tioch, when Peter through fear of giving offence 
withdrew, and for his duplicity and timidity was 
justly rebuked. A wise and good man will not give 
unnecessary offence : he will endeavour calmly to 
reason with, and to instruct, the weak and the pre- 
judiced ; he will at all times exercise discretion, and 
walk in love ; but he will not see it to be his duty 
wholly to resign the liberty with which Christ has 
made him free. 

6. The apostle offers general advice to eacli party, 
ver. 22, 23. 
22. Thou hast faith with regard to thyself^ ; retain 

^ Thou hast faith with regard to Ihijse/f.'] 2y inriv e%f<; xa- 
ra a-£OLUTOV " Hast thou confidence in thyself?" Wakefield; 
who mentions in his note, that the /Ethioj)ic connects xocrct 
asavrov with the preceding words ; and '* much better tlms," 
savs he, " in my opinion." Upon tliis authority I adopt the 
aume punctuation : Griesbuch, in his last edition, states, that 

Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. III. G. 307 

it in the presence of God. Happy is he who con- Ch. xiv. 
demncth not himself in that luhich he alloiueih. ^^' " ' 

I now address a word of advice to the Gentile be- 
liever. You are satisfied with regard to yourself, 
that no stress is to be laid on things indifferent. 
Be it so : retain your principle ; and act upon it 
at all times as in the presence of God^ and account- 
able to him. You will then be under no tempta- 
tion to make an improper use of your liberty. And 
let me remind you, that it is a great happiness to 
be preserved from carrying liberty to an improper 
excess, so ns to overstep the boundary of things 
lawful, while we mean not to exceed the limit of 
things indifferent. 

But he ivho has scruples, is condemned if he 23. 
eat ; because he eateth ?iot from conviction : and 
whatever is contrary to conviction is sin 2. 

But as to the believing Jew, who still retains his 
allegiance to the law, and scruples the use of what 

some authorities read thus : '' The foith which thou hast with 
regard to thyself, retain in the presence of God. Su iris-ri^ yjV, 
X,. r. X. The public Version reads, " Hast thou faith ? have it to 
thyself before God." Dr. Taylor observes, that '' there is no 
necessity for reading the first clause interrogatively ; and he 
does not know that xccrcx, ever signifies to 5 but frequently, with 
respect to, and so it should have been translated here. It is 
an exhortation not to keep his faith private to himself, not to 
suppress his sentiments, but to retain them steadily, and never 
to do or say any thing inconsistent with them." See Dr. Tay- 
lor's excellent note upon the text. 

^ Griesbach upon the authority of the Alexandrine and many 
other copies and versions, here introduces the doxology, which 
in the received text is placed at the end of the sixteenth chap- 
ter 3 but though it does not seem to stand well in that place, 
the admission of it here interrupts the apostle's argument, 
which is continued to the thirteenth verse of the next chapter. 


308 Div. II. ROMANS. Slct. III. 6, 7. 

Ch.xiv. to others appears indifferent, while he entertains 
^^' ' these opinions, he must not indulge himself in those 
liberties which are familiar to the Gentile, for if he 
does, he is self-condemned, and justly; because he 
acts against his conscience. And he who acts con- 
trary to the dictates of conscience, though it be 
only in comparative trifles, is really guilty of a mo- 
ral offence ; the consequences of which may be more 
serious than the offender apprehends, or is willing 
to believe. 

Ch.xv. 7. The apostle enforces mutual forbearance, and 
self-denial, from the example of Jesus Christ, ch. 
XV. 1—4. 
Vei. 1. JBut ive who arc stroiig, ought to bear the in- 
Jirmities of the iveak, and not to please ourselves. 

However cautious scrupulous persons ought to 
be with regard to themselves, we, who have no such 
unnecessary scruples, ought to be very kind and to- 
lerant to those who have ; and ought not to gratify 
our own taste at the expense of their feelings, and 
the hazard of their principles. 
2. Let even J one of us please his neighbour for his 
good, to edficatlon ^ , 

Let every one endeavour by mutual compliances 
and voluntary self denial to please his neighbour, 
and to keep him in good humour ; so far as this 

* For Jiis ^00(1, is.c.'] The apoatle sets a limit here to a per- 
son's acquiescence in the ))rejiuiiccs of weaker brethren Tliey 
are to be yielded to, only so far as may be necessary for tiieir 
benetit and edification, that their less enlightened consciences 
may not be cnynarcd. 

Div. II. R O M A N S. Sect. Ill, 7. 309 

may contribute in any way to his good, and to his Cb. xv. 
edification in the faith of Christ. 

For even Christ pleased not himself ; hut, as it is Ver. 3. 
luritten. The reproaches of them who reproached 
thee have fallen upon me 2. 

Our Lord and master Jesus Christ, whose per- 
fect example we ought ahvays to set before our eyes, 
upon no occasion consulted his own gratification in 
preference to the good of others ; but the whole te- 
nor of his ministry was a course of labour and self- 
denial for the benefit of mankind. And with this 
view he submitted to the grossest insult and indig- 
nity, so that the words of the psalmist, Psalm Ixix. 
0, may be literally applied to him, that he was the 
object of hatred and reproach to all those who were 
the haters and revilers of God and truth. 

For ivhat soever things were formerly written for ^'. 

our instruction, tvereivritten, that tl trough patience^ 
and comfort of the scriptures, ive might have hope. 

The examples of patient suffering under reproach 
and persecution, recorded in ancient history, and 
particularly in the Jewish scriptures, were written 
for our information and encouragement ; that we 
may learn to bear self-denial, reproach, and perse- 
cution with the same faith and fortitude with which 
they have been supported by good men in former 
days ; and maybe encouraged to hope^ that our trials, 
like theirs, shall come to a happy termination. 

- The reproaches, Sec] This is a quotation from Ps, Ixix. 9, 
which contains many passages strictly and literally applicable 
\o Christ. But ver. 5, 6, make it im.possible to regard it as a 
prophetic psalm in which Clirist is the speaker throughout. 

310 Div. II. R O M A N S. Sect. III. 8. 

Ch. XV. 8. He prays that God would grant them a spirit 

of concord and unanimity, ver. 5, 6. 
Ver. 5. A^ow may the God of patience and consolation * 
grant you mutual unanhnlty according to Christ 
^' Jesus^^ that with one consent and with one voice, 
you may give glory to the God and Father of our 
Lord Jesus Chris t'^. 

And now may that great Being, who is the foun- 
tain of all good, who can support the heart, and fill 
the mind with comfort in the most trying seasons, 
endow you with that harmony of spirit which is so 
essential and ornamental to your Christian profes- 
sion, even though you may not perfectly agree in 
judgement concerning things indifferent. That so 

' May the God of patience, &c.] It is usual with the apos- 
tle, after recommending some particular virtue, to address a 
prayer to God, as the God of that virtue, to enforce it uj)on the 
minds of the persons to whom he writes. We have another in- 
stance of the same sort, ver. 13 of this chapter. 

* According to Christ Jesus ;] i. e. " according to the will 
and to the example of Christ." See Newcome and Wakefield. 
** agreeably to the spirit and precepts of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

^ And one voice, you may give glory, <S:c.] Gr. " one moutli." 
I agree with Dr. Taylor, that " the apostle is persuading them 
to a cordial coalition in public v/orship3 and gives each party a 
substantial reason why they ought to unite tlieir hearts as well 
as their voices. But as it would be more difficult to })ersuade 
the Jew, therefore he plies liim witli several (piotations out of 
scripture." " We see here," says Ur. Priestley in his excel- 
lent note upon this text, " that all our works and duties re- 
spect the one true God, that they are what we owe to liim, 
and also, that this one true God is the same that is usually call- 
ed the Father, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Clnist, and 
by no means Jesus Christ himself. Little could this apostle 
imagine, that his writings could ever be thought to countenance 
any other doctrine." 

Div. II. ROMANS. Skct. III. 8,9, 311 

you may unite together with cordial affection in the Ch. xv. 
same acts of public worship, and may not be pre- 
vented by diversity of opinion upon ceremonial cus- 
toms, from addressing your common prayers and 
thanksgivings to him^ who, being the God and Fa- 
ther of our common master Jesus Christ, is equally 
the God and Father of all his true disciples, whe- 
ther, with the believing Jew, they adhere to the 
rites of their forefathers, or, with the believing Gen- 
tile, they hold themselves absolved from the cere- 
monial institutions of the law. 

9. The apostle finally urges mutual conciliation 
from the consideration^ that both Jew and Gentile 
are equally admitted to the privileges of the gospel, 
the former on the ground of promise, and the latter 
of unmerited mercy, ver. 7 — 12. 

Therefore, receive one another, as Christ has also 
received you, to the glory of God^. 

And now I repeat^ at the conclusion of this dis- 
course, the advice with which I began, that you 
should receive and love one another as brethren, 
notwithstanding any differences of opinion concern- 
ing ritual observances, as Jesus Christ has admit- 
ted you all, without distinction, into the possession 
of the privileges and hopes of that glorious com- 

* " You to the glory of Goc?."] '" This I conceive denotes the 
gospel state^ into which believing Jews and Gentiles were taken, 
and which he signifies by glory, ch. ix. 23 ; and describes to be 
eminently glorious, 2 Cor. iii, 7 — 1 1 ." Taylor. Us is the read- 
ing of the received text, but the best copies read you. See 

>12 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. III. 9. 

Ch. XV. munity of which God has appointed him to be the 

Vcr. 8. Fo7' I declare ', that Jesus Clirist became a mi- 
nister of the circumcision^ for the sake of the truth 
of God, to confirm the promises made to the fa- 

You ought to receive, and to Hve in Christian fel- 
lowship with one another ; for I solemnly declare, 
that Jesus Christ was sent to invite you both to the 
privileges of the new covenant. And hrst, to the 
Jewish nation, to confirm the truth of God, and as 
an accomplishment of the divine promise made long 
ago to the ancestors of the chosen people. 
9. But, that the Gentiles should glorify God for 
his mercy s sake 2, as it is written. For this cause 
I will acknoivledge thee among the Gentiles, and 
will sing praise to thy name. 

And I also assure you, that Christ was equally 
sent as a minister of peace to the Gentiles ; not, 

* For / declare.'] yap is the reading of the best copies, and 
marked by Griesbach as the preferable reading, though not ad- 
mitted into his text. Tlic iUative particle is most suitable, be- 
cause the apostle is assigning reasons why Jewish and Gentile 
believers should unite in Christian worship. The received text 
reads ^s, Now / declare. 

* Shou/.d glorlftj God, <S:c.] Perhaps the apostle's meaning 
in these two verses Vvould be more clearly expressed in this 
manner : For I aver that Christ was sent as a minister of (lod 
to the Jewish nation, to verify the divine promise to their an- 
cestors 5 but he wiis sent to invite the Gentiles into the glory of 
God, i. e. into the gospel covenant, not in consequence of any 
promise to their ancestors which might entitle tliem to the bless- 
ing, but solely as an act of mercy. Yet being received by Christ, 
they ought to be acknowledged by the Jewish believers. So that 
the expression, that the Gentiles should glorify (tod, means the 
same thing as being *' received to the glory of God," ver. 7. 

Div. IL ROMAN S. Sect. III. 9. 313 

indeed, rtS a blessing to which they had any claim, Ch. xv. 
either of merit, or by promise ; on the contrary, ^^^* 
they are admitted to participate in the glorious pri- 
vileges of the gospel, solely upon the footing of mer- 
cy. But being thus admitted into the new covenant 
through mercy, they have a right to be received into 
fellowship by their elder brethren of the Hebrew na- 
tion, who had a claim by promise, agreeably to the 
language of their own scripture. Psalm xviii. 49, 
For this cause I will celebrate thee among the Gen- 
tiles ; I will sing praises to thy name : where it is 
plain that the psalmist associates the heathen with 
himself in an act of thanksgiving to God for his 
great mercy. 

^nd again the scripture sak/if Rejoice, ye Geri' lo. 

tiles, together with his people, Deut. xxxii. 43. 

And again. Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles ; u. 

and repeat his praise, all ye jjeople, Ps. cxvii. 1. 

Where the Jews, the ancient people of God, are 
called upon to echo back the praises which are ut- 
tered by the Gentiles. 

In these remarkable passages, Tyloses the law- 
giver of Israel, and David the ancestor of the Mes- 
siah, express their readiness to unite with Gentiles 
in acts of praise, and urge, or at least set an ex- 
ample to their countrymen to do the same. 

And again, Isaiah saith. There shall he a root 12. 

of Jesse, and one who shall rise up to ride over 
the Gentiles, ajid in him shall the Gentiles hope, 
Isaiah xi. 1 0. 

Isaiah goes still further than either Moses or 

314 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. III. 9, 10. 

Ch. XV. David. He expressly foretells, that a descendant 
from the stock of Jesse shall reign over the w^hole 
Gentile world, who shall become the willing sub- 
jects of his government, and the happy expectants 
and partakers of the blessings of his auspicious reign. 
This prophecy is accomplished in Jesus, the true 
Messiah, the anointed king of God's ancient people; 
who invites the Gentile nations to submit to his do- 
minion, and who, receiving them as his lawful sub- 
jects, of course requires their fellow subjects to ac- 
knowledge their rights, and to admit them as fellow 
citizens of the same holy and happy community. 

10. The apostle concludes the section with a 
prayer, that God would increase in their hearts that 
spirit of peace and love which he had so earnestly 
recommended, ver. 13. 
13. Now may the God of hope ' Jill you with all joy 
and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope 
through the poiver of the holy spirit'^, 

> The. God of hope.'] See ver. 5, and the note there. He 
here addresses the divine Being as the God of hope, as he there 
addresses him as the God of patience and consolation. 

* Throu'^h the. power of the holy spirit .•] i. e. through the 
promises of the gospel, which are confirmed by the powerful 
operations of the holy spirit. Of these tlie Roman believers 
must liave had abundant evidence, though, not Iiaving been yet 
visited by an aj)Ostle, they liad not tliemselves been the subjects 
of these f)o\vers. Dr. Taylor explains the clause, " tlirough the 
mightv working of the lioly spirit conferred u])on you as the 
earnest and pledge of it." But by whom were these gifts con- 
ferred ? It is ])ossil)le indeed, and even probable, that some of 
the eminent persons whose names are mentioned in tlie sixteenth 
chapter, had received the holy s)/irit from the hands of an apos- 
tle, perhaps of Paul himself, before they settled at Rome. But 

Div. il. ROMANS. Sect. lil. 10. 315 

And now to draw to the conclusion of this long Ch. xv. 
argument, as no good is to be obtained without the 
blessing of the most High, may that God who is 
the author of hope, and who hath imparted the go- 
spel, which is the great foundation of hope, both to 
Jews and Gentiles, grant success to these earnest 
exhortations ! May he fill your hearts with peace ; 
peace with God, peace of mind, and peace with each 
other ! they will then overflow with joy ; and faith 
will be manifest in its fruits. Of such a temper of 
mind, hope is the natural consequence ; the inse- 
parable associate : hope that is founded upon the 
promises of the gospel, and confirmed by the gifts 
of the holy spirit. And a better wish I cannot form, 
a more important petition I cannot offer for my 
Christian brethren at Rome, than that of this glo- 
rious hope they may ever possess an abundant por- 

It cannot be doubted, that the apostle's pious 
prayer was heard, and that his wise and benevolent 
advice produced its proper effect. So that when he 
was sent in chains to Ptome a few years afterwards, 
he would find that a spirit of peace and mutual con- 
ciliation had taken place of the spirit of bitterness, 
and party zeal. And it is much to be desired, that 
believers in all ages should learn from this excellent 
epistle, that a spirit of candour, of conciliation, and 

it is most probable, that spiritual gifts were not frequent among 
the believers at Rome. Mr. Wakefield translates the clause, 
*' that ye may abound in this hope under the influence of an un- 
spotted mind j" not, I think, in the spirit of the apostle's style. 

]\6 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 1. 

Ch. XV. of mutual kindness, is far more acceptable to God, 
'^^' ' and far more becoming tbe Christian character, 
than the warmest zeal either for or against the ob- 
servance of ceremonial institutions. 


T/te apostle apologizes /or the freedom of his ad- 
vice ; he claims this privilege as the apostle of 
the Gentiles : he gives a modest account of his 
success, and announces his intention to visit 
Home in his way to Spain^ after having exe- 
cuted the commission he had undertaken to carry 
the contrihutions from Macedonia and Achala, 
to the church at Jerusalem ; rerpiests their pray- 
ers, and concludes with his blessing. Ch. xv. 14 
to the end. 

1 . The apostle pleads his commission to the Gen- 
tiles as an apology for the freedom of his remarks, 
ch. XV. 14—16. 
14. Jjtft I am myself persuaded, brethren, concern' 
ing you, that ye are also full of goodness, filled 
with all hioivledge, able even to admonish one an- 

Though I thus exhort and pray for you, it is not 
that I have any doubt either of your knowledge or 
of your candour ; for I believe that you are per- 
fectly well informed with respect to your duty, in 
the case which I have mentioned ; that you are per- 
fectly well disposed towards each other ; and if at 

Div. II. R O M A N S. Sect. IV. 1. 317 

any time any member of your society should be de- Ch. xv. 
ficient either in knowledge or in charity, that you are 
perfectly capable of setting him right in his judge- 
ment, or of reminding him of his duty, without the 
interference of others who have no relation to you. 

Nevertheless, I have written to you, brethren, 15. 

putting you in mind, somewhat freely , in fjart, he- 
cause of the favour 1 ivhich is given me by God, 
that I should be a ininister of Jesus Christ to the 1 6. 

Gentiles, officiating in the gospel of God, that this 
oblation of the Gentiles- may be acceptable, being 
sanctified by the holy spirit 3. 

^ In part, or, partly, because of the favour, cSrc] The apos- 
tle has written freely to remind them of their duty. But v^^hy 
write at all, if they were so well disposed and so well qualified 
as he describes ? Partly, no doubt, because, excellent as they 
were, they might be improved by his good counsels. This he 
insinuates, but does not express. And partly, because, being 
the apostle of the Gentiles, he was entitled to give his advice 
and to require their attention. — y^apiv, favour, i. e. the apostolic 
office. See ch. i. 5, xii. 3 ; and the notes there. There is a 
difficulty among interpreters, how to connect the words oLifi 
y^sps;. Many connect them with '' roKixYjOorspov, q. d. paulo li- 
berius." Rosenmuller. ^' I have written to you rather freely 
upon some points." Wakefield. Dr. Taylor translates the words, 
^' with respect to part of you 5" and explains them as alluding 
to the Gentile behevers, whom he had addressed with more than 
ordinary freedom. Rosenmuller says they may be joined with 
sypa^a,, q. d. In some parts of this letter I have written freely. 
In the paraphrase they are connected with dia, rov %apiv, 7. d. 
I have written freely, partly because, &c. The amiable modesty 
of the apostle, and his desire to avoid assuming an air of supe- 
riority, make his language obscure. 

« Oblation of the GentUes.'] So Wakefield. See Isa. Ixvi. 20. 
The terms are sacrificial. The apostle speaks of the Gentiles 
as an offering, and himself as the priest. See Locke. 

^ Sanctified bij the holy spirit.'} " The gifts of the holy spirit 
to Gentile believers, were a proof of their being accepted by 
God, and v/crc a public criterion of their -ocparation from the 

518 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. IV. r,^. 

Ch. XV. It may then naturally be asked, why I intrude ad- 
^''^'' ^^^' vice if it be not wanted. My answer is, that I have 
offered these free admonitions, partly, to call your 
attention to that great favour which God has con- 
ferred upon me, by investing me with the office of 
preaching the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles ; that 
so, as an officiating priest, I might collect into the 
sacred temple of the Christian community, the great 
body of believing Gentiles, and might present them 
as an acceptable offering to God ; who has given 
the most public and satisfactory assurance of his 
willingness to accept this oblation, by the mission 
of his holy spirit, Uke the celestial fire, to conse- 
crate them to himself ^ 

The signal honour thus conferred upon me is a 
sufficient warrant for the freedom with which I have 
offered my advice, even though I am not personally 
known to you. 

2. The apostle takes occasion modestly to report 
the great success of his mission, ver. 1/ — 21. 
17. / // are therefore cause of glorying through Christ 
Jeans, in things pertaining to God ^. 

unbelieving- wolJ. Being- sanctified and cleansed, not by any 
external rites, but by the gifts and virtucb of the holy spirit." 
Taylor. See Acts x. 4/ ; Kom. viii. 1(>. 

' " Tiie Gentile converts were sanctified, or devoted to God 
by the holy hj/nit, which descended upon the apostles and others 
iti tl\e form of lire, as victims were consecrated to God by the 
fire of the altar." Dr. Priestley. 

* Thiu^s pertainin^^ to Gw!] The same phrase occurs, Ileb. 
V. 1 , wh(.'re it is used of the things which w^ere oli'ered to God 
in the temple mini^itration. See Locke. 

Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect. IV. 2. 319 

Having been thus appointed to the high office of Ch. xv. 
the apostleship to the Gentiles, I have not been neg- ^^' 
ligent in performing its duties ; and I have indeed 
some reason to boast of the tsuccess of my labours 
in the service of God, in spreading the Christian 
faith ; which success is wholly to be attributed, not 
to any merit or ability in me, but to the presence 
and aid of Jesus Christ. 

1^0)' I ivill not presume ^ to speak of any thing, 18. 

bnt what Christ has done through 7ne for the obe- 
dience of the Gentiles in word anddeed^, hy mighty l^- 
sig7is and wonders through the power of the holy 
spirit ; so that from Jerusalem^ and round about ^ 
even as far as Illyricum, I have fully declared ^ 
the gospel of Christ, 

For, to speak the truth without any exaggeration 
(for, whatever some may do, I would not presume 
to take the credit of labours and successes which 
are not my own), I have myself, in the execution 
of my apostolic mission, taken a circuit from Jeru- 

' / Will not presume, &'c.] i. e. either I will not boast of la- 
bours and successes in which others have had perhaps a princi- 
pal share — or, I will not boast in any thing of my own, but only 
so far as I have been supported by Christ, and' an instrument 
in his hands. See Taylor. " For I vvill not dare to speak of any 
of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me." New- 
come, who includes these words in a parenthesis. 

* In word and deed, &c.] q. d. in profession and practice ; or 
hath wrought through me — by word and deed, '' by the manner 
in which he hath enabled me to speak, and the things which he 
hath strengthened me to perform." Doddridge. See Rosenmul- 
ler. ''the holy spirit." This is the reading of the best copies. 
The received text reads the '' spirit of God." See Griesbach. 

^ Havefulhj declared .•] i. e. so as not to leave any consider- 
able place behind, where the gospel has not been made known. 

320 Div. II. ROMA N S. Sect. IV. 2. 

Ch. XV. salem to Illyricum ; and in every place of conse- 
^^^' ^^* quence vvliich lay in or near my course, and where 
the gospel was unknown, I liave promulgated the 
joyful tidings with success. Yet, far from arrogat- 
ing to myself the honour of this splendid achieve- 
ment, I most readily acknowledge that I was merely 
an instrument in the hand of Christ, my master, 
who qualified me for this great undertaking, first 
by instructing me in the gospel, and afterwards by 
endowing me with those spiritual gifts and mira- 
culous powers, v/hich excited the attention of the 
heathen, and subdued them to the gentle yoke of 
the gospel ; so that they not only professed faith in 
it, but yielded a ready obedience to it. 

20. Beinq- studious indeed, so to preach the gospel, 
not where Christ had been named, lest I should 

21. hulld upon another mans foundation^ ; hut as it 
is ivritten, They to ivlioni nothing^ teas related 
concerning him shall see, and they who have not 
heard shall understand, Isa. lii. 15. 

My reason for studiously and even ambitiously 

' Being studious — lest I sJiOuld build, &c.] " earnestlij striv- 
ing, even to an ambitious desire." Newcome. — The apostle here 
seems to allude to those false apostles, who intruded themselves 
into the churches which lie had planted, and of whose conduct 
he so bitterly complains in his epistles to the (lalatians and tlie 
Corintliians. See Gal. i. (i, 7, iv. \7 ; 2 Cor. x. 9 — 18. 

* 'J'/mj to whom, &c.] St. Paul quotes from the LXX. ; and, 
asthe text is cited by Justin and l)y Origen, v^ho professes only 
to (juote the LXX. where it agrees with the Hebrew, Mr. Dod- 
.soii inters that the Ilebr(!w in this case ought to be corrected 
by the LXX. The text stands thus in tlie public Version from 
the Hebrew text, — " that which had not been told them they 
^hull see^ and that which they had not heard shall they consider." 

Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 2, 3. 321 

selecting those places for the exercise of my apos- Ch. xv- 
tolic mission where the gospel was altogether un- ^^"^ ' 
known, was, that I might not appear unhandsomely 
to clash with the labours of my brethren, and to 
covet the reputation of building up a church where 
others had undergone the more toilsome labour of 
laying the foundation, and had made the first con- 
verts to the faith : a delicacy which has not always 
been observed with regard to myself. And in this 
way I falfill the words of the prophet Isaiah, who, 
in the introduction to his celebrated prediction of 
the humiliation and succeeding exaltation of the 
Messiah, announces, that his salutary doctrine shall 
be taught to those who had no previous intimation 
of his appearance ; that is, to the heathen world. 

3. The apostle announces his intention to visit 
Rome in his way to Spain, after he had executed the 
commission he had undertaken of carrying the 
contributions from Macedonia and Achaia, to the 
church at Jerusalem, ver. 22 — 28. 

Therefore^ I have been often hindered from 22. 
coming to you. 

You may naturally suppose, that it has long been 
my earnest wish to preach the gospel at Rome ; 
and I should gladly have been the first to commu- 
nicate the joyful tidings to the imperial city. But 
the duties of my mission making it imperative upon 
me to preach the gospel, and to settle churches 
every where in my way, I was necessarily precluded 
from accomplishing my desire. 

VOL. I. Y 

322 Div.ll. U O M A N S. Sect. IV. 3. 

ch. XV. But now having no longer any object i in thes^ 
regions, cnid having had for many years a great 
21. desire to come to you, ivhensoever I take my jour- 
ncy into Spain*^, I hope, as I pass by, to visit you, 
and to be set forward thither by you, after having 
first been satisfied in some measure with your com- 

But these obstacles exist no longer ; for having 
now fulfilled my mission in these parts, and there 
being no other place where my ministry is particu- 
larly required, I hope shortly to gratify the earnest 
wish I have long entertained, and to make you a 
visit in my way to Spain. And having enjoyed 
your company, though but for a short time, I hope 
to be assisted by you to proceed on my journey. 
2o. But now I am going to Jerusalem, to perform 
-(j. a service to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia 
have been pleased^ to make a certain contribution 

' Object.'] Gr. '' place," or *' business." Newcome. — 
'' scope." Wakefield. '' non cnnpUus opportunifatem halens."' 
Rosenmuller. See Heb. xii. 17. He had fulfilled his mission, 
there was no place to which duty called him wliere he had not 
preached the gospel. 

- Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, &c.] The received 
text adds, '' I will come unto you, for,' &c. which words are 
omitted in the best copies, and by Griesbach. 

^ Macedonia and Afliaia have been pleased, ^c] " It hath 
pleased those of Macedonia," &c. Newcome. — Tlie ('hristians 
in Judea were in general poor ; but many of the believers in 
Macedonia and Achaia a])i)ear to have been j)ersons of rank 
and ))ropcrty ; v^ ho could well afford and were well disposed \.o 
.send relief to their indigent and suffering brethren ; being sen- 
sible of the obligation tliey v»ere under to the Jewish believers 
for the communication of the invalual)le blessing of the gospel. 
Mow much the apostle interested liimself in raising a contri- 
bution upon this occlusion^ appears from the directions which he 

Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 3. 323 

for the poor saints in Jerusalem, They have in- Ch. xv. 
deed been pleased to do this, and they are debtors ^^' "' * 
to the Jews. For if the Gcjitiles have participated 
m their spiritual thms;s, they ought also to minister 
to the Jews in iv or Idly things. 

I cannotj indeed, be with you immediately; for I 
am engaged in a charitable service, which makes it 
necessary for me to set off immediately for Jerusa- 
lem. The opulent believers in Macedonia and 
Achaia have made a very liberal contribution for 
the relief of their indigent and persecuted brethren 
in Judea ; and the donation is of such a magnitude, 
that my colleagues and I, in connexion with other 
deputies selected from the churches, have under- 
taken the charge of it to the place of its destination. 
Our Gentile brethren have indeed contributed 
largely upon this occasion, and with hearts over- 
flowing with generosity. And they have done well; 
they have acted as they ought. For, after all, the 
balance of obligation is much in their favour. The 
Jews have communicated to them the blessings of 
the gospel ; life, hope, and immortality. Well 
then may they expect in a season of distress, to 
share liberally in those worldly possessions in which 

lays down concerning it in the two epistles to the Corinthians j 
where he not only urges various motives to induce them to con- 
tribute largely, but promises, that if the collection is sufficiently 
respectable, he will himself accompany Luke and others, who 
had undertaken the charge of delivering it to the believers at 
Rome. This is the journey which he had in view when he 
was m-iting to the Romans. See 1 Cor. xvi. 1 — 6 j 2 Cor. 
viii. 9. 


324 Div.II. ROMANS. Skct.IV.3,4. 

Ch. XV. their Gentile brethren abound. So that the kind- 
ness is mutual and reciprocal. 

Ver. 23. Tflwji, therefore, I shall have performed this^ 
a?id have sealed^ to them this fruit, Iivill passhy 
you into Spain. 

As soon, therefore, as I shall have dispatched this 
business, and have executed the connuission I have 
undertaken of delivering this grateful fruit of Chri- 
stian liberality safe into the hands of those for whom 
it is intended, I will set oft' from Jerusalem upon 
my intended mission into Spain, and will call upon 
you in the way. 

4. The apostle, after expressing his confidence, 
that his visit to them would be eminently beneficial, 
entreats an interest in their prayers for his protec- 
tion and success, and concludes with his apostolical 
benediction, ver. 29 — 33. 
29. And I knoiv, that when I come unto you, I shall 
come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ-. 

Whether providence may permit me to accom- 
plish my purpose I know not. But of one thing I 
am assured ; that at whatever time, or in whatever 
manner, I may visit my friends at Rome, I shall 
bring the blessing of Christ with me in all its full- 
ness ; I shall lay before you the whole plan of the 

^Scaled, &c.] " consit^ned to them tliis fruit of love."' New- 
come. — " cnnsignari soUnt qu(T dcponuutur.''' Crotius, 

' The hicssiug of (,'hris/.'] Tlie receiveil U'\t rends *' of the 
gospel of Christ :" the sense is the same. Tiie word liospcl is 
omitted in idmostall the mostaneient copies, and is dropped in 
Ciriesbach's last edition. 

Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 4. 32^ 

gospel in all its simplicity, beauty, and perfection; Ch.xv. 
and shall confirm it by the gifts of the holy spirit. ^^' "^* 
This is no vain boast of mine ; for I am specially 
called by Christ, and appointed to this service. And 
I am conscious of that within me which assures me, 
that at Rome in particular my ministrations will be 
eminently useful. 

Now I beseech you, brethren^ by the Lord Jesus 30. 
Christ, and by the love of the spirit 3, that ye strive 
together with me in jirayers to God for me, that 31. 
/ may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea ; 
and that my service at Jerusalem may be accept- 
able to the saints^ ; that by the ivill of God I may 32. 
come to you luithjoy, and may refresh myself ivith 

But though I desire and hope to visit you, and 
am confident that my proposed visit will be produc- 
tive of the highest benefit to you, it is quite uncer- 

^ By the love of the spirit.'] '' iier illam dilectionem quam in 
nobis ejfecit spiritus sanctus, nempe per doctrinam Christi.'' Ro- 
senmuller. — *'by the love which is the fruit of the spirit." New- 

^ May be acceptable to the saints. 1 *' Optat ut Judfpo-christi- 
ani christianos ex gentibus ament, conspecta eorum in se benefcen- 
tia."' Rosenmuller. See 2 Cor. ix. 12, J3. " The Jews," says 
Dr. Taylor, " were generally treated as objects of contempt and 
insult through the whole Roman empire. The apostle was in 
hopes, this liberal contribution sent by the Gentile Christians, 
converted by Paul's ministry, would engage the affections of 
the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem, on their part much preju- 
diced against the reception of the Gentiles into the church and 
covenant of God, without submitting to the law." He adds, 
'^ I make no doubt, this is an instance of St. Paul's zeal and 
prudent endeavours to establish a good harmony between Chris- 
tian Jews and Gentiles." 

26 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 4. 

ch. XV. tain, both when and how I may be permitted to 
^""^^' execute my pm-pose ; to eftectuate which, I must 
first obtain leave of him whose servant I am, and by 
whose orders I move in every step of my progress. 
I earnestly entreat you, therefore, my brethren, by 
your affectionate regard to our common master 
Jesus Christ, the success of whose gospel will, I 
trust, be promoted by my intended visit, and by that 
kindness of heart which is the genuine effect of this 
new and spiritual dispensation, that you will unite 
earnestly with me in your prayers to God for me. 
First, that I may escape from the murderous fury 
of the Jews, who are hardened in unbelief, and 
whose rage is particularly directed against me, who 
having been once a persecutor like themselves, am 
now a zealous and successful teacher of the gospel 
among the heathen. Also, that the present which 
1 bear to the Hebrew Christians from their Gentile 
brethren, may be received with a becoming spirit ; 
that it may be accepted with gratitude, and may be 
the means of conciliating the affection of the Jew- 
ish believers, and abating their prejudices against 
their Gentile brethren. And finally, that God of 
his good pleasure may give success to my purposes 
and hopes, that so I may fulfill my intention of 
visiting you in my way to Spain, and may enjoy 
the satisfaction which I promise myself in witness- 
ing your Christian spirit, and in contributing to 
your edification in the gospel. 
33. Now may the God of peace be with you all. 
Ante it. 

Div. 11. ROMANS. Sect. IV. 4. 327 

To conclude ; whether the visit which I propose, Ch. xv. 
take place at an earlier or be deferred to a later pe- 
riod, or whether it be altogether laid aside, my ear- 
nest desire is, that you may at all events secure the 
protection of One, who is infinitely better able than 
I am to promote your true interest. May you enjoy 
the presence and favour of Almighty God ; to whom 
we are permitted through the grace of the gospel to 
look as a God at peace with us, reconciled to us, 
graciously acknowledging the character of a father, 
and engaging to provide every thing good for us ; 
and to whom we cannot make a more acceptable 
return than by living in peace and mutual affection 
with each other, notwithstanding any differences of 
opinion which may prevail concerning rites and 
forms ! May God be with you, and all will be well ! 

The pious apostle's prayer was in part granted. 
He was permitted to visit Rome : and when he came 
thither, it was indeed in the fullness of the blessing 
of Christ ; which is evident from those admirable 
epistles which he wrote while he was a prisoner 
there, and which are still extant for the instruction 
and edification of the church in every age. But the 
earnest desires of himself and of his friends were in 
part denied ; and the plan which he had formed for 
executing his purpose was totally disappointed. — 
Whether he was ever permitted to extend his apos- 
tolic mission to Spain, is quite uncertain; and 
though he visited Rome, it was as an ambassador 

328 Div. II. R O M A N S. Sect. IV. 4. 

Ch. xy. in bonds. Very soon after his arrival in Jerusalem 
upooi the benevolent errand of conveying to his 
poor brethren the liberal contribution of the Gen- 
tile believers, he was seized by his unbelieving coun- 
trymen, of whose malice he expresses his just ap- 
prehension, and was by them restrained for two 
years from the exercise of his public ministry : after 
which he was sent a prisoner to Rome, where he 
continued in bonds for two years longer. And 
while there, by the fortitude and magnanimity with 
which he suffered, by the excellent epistles which 
he indited, and by the instructive discourses which 
he delivered, he probably contributed more to the 
promulgation of Christian truth than he could have 
done in any other circumstances. Thus was the 
great design of his mission and ministry accom- 
plished, though in a manner widely different from 
that which he originally expected or intended. 

Let those who, like this eminent apostle, are ear- 
nestly bent upon promoting Christian truth, learn 
from his example humbly to acquiesce in the occa- 
sional disappointment of those plans of usefulness 
which they had formed for themselves, and to which 
they were most fondly attached. Let them resign 
themselves to the disposals of divine providence, 
content to act their part in the best manner they 
are able in the sphere which is allotted to them. 
Every one has his peculiar province assigned to him 
by the great master of the drama ; who can never 
be mistaken in his selection of the instruments 
which he employs : every one has his proper talent 

Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect. V. 1. 329 

and post of service. The deficiency of some shall cm. xv. 
be supplied by the ability of others ; and in the end, ^''^^' ' '^' 
nothing shall be wanting to the harmony and per- 
fection of the wise and benevolent plan. 


T'/w apostle sends Ms salutations to his Christian ch. xvi. 
friends at Roine, interspersed ivith various ex- 
pressions of affection and esteem. He offers his 
parting advice; arid concludes ivith a benediction 
and doxohgy, Ch. xvi. throvghout, 

1 . The apostle sends salutations to his Christian 
friends ; and begins with recommending to their re- 
gard the person who was the bearer of his letter, 
ver. 1—161. 

* Dr. Priestley well observes, in his notes on this chapter, 
that *^ the conclusion of most of Paul's epistles, though lea-st 
valuable as to their direct use, are highly valuable indirectly, 
and as an evidence for the truth of Christianity ; so many par- 
ticular persons and circumstances being mentioned as give them 
the most unsuspicious appearance of genuine epistles, and ex- 
clude all idea of forgery. Indeed there are no epistles come 
down to us from ancient times that have such clear evidence of 
genuineness as these : and accordingly, it does not appear that 
it was ever called in question." 

** If this case be considered," continues this admirable v^Titer, 
" it will be found absolutely impossible to admit the genuine- 
ness of these epistles, — i. e. their having been actually written 
by the apostle Paul while he was engaged in preaching the go- 
spel, in the midst of business and so much contention, when all 
his motions were watched by his enernies and false friends, — 
without admitting the truth of the facts which he mentions in 

330 Div. II. ROMANS. Secx.V. 1. 

Ch. XVI. / recommend to you Phebe, our sister, who is a 
^^' 2. deaconess * of the church which is at Cenchrea, that 
ye receive her in the Lord, as is ivorthy of saints ; 
and that ye may assist her in whatsoever business 
she may have need of you, for she has been a helper^ 
of many, and of myself also . 

Cenchrea was a sea-port, at a small distance from 
Corinth, from which city this epistle is dated. It 
seems that a church, that is, an organized assembly 
of believers, had been formed at Cenchrea ; of which 
church Phebe, a female of respectability who was 

tliem as at that time known to all, especially the miraculous 
gift of the spirit, and such a reception of Christianity in that 
early period, while the facts were recent, and open to every 
man's examination. And the truth of these implies tiie 
TRUTH OF Christianity : that is, they necessarily lead us to 
conclude, that they were fticts admitted by those who were best 
qualified to examine their truth, and who had every motive for 
doing it with impartiality, that Christ preached the doctrines 
which are ascribed to him in the gospel history 3 that he wrought 
many miracles in support of his divine mission ; that he was pub- 
licly crucified, and that he actually rose from the dead. These 
facts, with those which are necessarily implied in them_, arc all 
that we ought to understand by Christianity." 

' A deaconess.'] See Dr. Taylor's excellent note upon this 
.subject, and a very pertinent quotation from Cornelius Nepos. 
Newcome observes, that there were deaconesses in Bythinia in 
the time of PUny. Kpp. x. 97- 

^ /I helper.'] ifpos'OLris' one whose oflfice it was to show hos- 
j)itaHty to strangers. Rosenmuller. Two uncial manuscripts 
read irapa.s'oLrig, wliich Locke and Bowyer conjecture to be the 
true reading, alluding to the word Tra^ar^re in tiie preceding 
clause ; q. d. protect her, for slie has been the protectress of 
many, and also of myself. She was probably a person of pro- 
perty and consetpience, or she wouh} hardly have had occasion 
to visit Rome upon business of her own. — " Mcfaphora elcgafi- 
iissima, petita a m'llUihus, (ji/i in fine sihi adstant, mutuoquc sunt 
aux'Uio, wide rraf arara/ dicuntur." Rosenmuller. 

Div.II. ROMANS. Sect. V. 1. 331 

intrusted with the care of this epistle, was a distin- Ch. xvr, 
guished member. She was deaconess of the church. ^^* 
The office of a deacon was, to provide for the poor, 
to visit the sick, to instruct, admonish, and com- 
fortj as occasion might require. And as in Greece 
it would have been reckoned indecorous for men to 
have performed these offices for the female sex, wo- 
men of character and probity were appointed to it. 

It appears that this excellent woman was a person 
of considerable property and of great hospitality : 
she delighted in doing good; she employed her opu- 
lence and her influence in entertaining and succour- 
ing those who were in w^ant, and particularly the 
persecuted believers in Christ. The apostle himself 
acknowledges his obligations to her kindness. 

The affairs of this eminent Christian called her 
to Rome ; and the apostle trusts her with the charge 
of his important epistle. He earnestly recommends 
her to the favour and protection of the believers at 
Rome; and requests, not only that they uill treat 
her with the respect due to her character and station 
in the church, but that they will afford her the same 
assistance in the prosecution of her concerns which 
she had so hberally and so frequently afforded to 
others, and to himself ia particular. 

Salute Priacilla^ and AquUa^ my fellow labour- 3. 

ers hi Christ Jesus ; who for my life laid down 4. 

their own necks : to whom not only I give thanks y 
but also all the churches of the Gentiles, 

' Priscilla.'] Many of the best copies read Prisca, which is 
adopted by Griesbach. 

332 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. V. 1. 

Ch. XVI It appears from this salutation, that Aquila and 
Prlscilla, who had left Rome upon the decree of 
Claudius for the banishment of the Jews, were now 
returned, that decree having expired at the death of 
the emperor. The apostle had found them at Co* 
rinth, Acts xviii. 2; 1 Cor. xvi. 19 ; had lodged in 
their house, and had maintained himself by working 
with them in their occupation. He had probably 
converted them to the Christian faith; and such was 
their affectionate attachment to him, that they ac- 
companied him to Ephesus : and while Paul was 
engaged in missionary labours to Jerusalem and 
elsewhere, they remained at Ephesus, instructed 
Apollos in the faith, and having recommended him 
to the believers in Achaia, they returned to Rome 
upon the death of Claudius. It appears from the 
apostle's grateful acknowledgement, that upon some 
emergent occasion, probably during the riot at Co- 
rinth which was suppressed by Gailio, they had ex- 
posed themselves to imminent danger on his ac- 
count. Of this instance of faithful friendship he 
here expresses his affectionate recollection; and 
justly adds, that his friends were entitled to the 
thanks, not only of himself, but of all the Gentile 
churches, to the instruction and edification of which 
the apostle's whole life was devoted. 
5. Salute (i/so the rhurcli that is in lliiir Iwiisc. 

— their pious family, and all their friends and 
neighbours who from time to time assemble in their 
huge and conunodious habitation for Christian wor- 

Div. 11. ROMANS. Sect.V. 1. 333 

Salute Epcejietus my beloved friend, who is the Cii. xyr. 
first fruits of Aa'ia^ to Christ. 

— who was the first person in the proconsular 
Asia that was induced by my preaching to aban- 
don heathen idolatry, and to profess faith in Christ; 
who has always acted in the spirit of his profession, 
and for whom I entertain the warmest friendship, 
though, as he is now settled at Rome, lean no longer 
enjoy his society. 

Salute Mari/, who has taken much pains for 6, 

us 2. 

— who has been useful to us in our ministry 
while she remained with us; and who, I doubt not, 
is equally active and useful in her present station. 

Salute Andronicus and Junius ^ my kinsmen 7- 

and my fellow -prisoners ; who are in reputation 
among the apostles^ who also were believers in 
Christ before me. 

Of these once eminent and useful Christians we 
know nothing more than what the apostle here re- 
lates : that they were his relations, that they were 
pious believers in Jesus while he was a cruel perse- 
cutor of the faith ; that they were persons whose 
faith and zeal had recommended them to the no- 
tice and friendship of the apostles ; that after the 
conversion of their kinsman they had probably 
joined him in his missionary labours, and had been 

^ Asia?\ This is the reading of the best copies^ and of Gries- 
bach. The received text reads Admia. 

* For Zkv.] Many good copies read, for you, or among you j 
which reading is adopted by Mr. "W^ikefield. 

334 Div. II. ROMA iN S. Sect. V. 1- 

Ch. XVI. fellow-suft'ereis with him in the cause of truth ; and 
^^' '' that being now settled at Rome, they were deserv- 
edly distinguished by the apostle's affectionate re- 

8. Salute Amplias, my beloved friend in the Lord, 

9. Salute Urbauus, our felloiv 'labourer in Christ : 
10. and Stachys, 7n7/ beloved hiend. Salute Apelles, 

approved in Christ. 

— whose faith has passed through a severe trial 
with safety and honour. 

Salute those who are of Aristobulus s household. 
1 J • Salute Herodian my kinsman : salute those of the 
household of Narcissus i ivlio are believers in the 

Of these families some of the members are emi- 
nently pious believers in Christ, though others may 
still unhappily continue in unbelief. Assure my 
brethren that they are not forgotten by me, even 
though they should rank among the menials of the 
12. Salute Tryphana and TrypJiosa, ivho labour in 
the Lord. Salute the beloved Per sis, who has la- 
boured much in the Lord. 

These were Christian women, who, by their active 
services in those offices in the church which were 
particularly assigned to females, had entitled them- 
selves to the special notice of the apostle. 

' Narcissus. '\ Narcissus was a frcedman of Claudius, of whom 
mention is made by Suetonius in Claud. § 28 ; and by Tacitu.«; 
Ann. xii, 57. See Kosenmuller. As some believers were of 
('esar's household, it is not impossible that thir, courtier was the 
person named by the apostle. 

Div.II. ROMANS. Sect.V. 1. 335 

Sahite Riifus^^ chosen in the Lord; and his Ch.xvi. 
mother , who is also mine. ^^^' ' 

Rufus, who was an eminent Christian at Rome 
when this letter was written, might possibly be the 
son of Simon the Cyrenian who had been compelled 
to bear the cross of Christ ; for Mark, who wrote 
his gospel for the benefit of the believers at Rome, 
remarks, chap. xv. 21, that he was the father of 
Alexander and Rufus. He is said to be chosen in 
the Lord, as being a believer of distinguished emi- 
nence. And the apostle sends his salutations to 
the mother of Rufus, whom he calls his own mo- 
ther : probably on account of her maternal kindness 
and attention to him upon some former occasions. 

Next follows a list of names to which no mark 
of distinction is annexed, but who without doubt 
were eminent Christians, and well known at Rome 
at the time when the apostle wrote. 

Salute Asyyicritus^ Phlegon^ Hennas, Patrohas, u. 

Hermes^, and the brethren luith them. Salute Philo- 15, 

logus and Julias, Nereus and his sister, and Olym^ 
pas, and all the saints'^ that are with them. Salute 16. 
072^ another with a holy kiss 5. 

^ Rufus.'] See Newcome in loc. 

^ Hermes.'] Supposed by Origen and many of the ancients to 
have been the author of a work of gi-eat antiquity, called " Tlie 

■^ All the saints.] " From the great number of persons," 
says Dr. Priestley, " to whom the apostle sends salutations at 
Rome, we see how well informed he was of the state of Chris- 
tians there, and of the characters of those who composed that 
infant church." He adds, '' it is well observed by protestants, 
that among so many salutations of Paul to the Christians at 

33G Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. V. !. 

rh. xvr. This mode of salutation at the breaking up of 
Christian assenibUes, was introduced among them 
from the Jewish synagogue. It seems to have given 
offence to the heathen, and to have been the occa- 
sion of many calumnies ; for which reason it was 
soon discontinued. 

^^// the churches * of Christ salute you. 

The reputation of your faith and zeal is widely 
diffused; the churches of Christ every where rejoice 
in it, and hall your progress in truth and love with 
their warmest benedictions. Those who are near, 
and who know of my writing, send their fraternal 
salutations ; and the rest would join us if it were 
in their power. 

It has been well observed, that the number of 
salutations to eminent individuals introduced into 

Rome, no mention is made of Peter, who, according to the ca- 
tholics, was then settled at Rome, and theproi)er bishop of the 
place 5 and from this it is reasonably inferred that he was not 
tliere at that time. Indeed it is far from being probable that he 
ever properly resided in that city." 

^ A hol>/ kiss.'] See Doddridge's note. ** This mode of sa- 
lutation," says Dr. Priestley in his note upon this passage, ** is 
said to liave been derived from the custom of the Jews; and 
was given by the men apart and the women apart ; for in tlie 
synagogues the men and women always sit in separate places. 
Such also was probably the custom of the primitive C'lu-istians ; 
and it is observed in many ])laces of Christian worship at this 
day. The kiss of charity, as it was called, we find by early writ- 
ers, was given immediately before the administration of the 
Lord's Su})per, after the prayer wliich preceded it." See also 
Rosen muller. 

' All flu- churclics.'] The received text excludes the word all, 
which is admitted into the text by (iriesb;uh upon good autho- 
rity. It must, liowever, l)e taken in a very restricted sense ; 
ij. d. all ill this neighbourhood, »!v.c. 

Div. IL ROMANS. Sect. V. 1, 2. 337 

this epistle, constitute a presumptive proof of the Ch. xvj^. 
genuineness of the epistle itself. An impostor could 
have had no inducement to encumber his letter with 
them ; and the epistle being shown, as it probably 
would be, to every individual mentioned in it, each 
would become a voucher for its authenticity. 

The following reflections of Dr. Doddridge upon 
this section are so pertinent, that they require no 
apology for introducing them : 

" We find that some of these pious and much 
esteemed friends of tlie apostle were women, of 
whom lie speaks with great regard as of persons 
whom divine grace had made very useful in the 
church ; who had been helpers of many, and par- 
ticularly of him, who had laboured, yea had labour- 
ed much in the Lord. Let not that sex, therefore, 
think that it is cut off from the service of Christ, 
because the ministry is appropriated to men. Emi- 
nently useful have many of them been . Tlie most 
valuable ministers have often been assisted by them 
in the success of their work ; while their pious care, 
under the restraint of the strictest modesty and de- 
corum, has happily and effectually influenced chil- 
dren, servants, and young friends ; yea, has been the 
means of sowing the seeds of religion in tender 
minds, before they have been capable of coming 
under ministerial care." 

2. The apostle cautions the believers ^t Rome 
against the artifices of designing men, who would 

VOL. 1. Z 

338 Div. 11. ROMAN S. Sect. V. 2. 

Ch»xvi. take advantage of their unguarded simplicity, to 
introduce erroneous and mischievous doctrines, 
which would disturb the peace of the church, ver. 

Ver. 17. Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark those ivho 
cause divisions and lay stwnbling blocks J, contrary 
to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid 
1 8. them ifor such are not servan ts of our Lord Christ 2, 
but of their own appetite; and by soft ivords and fair 
speeches they deceive the hearts of the innocent^. 

As I know something of the state of your society, 
though I have never had the happiness to visit you, 
I cannot conclude my epistle without entreating you 
to be upon your guard against the artifices of an 
enemy of which you do not appear to me to be suf- 

* Those ivlio cause divismis — lay siumbl'mg hhcki;.'] The apo- 
stle does not expressly mention the Judaizing* teachers, who pro- 
bably at this time were only beginning their attempts to cor- 
rupt and seduce the believers at Rome 5 but he describes these 
hy^DOcritical adversaries to truth and peace in terms so similar 
to those which he applies to the false apostle, 2 Cor.xi. 13, 14, 
that there can be little doubt that he alludes to men of the same 
description. These Judaizing teachers, however, seem to have 
met with little success in the church at Rome ; partly, as it is 
reasonable to believe, because of the contempt in which the 
Jews and their ceremonies were held by the Romans, and partly 
because of the seasonable cautions which the apostle suggests 
in this epistle. See Dr. Priestley's note on the passage. 

^ Our Lord Christ.'] In the received text, our Lord Jesiis 
Clirist . the word Jesus is not found in the best copies, and is 
dropped by Griesbach in his last edition. 

' Bij soft speeches, &c.] " yjfiS'oMyia.g, blandis verbis — ey- 
Koyioi, laus, celebratio alterius — aKUKogfere conrenit cum dirXifs 
in sigriiJicatio7ie, ct dicitur de homine ingenucB siwplicitatis, qui 
nee ipse fraudibus ulitur, nee aliis iuesse suspicatur." Rosenmul- 
ler. — '' by fair speeches and flattering forms of address." Dod- 

Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. V. 2. 339 

ficiently apprized. I have already noticed some Ch. xvi. 
among you who lay too great a stress upon certain ^^' ' 
legal ceremonies and distinctions; but there are 
others also, who, if not narrowly watched, v»^ould 
carry this spirit further still, and would impose upon 
you the whole rigour of the ceremonial institute. 
Those enlightened teachers who brought the gospel 
to you, understood its spirit too well to impose this 
yoke upon you ; and whoever attempts to do it will 
introduce contention and confusion into the church, 
and will ensnare the consciences of weak and well 
meaning believers. Against such men I solemnly 
warn you : mark them well ; avoid them ; be not 
deceived by them. They do not show themselves 
at first : they talk so smoothly and so kindly, they 
seem quite forgetful of themselves and wholly atten- 
tive to your interest, and anxious for your salvation ; 
so that good and well meaning persons, who, think- 
ing no harm themselves, do not suspect evil in 
others, are easily taken in and deluded by them. 
But they are greatly mistaken in them ; for these 
smooth-tongued teachers are not the ministers of 
our great Master, the true Messiah, who has never 
given them a commission to preach in his name : 
nor do they mean either to promote his interest or 
yours : their only object is to make gain of you, and 
to promote their own sordid and selfish purposes. 

For your obedience hath come abroad unto all 
men : / rejoice^ therefore, on your account ; but 
yet I would have you wise concerning that which 
is good, and simple concerning that which is eviL 


340 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. V. 2. 

Ch. XVI. I give you this advice because hitherto your con- 
duct has been irreproachable ; and your proficiency 
in the gospel is universally celebrated. I rejoice on 
your account ; and I wish you to sustain your repu- 
tation, by retaining just and liberal views of the 
Christian doctrine, and by remaining in happy ig- 
norance of those sad corruptions by which in other 
churches it has been injured and defaced. , 
20. But the God of peace iviU speedily crush the ad* 
versary » under your feet. 

If you take warning, and steadily resist the first 
encroachments of this antichristian spirit, you will 
soon detect its imposture and subdue its power ; and 
God, the author and lover of peace, will give you a 
complete victory over it, so that it shall not be able 
to corrupt the doctrine of the church, nor to de- 
stroy its peace. 

And this was in truth the actual state of the Ro- 
man church. Whether it might be owing to the 
faithful warning of the apostle, or to any other cause, 
it so happened, that, whatever other corruptions and 
errors were introduced into the church at Rome, 

' The adversary.'] Gr. " Satan," — " bad men, the instru- 
ments of Satan : persecuting Jews." Newcome ; vvlio refers to 
Lc Clerc, Whitby, and Grotius. *'By Satan here," says Dr. 
Priestley, '' most interpreters suppose to be meant the Jews, 
who were the great adversaries of Christians at tliat time, and 
that the apostle had a view to the destruction of Jerusalem and 
the entire dispersion of the Jews ; as this epistle was written 
within eit^ht years of the breaking out of the Jewish war. But 
it isperhiips more probable that he here meant all evil in gene- 
ral, considering this world as a state of trial, and looking for- 
ward to abetter state." 

Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect. V. 2,3. 341 

the Judaizing teachers, who succeeded so well in the Ch. xvi. 
Eastern churches, and who were so great an annoy- *; 
mice to the apostle in Asia and in Greece, made little 
or no impression upon the believers at Rome. 

The favour of our Lord Jesus Christ be with 
you 2. 

May the gospel, which is the free gift of God to 
mankind, through the ministry of our Master, Jesus 
of Nazareth, the true Messiah, remain with you in 
its purity and its power, and be possessed by you in 
the fullness of its blessing. 

3. The apostle sends the salutations of his friends 
at Corinth to their brethren at Rome, and adds his 
own repeated benediction, ver. 21 — 24. 

Timothy my fellow -labourer^ and LukCy and Ja- 21. 
son^ and Sosipater 3, my kinsmen, salute you, 

Timothy was the apostle's faithful companion and 
assistant in his various and perilous missions ; and 
it appears from Acts xx. 4, that he was with the 
apostle at Corinth at the time when this letter was 
written: also, that he accompanied him back to 
Asia, together with Sosipater, who was a native of 
Berea. Luke was probably the historian and evan- 
gelist who was also unquestionably with the apostle 
at this time ; and Jason was an opulent and respect- 

2 Be with you?^ The received text adds, *'Amen:" which is 
wanting in the best copies, and omitted by Griesbach. 

3 Sosipater.'] Dr. Doddridge justly observes, that the cir- 
cumstance of Sosipater being in company with the apostle is 
one argument for fixing the date of the epistle. 

342 Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect.V. 3. 

Ch.xvi. able citizen at Thessalonica, who entertained the 

Ver. 21 

apostle and his companions at his house and pro- 
tected them from the fury of the populace. These 
pious believers are mentioned by the apostle as his 
relatives ; and they all unite in testifying their cor- 
dial affection to the believers at Rome, and in send- 
ing thtir kind and respectful salutations. 

22. /, Tertuis ^, ivlio wrote this epistle^ salute yoit 
lit the Lord, 

Though employed by the apostle as his amanu- 
ensis, I take the liberty in my own name to send you 
my christian salutations and cordial good wishes. 

23. Gains, 7ny host, and that of the 2uholc churchy 
saluteth you. 

Gaius, a Christian brother, in opulent circum- 
stances, an early convert to the faith, whom I my- 
self baptized, with whom I reside during my stay at 
Corinth, 1 Cor. i. 14, and wlicse hospitable man- 
sion is open to every one who is employed in the 
honourable mission of the gospel, greets you with 
his christian salutation. 

' 7, Tertiiis ;] or Silas, says Dr. Doddridge ; Tertius, the 
third, being considered as the Latin translation of Sihis from the 
Hebrew. So also Dr. Priestley interprets : but this is uncer- 
tain, for the Latin interpretation of Silas in the New Testa- 
ment is Silvanus. The apostle used an amanuensis^ probably 
because it was difficult to him to write Greek characters. The 
epistle to the Galatians is the only one wliich he wrote through- 
out with his own hand : in the rest he satisfied himself with au- 
thenticating them by writing tlie salutations. Gal. vi. 11,1 Cor. 
xvi. 21. Dr. Doddridge very i)roperly adds, '' I submit it to 
consideration, whether some of the intricate and some of the 
unfinished sentences which we meet with in these epistles might 
not be owing to this method of writing by an amanuensis." 

Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect. V. 3, 4. 343 

Erastus, the treasurer of the city ^^ and Quar- Ch. xvr. 
tus a brother^ salute you, ^^' ' 

One holding a high office under the government 
of the country, yet not disdaining to avow himself 
a disciple of the humble Jesus. The other a man of 
distinction, a professed believer, and probably well 
known to the believers at Rome. 

I again annex the apostolical benediction : 

21ie favour of our Lord Jesus Christ be ivith 24. 
you all, Amen'^l 

4. The apostle closes the epistle with a suitable 
doxology, ver. 25 — 27. 

Now unto him^ that is able to establish you 25, 

^ Treasurer of the city.'] " oixovo[j.os, administrator, dispen^ 
sator pecuniarum puhlicarum. Fuerujit hi viri magnce dignitatis 
et auctoritatis in urbibus; unde apud Josephum cii/iovoij.01 et ap- 
%ovr£g conjunguntur. Ant.xi. 6, 12." Rosenmuller. — Treasurer 
of Corinth. Grotius's note is, Vides,jam ab initio, quanquavi 
paucos, aliquos tamenfuisse Christianos, in dignitatibiis positos.'* 
Newcome 5 who also cites Matt, xxvii. 57 -, Luke viii. '.i; John 
iii. 1 J Acts vi. 7, xiii. 1, 12, xvii.4, and some other texts, to 
show that the first converts to Christianity were not always per- 
sons of the lower ranks of life, 

^ The favour, &c.] This verse is omitted in some ancient 
copies, and in a few it is placed after ver, 27. 

* Now unto him, &c.] Many of the best copies place this 
doxology at the end of chap, xiv., to which also Griesbach trans- 
fers it. But to me it appears to interrupt the thread of the dis- 
course : I leave thef-o verses, therefore, in their usual place, 
which is the situation they hold in the Kphrem, Clermont, and 
other manuscripts and versions, not without some considerable 
doubt, as it is quite unusual with the apostle to finish an epistle 
with a doxolog}^ after the blessing, Some have thought that the 
epistle at first concluded at the fourteenth chapter with the dox- 
ology and blessing, and that not being sent so soon as was ex- 

344 Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. V. 4. 

Ch. XVI. according to diij gospel^, and to the preaching of 
Jesus Christ, according to the revealed mystery 2 
ivhich was kept secret under the ancient dispensa- 

Ver. 26. t'lons 3, hilt hath noiu been made manifest through ^ 
the prophetic luritmgs, and^ according to the com- 
mandment of the eternal God, has been made known 
to all the nations for their obedience to the faith. 
27. To the only ivise God, even to him ^ through Jesus 
Christ, he glo7'y for ever. Amen, 

And now, my brethren, upon a review of the im- 
portant subjects of this lengthened epistle, of the 

pected, the fifteenth and sixteenth chapters were added by way 
of postscript. This was the opinion of KnatchbuU and Mill. See 

^ My gospel.'] Entrusted to Paul as the apostle of the Gen- 
tiles ; not in opposition to the doctrine taught by Peter and 
James, as Mr. Locke suggests. See Dr. Taylor in loc. 

' The revealed mystery^ Gr, " revelation of the mystery." 
See Newcome, — " The mystery is the calling of the Gentiles. 
Eph, i. 9, iii. 3— 9 5 Col.'i. 25—27." Locke. 

^ Ancient dhpensationsT] * secular times/ or in the times 
under the lav/ : so called from the division of times into jubilees. 
So xpovoi ajwvioi is used 2 Tim. i. 9, Tit. i, 2 : God's purpose of 
taking the Gentiles to be his people under the Messiah could 
not be said to be a mystery at any other time than while the Jews 
were the peculiar people of God. See Locke's excellent note. 

^ Throuiih the prophetic writings.'] The received text reads, 
and through, &c,; which conjunctive particle is omitted in the 
Ephrem and other manuscripts, by which the sense is made 
more clear. This particle is also omitted by Wakefield. 

^ And according, &c.] The particle and is introduced here 
upon the authority of the Syriac and ^Ethiopic versions. See 
Griesbach and Wakefield. 

" Even to him.] " Mov. cro(p, Qscy, hia, I, X. w, illud w in 
vcrsione rectc omittilur, est cnim Hebraisnius." Kosenmuller ; 
wlio nevertheless supplies rstu) before Jia k. r. X. tluit liie doxo- 
logy may appear to be oftcied to the Father through Jesus ("hrist. 

Div. II. ROMANS. Sect. V. 4. 345 

free unmerited grace of God to Jew and Gentile, of Ch. xvi. 
the sanctifying power and comforting influence of ^^' '* 
the gospel ; of the call of the Gentiles, of the pre- 
sent temporary rejection and ultimate restoration of 
the Jews ; and of the beneficial tendency of the go- 
spel to render all who sincerely embrace it virtuous 
and happy, I cannot but call upon you to unite with 
me in devout acknowledgements and thanksgivings 
to God for this new and glorious dispensation by 
Jesus Christ. 

To Him therefore who is able to confirm you in 
your adherence to that gospel, which it is my ho- 
nour to be commissioned to dispense, and which is 
the true and only doctrine of Jesus Christ, which 
reveals the mystery of the invitation of the Gentiles 
to equal privileges with the Jews without subjection 
to the yoke of the law; a mystery which was un- 
known and unsuspected in former ages under the 
reign of the law, but which is now apparent to 
those who understand the true scope and meaning 
of the prophetic writings ; and which is still more 
plainly taught by those who have received a com- 
mission, from that God whose truth and mercy are 
unchangeable, to publish these joyful tidings to the 
Gentiles, for the purpose of converting them to the 
faith, and putting them into possession of these glo- 
rious privileges : to Him, I say, who is able to esta- 
blish you in your adherence to this new and gracious 
dispensation ; to God, whose wisdom alone was equal 
to the contrivance and arrangement of this benevo- 

346 Div. II. ROMAN S. Sect. V. 4. 

Ch. XVI. lent scheme ; even to Him who, by the mission of 
' '* "' ' his beloved son and faithful servant Jesus Christ, has 
carried it into complete effect, to Him be ascribed 
our best and highest acknowledgements of grati- 
tude and praise, now and for ever. Amen, i 

^ The postscript to this epistle happens lo be correct. The 
epistle to the Romans was in fact written from Corinth, by 
Phebe a deaconess of the church in Cenchrea ; but this ])ost- 
script is not to be found in the earliest and best manuscripts : 
and in general the postscripts to the Cpistles are of no avitho- 
ritv whatever. 



SllOb: LANE. 


The Epistles of Paul the Apostle 

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