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Romans might with all willingness hearken place of habitation, inhabitants of Rome. unto Paul's doctrine, he puts them in mind, 2dly. More specially, 1. Beloved of God; that they were Gentiles by birth, and so 2. Called; 3. Saints. In the falutation needed not be proud, seeing by birth they there is, ist, The good things wilhed for, had no right to the oracles of God, and so 1. Grace.; that is, the goodwill and favour should be glad at their heart to welcome of God: 2. Peace; a fruit, and an effect the gospel.
flowing therefrom; reconciliation with God, III. The Lord's goodness in workiag a peace of conscience, and with others; and great change in us, and bringing us from all other things, necessary for our welbedarkness to light, and from the state of na-ing here or hereafter. And, 2diy, The ture into the state of grace, should be so far. causes of these good things. 1. The prinfrom causing us wax proud, -and misken cipal, God our Father. 2. The procuring ourselves, that, on the contrary, we thould cause, and our Lord Jesus Chrift. And be thereby the more strongly drawn to o- herein also he presseth home his point. bedience: therefore does he tell them, that DOCTRINAL OBSERVATIONS. though they were Gentiles, and so by na- 1. Such is God's goodness and kindness to cure without Christ, being aliens from the his people, that he will not let them wani commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from a word of instruction and direction when the cuvenants of promise, Eph. ii. 12. yet he sees it fit, but will send it to them even now they were the called of Jesus Christ ; from-afar, ere they want it.; for here he and hereby would force obedience from stirs up Paul, now at Corinth (as is genethem.
rally supposed) a cicy in Greece, lo write IV. All fuch as are effectually called, to Rome, a great way distant. Be where have a special interest in, and relation unto, we will, God can find a way to let us know Christ; for they are his who are called; his mind when he fees fit. he owneth them as his own; they who are II. Albeit God will do good to the feed called belong to him.
of the righteous, and that to many geneV. The special relation that people have rations, yet grace goes not by heirship': to Christ, or pretend to have by their pro- and the Lord's beginning a good work in fefsion, should lay strong bonds on them, any place will not tye him to keep up the to walk worthy of him that hath called them candlestick there in all time coming; for from darkness to light; to welcome his mef-Rome, that then was famous for saints in it, sage and messengers; and to yield all sub- is now become the seat of the Beast. God iniffivè obedience unto their Master, Jesus | hath not tied his gospel to any one place, Chrift: for he calls them the culled of but can remove it, when he sees it abused. Christ; that thereby they might be wrought III. As the faints are the persons moft unto obedience.
in esteem with God, and whom he respects
before princes and great ones; so fhould VERSE 7. To all that be in Rome, beloved such be high in our estimation and affec
of God, called to be faints: Grace to you, tion : for here Paul, miskening the great, and peace from God our Father, and the rich, and mighty citizens and courtiers Lord Jesus Christ.
writes to the poor saints among them; and
it is such that are honoured with this epistle. HET Ere is the second part of the infcrip
IV. As it is a special and prime privilege tion of this epistle, containing the of itself, to be beloved of God; so it is that description of those unto whom the apostle which believers ought to look upon as their did write; as also the salutation which he garland and crown, and as a chief badge of used. They are described, 1/7, From their l honour : for here the prime and chief epi
thes which he gives.them is this, that they est, seeing their souls may be as dear to are beloved of God.
Christ; and they are to give an account for V. Howbeit by Adam's transgression all them, as for others. Thus we are taught mankind did forfeit their right to heaven, by Paul's example, who, without respect and became enemies to God, yet in that sin- of persons, writes to all the saints at Rome; ful mass, and among that lost race, there not preferring one before another. was some.unto whom the Lord carried e- X. A lively apprehension and consideraverlasting kindness, and had a room for in tion of God's loving-kindness to us taking his electing love: for this, to be beloved of effect in time, in effectually calling and reGod, is a privilege belonging to some only, newing us, will forcibly draw us to obedience, whom the Lord in due time calleth unto as by a magnetic virtue. We can not rightly himself; therefore is this epithet joined with think of his old love, and his old love now called, and saints, to lhew, that this is pe verified and demonstrated, but our hearts culiar to such only.
must be warmed with these beams, and reVI. From this eternal love of God, flow- flect back again. Therefore, to move eth all those special blessings which in time them to welcome his doctrine, he puts them he communicateth; and in particular this of in mind of God's eternal love, coming to effectual calling. And such as are effec. height in time, when he calls them beloved tually called, may thence gather, that they of God, &c. had a room in the Lord's everlasting love; From the SALUTATIon learn ; for to be beloved of God, and called, is here I. That it is the duty of Christians to joided, as the cause and effect.
be real and christian in all their carriage VII. Such as are effe&tually called have and deportment; even in their most ordion them the righteousness of Jesus Christ, nary actions, as falutations, and the like: and are in part sanctified; and daily pro- for here Paul is not faluting them with moving and advancing forward in the way toom empty complements, but breathing of holiness : for in these respects it is, that out from the heart sincerity, and spiritual they are called saints, devoted to holiness. Christianity, wishing to them grace and And such as are indeed effeétually called, peace. will be following after holiness, and labour- II. As it is the duty of ministers to be ing to look like faints; for therefore are labouring to get their people into God's called, and saints, joined together. favour, and at peace with him, by serious
VIII. Howbeit all and every one that exhortation ; lo should they be making are visible professors, and federally holy, conscience to hold up their case to God, 1 Cor. vii. 14. are not truly and really and deal with him effeélually for the fame; fanctified inwardly; yet it is our duty to look for this being in manner of a prayer, teachupon all such as are visible professors, as true ech us so much. members of the visible church; and to e- III. Whatever thing else we have to do steem them saints, as long as their practice in a world, this should be our main business, doth not belye their profession : for albeit and herein should we most exercise our-' it can hardly be thought, that all these pro- felves, to be heltered under the favour and feffors at Rome were really such as they pro- goodwill of God, and to enjoy his peace: , feffed themselves to be, yet as long as there for here, when he would wish them all the was nothing known to the contrary, Paul good he could, he wilherh them grace and calls them all saints, and called ones. peace; to show them, that as this was the
IX. It is the duty of pastors, who have best he could wish them, so it should be the charge of souls, to be as tender of the most desirable unto them, and most endeapoorelt under their charge, as of the great-voured after.
IV. It is a most ready way for ministers with God in our petitions to him, for ourto gain their point with people, and to selves or others, is to be laying hold on him bring them up to obedience to the faith, as our Father; and fo engaged to hear the at least to take their doctrine and exhorta- humble and approven desires of his own tions well off their hands, to be carrying children : for this is Paul's way of it; in themselves so among them, as that they may petitioning for grace and peace to these see, that ministers are so far from wishing Romans, he takes up God as his covenanted them hurt, or any thing which may tend to God and Father, and considereth him untheir prejudice, that, upon the contrary, if der that notion, and claspeth about him, there be any thing better than another, saying, Our Father. Our faith cannot that they will them that from their very choose but be weak, when we look upon heart: therefore, that these Romans may God as one having no pity or affection totake Paul's doctrine well off his hand, he ward us, but as standing aloof; and so our lets them see, that he respects them so, that prayers cannot but be heartless. he wilheih from his heart they had the IX. The only way for folk to win to best things imaginable.
the manifestacion and intimation of God's V. That is only folid and lasting peace, favour and goodwill, and to win to true and fanctified prosperity, which floweth peace, is to be getting their intereft in God from God's favour and grace, as a stream as their Father, thro' Jesus, insured, and from a fountain : therefore does he here cleared: for no grace nor peace for us, but set down grace, in the first place, as being from God our Father. And when once that the only fountain and spring from whence is, then all is right: then is his favour felt; floweth peace with God, Rom. v. 1. Being then is the conscience calmed and settled; justified by faith, we have peace with God and then all things, and all cases, turn to peace of conscience, and all prosperity, the best. which may be understood under the name X. As Paul's joining, in this his petition,
Jesus Christ with the Father, teacherh us, VI. Such as are beloved of God, have chat we ought to worship, in our approaches, this privilege among others, that as God's by peritioning Jesus Christ, as we do the favour and goodwill are theirs, so he allow- Father, and thereby acknowledge him to eth them peace and reconciliation, and a be God equal with the Father, able and right to all other external advantages, (in- willing to hear and to help; so it clearech cluded under the word peace); and as he to us the manner how God communicatech sees it conducing for their spiritual advan- to believers his fpiritual favours, and temtage, will let them enjoy the same : for poral mercies also, viz. in Christ Jesus, or after he has called them beloved of God, by virtue of his merits : for Chrilt is the then he wilheth, or prayeih, for grace and conduit through which God conveyeth of peace. And his prayers teacheth us, that his fulness; and therefore Paul thinks it such as are beloved of God, have ground not enough to say, Grace be unto you, and to expect peace, in the Lord's own time peace from God the Father, but adds moreand manner.
over, and the Lord Jesus Christ. VII. All beloved believers, be they weak or strong, eminent for grace or not, have Verse 8. Firs, I thank my God through one and the fame Father : the meanest and
Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is weakest true believer in Rome, had the
Spoken of throughout the whole world. fame Father with eminent and gracious Paul; therefore faith he, our Father.
Fter the inscription, the apostle setteth VIII. The thrifty way of coming speed down the preface unto the whole
epistle; wherein he driveth on the far..e de principal efficient of that grace, then will fign, and useth arguments whereby he we be more fit to give him hearty thanks might prevail with them to welcome his for it: for Paul's ihanking of God, says, he do&rine. And in this verse we may take looked on God as only worthy, as being notice of two arguments, thus. it, Every the chief cause of it. body that I have occasion to speak with, IV. Whether we be praying or praising, hath much to say to your commendation; it were good for us to be looking on God the news of your submitting to the gospel as ours by covenant. It is a happy thing of Christ, and shaking off of your Heathen when every duty drives our bearts nearer isn, is gone far and wide; every body God; and is so far from fitting in our commendeth, and speaketh to your praise; light, and from keeping us from resting now it were a foul shame for you, that are on our rock, that, ou the contrary, ii clears fc highly commended, to reject my message, up our interest more; and in it we win to and ihe truths of God I am to deliver; clasp our arms about God as ours: for therefore you must take well what I say to then duties shall run apace. And, as with you. 2dly, This your faith, and so com great boldness and confidence we will pray mended, is not the thing that I envy, but for others; fo with greater chearfulness that wherefore I am heartily glad; and so will we thank God for his goodness 10 glad, that I cannot but bless God through others, when our interest in God is clear: Jesus Christ for the fame : therefore look therefore, says Paul, I thank my God. Phil. nor upon me as your ill-wisher, but as one i. 4..--Making request with joy. that rejoiceth to see you
V. As all our Spiritual blessings cometh HENCE LEARN,
10 us in and through Jesus Chriit our MeI. As it should be the duty of all Chri- diator, Eph. i. 3. fo fhould all our service stians to rejoice and be glad, when they to God go that same way back, through hear of God's grace thriving among any Christ; and in particular our praisings and people; so especially ministers should have thanksgivings should be offered up to God, a glad heart, when any under their charge in and through Christ, Col.iii. 17.--.Do all are obeying the gospel; this should be their in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks joy and rejoicing: therefore we see how to God... See Heb. xiii. 15. therefore
, says glad Paul's heart is, that there is so much Paul, I thank God thro:rgh Christ. good spoken of these Romans : See Phil. i. VI. As ministers hearty thanking of 4. Col. i. 3. i Theff. i. 2. 2 Thess. i. 3. God, for any good that he hath done to
II. The right way of vencing and ex- their flock, should abundantly testify their pressing our joy for the grace of God in love and respect; so also, should this their others, is by way of thankfulness to God love, thus manifested, be a strong motive for the fame : praises to God the Father, to move people to hearken to their exhorfrom whom cometh every good gift, and the tations : and therefore trie apostle makes fountain of all spiritual blessings, is the right use of this as an argument, to mind them channel for fpiritual joy to run into; there to welcome bis doctrine. fore Paul's joy runs out in praises, and VII. Albeit faith be a precious gift of thankfulness to God, I thank, &c. God, who is to be blessed and praised for
III. If we would be at thankfulness for it. where-ever it can be found; yet a people, grace bestowed on ourselves and others, or company, their fubmitting of themselves to we would do well to look on it as coming the gospel, (tho'it cannot ordinarily be exfron God, the Father of blessings; and (pected, that and all every one of ihem haih as having its original from no lower efficient. "rue saving faith) should be matièr of praise When we look on God as the author, and and thanksgiving; for feigned obedierice is
much: for here Paul thanks God for them II. It is lawful now under the gospel to all
. Now, it can hardly be thought, that swear, though not for every trivial and all those had true and saving faith; and tho' naughty matter, nor in our ordinary difit were truth, that all and every one among course, yet when lawfully called thereto, them were endued with saving faith, yet and when the matter is grave and serious; fure Paul thanks God for that faith which and our confirming of what we fay with was spoken of far and near; and this be- an oath, tendeth to the glory of God, hoved to be their profession, and not their and the edification of others : so much faving faith, that was thus obvious, as to be doth Paul's example teach us, in this his the matter of discourse, and commendation, saying, God is my witness; which is a to so many in all places.
real .oa:h. VIII. Folks submitting to the gospel
III. As true love where it is, cannot be fliould be more thought of, and in more hid, but will break out in outward acts account with Christians, than all their other manifesting love; so it will particularly outward enjoyments and benefits : for this vent itself to God in prayer, in the behalf was it that was so much taken notice of a.. of the party loved: for the apostle makes mong those Romans, by the Christian use of his constant mentioning of them in churches, that Rome, or many there, were his prayer, as an evidence to persuade become professed subjects to Christ; and them of the truth and reality of his love not that they were rich, and noble, and and affection. did excel in other worldly desirable things. IV. It is the duty of such that are tak
IX. Folks profession should lay bands ing an oath, to be sensible of the dreadful on them to welcome truths from the hands and terrible majesty of him with whom of God's messengers, as this argument they have to do; and that he is one who showeth.
will not be deceived: and this Paul teach
eth us by his practice, who, to show what VERSE 9. For God is my witness, whom I sense of a divine Majesty he had, when
serve with my spirit in the gospel of his he was appealing to him, and folemnly Son, that without ceasing I make mention calling him to witness
, presently addeth, of you always in my prayers.
whom I serve with my Spirit.
V. When men dare hazard their souls, Nother argument is this: I would not in calling God to witness in any particular,
have you question my love and re- it is our duty to believe it as truth, and fpect to you, for I dare take God to wit- not to question it any more, seeing an ness; and that God too, of whose terrible oath is an end of all controversy; for on majesty and greatness, I am so convinced, therways the apostle had never taken an, that I dare not triffle with him in any thing oath, if thefe Romans had not been I do, but do serve him without hypocrisy, bound to have rested persuaded of the and chearfully, even with my heart, that truth of what he swore. I forget you not in my prayers, but con- VI. Whoever are making conscience of tinually holds you up before God. one duty, and are making it their study to OBSERVE,
be fincere and hearty in it, will also make I. God is such an all-seeing Lord, as conscience of an oath, and beware to take before him all our actions, how close and God to witness an untruth : for after he guised foever they be, are open and mani- has given his oath, that they might not feft: therefore Paul appeals to God in the question it, he presently subjoineth, whom matter, touching the truth in this particu- I serve in my Spirit. That they might not lar, whereunto they were not privy, lufpect his oath, he tells them, that he