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Ε Χ Ρ Ο SI TI Ο Ν
OF THE E PIST L:E to the ROM AN S.
INTRODUCTION. HE general scope and design of the, he rests in the law, and makes his boast of
firit feven chapters of this epistle, is God, knows his will, and approves the to prove, that we are justified before God, things that are most excellent. For he also, only by the righteousnefs of Christ received in his highest natural attainments, breaks the by faith. We continue in a justified state, law, disonours God, and at the best perby the renewed exercise of faith; and the forms bur an external obedience, and reachwhole life of a justified person is a life of es not to the fpirituality which the law refaith in the Son of God, as well as his whole quires.---The Jew has indeed match every hope of eternal life is through faith in way the advantage, in point of external priChrift.--- This doctrine is proved, by a re-vileges; but in point of justifying righteoulpresentation of the atrocious impiety and ness he cannot be said to be better than the wickedness of the whole Gentile world; Gentiles; no, in no wife!---This is the arguthat even they who make the highest pre-ment from the 17th verse of the second, to tences to innocence, and who judge and cen- the 9th verse of the third chapter: in which fore or hers for fuch horrid impieties, as are verse and thofe following, the Apostle fums commonly practised among them, are all in up the argument, in these remarkable words, txculeable and self-condemned, on account which fully justify my interpretation of his of the wickedness perpetrated and indulged scope and design: For we have before proyby themselves; being all of them such vio ed both Jews and Gentiles, that they are bators of the law and light of nature, as will all under fin; as it is written, there is none kave them without excuse in the day when righteous, no not one, &c.---That every Ged svail judge the secrets of men by. Jejus mouth my be stopped, and all the world may Christ ---- This is plainly the Apostle's argu- become guilty before God.--- From these prement, from the 18th verse of the first chap- mises, he draws this conclusion in the 20th ter to the 17th verse of the second chapter. verse of the third chapter, &c. Therefore Whence it follows, that the Gentile world by the deeds of the law fall no flesh living cannot possibly have any claim to justificati- be justified in his fight. For by the law is on by their own personal obedience; nor the knowledge of Jin. But now the righteousany other way, but by the righteousness of ness of God, without the law, is manifested, Christ received by faith.
being witnessed by the law and the prophets, The Apostle next proceeds to fhew, that even the righteousness of God, which is by the Jew has no better plea to make for his faith of Jesus Christ u.to all, and upon all acceptance with God, on account of his own them that believe: for there is no difference: personal righteousness than the Gentile, tho?' Being justified freely by his grace, through
the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.----, our condemnation.--- As Adam's fin was irr
Therefore we conclude, that a man is justi- puted to all whom he represented, unto fied by faith, without the deeds of the law. their condemnation, so the righteousness of ...Which was the point to be proved. Christ is imputed to all whom he representa
But here may arise a question: What law ed, and who believe in him, unto justificatiis it that the apostle excludes from having on of life. As by one man's aisobedience any hand in our justification? 10 which it is many were made finners, so by the obedience answered: all the law, that was obligatory of one; many shall be made righteous. both upon Jews, and Gentiles; for they were After a solemn caution unto all, not to both obnoxious to wrath, by their violation turn the grace of God into wantonness, and of the respective laws they were under; had not to continue in fin, that grace may abound; all finned, and come short of the glory of God. and after enforcing this caution from the .-And God deals with them all alike. He obligation we are under by our baptism to will justify them all by their faith in Jelus die unto fin, and walk in newness of life, as Christ, and no otherways; and thereby shew Christ died for us, and rose again from the that he is nut the God of the Jews only, but dead, (as in the first part of the sixth chapof the Gentiles also.
ter) the Apostle goes on to shew (in the Having thus concluded his first argument, latter part of that chapter) what was the and proved from the guilt and impotence privileged happy state of these Romans, Lo both of Jew and Gentile, that no ınan can whom he wrote: That sin had not dominion be justified by the law of nature, by the law over them; for they were not under the law, which was given to the Jews, nor any o but under grace: That they were made free ther way but by the righteousness of God," from fin, and were become the servants of which is by faith of Jesus Christ.... The A- righteousness.--And then throughout the postle proceeds to prove the same thing from whole seventh chapter, and the beginning Abraham's faith being imputed to bim for of the eighth, he illustrates this matter, and righteousness; and from David's defcribing thews in what respect they are not under the blessedness of the man to whom God im- the law, and how, or in what respects, they puteth righteousness without works, through are
made free from fin. out the fourth chapter.
Thus the scope and design of the Apostle He then begins the fifth chapter, by de in the first seven chapters of this epistie, is, scribing the glorious privileges of those who to prove, that both Jew and Gentile must are thus justified by faith, and ends it by be justified only by the righteousness of fhewing in what manner we parrake of the Christ, received by faith ; and not by their righteousness of Christ for our justification : own observance of any law, which they are That it is in the same manner, as we are under, partakers of the sin and guilt of Adam, to
ROM A N S, CHAP. I., VERSE 1. Paul, a servant of Jesus Chrift, called to be an Apostle, separated
unto the gospel of God.
IN this verse, and some verses following, hold forth the gospel of God; and therefore
is contained the description of the author seeing the Lord hath set me and others apart of this epistle, which is one part of the in- for this only work, as our talk, you will not fcription thereof, and that both in general, do well to reject our counsel. 7. The mesand in particular ;; and therein is contained sage which I have to deliver is good news, many forcible arguments, to induce the Ro- viz. touching the sole way of being justified mans to yield obedience, and to give credit before God. The work unto which I am unto his doctrine. 1. The first is this: I am set apart and designed, is the gospel; I am not ashamed to avow that which I tell you separated to hold forth that. I have nothing to be truth; I dare take my hazard in the to hold forth but good news; therefore it maintenance of the truth of that which I is your best to take heed, and to obey what arer to be truth to you; and therefore 1 I fay. 8. Thefe good news are not news fubscribe my name to this epistle, Paul. of my own invention; this gospel which I 2. You would do well to take this doctrine off preach, and am to declare to you, is not my hand, for in writing this to you, I am mine principally, it is the gospel of God, not seeking myself, nor going about any par- and therefore reject it not.. ticular of oine own, for I am a fervant; that
DOCTRINAL OBSERVATIONS. hath a Mafter above me, whose work I am 1. The love and grace of God is admiabout, and to whom I must give an account rably free and powerful, that can make of of my behaviour in this charge. 3. My Ma- a cruel merciless persecutor, a faithful and iter is no mean man'; my Master is Jesus powerful preacher of the gospel; for here Christ, one who hath manifested his love to Paul, who fometime made havıck of the poor man, in taking on him his titles and church, Aets viji. 3. and breathed out threatoffices, and one whom you profess to love nings, and Paughter against the disciples of and respect, I am a servant of Jesus Christ. the Lord, Acts ix. 1. 2. is now become a 4. Do not think that I am running unsent, preacher of righteousness, and a miniiter of and that I have not a special warrant for this the gospel.. I do, for I am called and sent, I am com II. Howbeit the servants of the Lord may milionated for this cause, calledi 5. I am sometimes conceal their names, when they not one of the meaner sort of Christ's fer-know that for their cause the doctrine would vants, nor cne placed in the lowest degree, be taken in worse part, and less regarded (for but an apostle ; such an one as am called im- which cause it is very likely the apostle conThediately of God, and extraordinarily qua. cealed his name in writing to the Hebrews, lied for the work, and assisted in going a. among whom he knew his name was not bout, and in confirming the same. 6. My favoury) yet when the truth is not in dancall is not a bare pretence; or groundless, or ger of suffering that way, it were good for uncertain, but a call verified' and made out the ministers of the gospel, to be so perfuadin God's own vay : I am not only called, ed of the truth of what they teach, as not but separated, and solemnly set apart for that to refuse a testimony thereunto, when peetcad, as having no other thing to do, but to ful, nor to be ashamed to profefs the faune,
and to be so honest and ingenuous as to a over God's heritage, 1 Pet. v. 3. but fo to vow themselves ready to maintain the same, demeau themselves, as having a master seeing for these causes the apostle subscribes above their heads, whose rules and precepts his name here, and calls himself Paul. they ought to follow and walk by.
Ill. As people see the messengers of the V. Seeing the ministers of the gospel, in Lord so far persuaded of the truth of what preaching the same, are about their master's they deliver as not to finch from giving tes business, and not their own; and must be timony thereunto when expedient, nor afraid painful and faithful in the discharge of their to avow and maintain the same when called duty, as they will be answerable; it is the to it, they should so much the more hearti- duty of people, to take well off their hands ly welcome and kindly entertain the same; what they tay, and welcome every truth for this may be looked on as an argument to they bring forth; for Paul utech this as a move the Romans to embrace what he was motive to move them to a hearty embracing to speak, because he was neither alhamed nor of what he was to say, that he was but a afraid to put his name to it and subscribe it. servant.
IV. Ministers are servants, and that upon VI. Notwithstanding that the work of a fivefold account; l. Because their work is the ministry be painful and laborious, and painful and laborious, and hence oftentimes the ministers themselves exposed to many called a labour, « Theff. ii. 5.---. Left by fome injuries and contempt in a world, yet this ineans the tempter have tempted you, and our should counterballance all, and prove a labour be in vain. Theft. v. 12. And we fufficient encouragement, that they are ferbeseech you, brethren, to know them which la- vants to a good and gracious Jefus; and so bour among yau, and are over you in the Lord, to one that will undoubtedly reward them, and admonish you. 1 Tim. v. 17. Let the el- and to a Chris, one highly honoured and ders that rule well, be counted worthy of dou- advanced to be a priest, prophet
, and a king; ble honour, especially they who labour in the and so to one by whom they will get no word and doctrine. 1 Cor. xv. 10..... But 1 fmall credit and honour. laboured more abundantly than they all ; yet VII. Humbled finners, as they have mean not I, but the grace of God which was with and low thoughts of themselves, so they
2. Because they must not feck them- think much of any relation they have to selves, nor their own good, in the discharge Christ, how feckless foever it seem to be; of their duty, but the good and advantage of and therefore Paul fubfcribes himself a fertheir Master, 2 Cor. iv. 5. For we preach not vant of Jesus Christ, as being all the tiile ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and our.. of honour he valued and desired. selves your servants for Jesus's fake. 3. Be VIII. Whoever they be that profess faith cause they should be careful they preach or in Jesus Christ, they should heartily and publish nothing, but what they have a war-willingly embrace any message he fendeth to rant for. 4. Because as they must walk, in them by whatsoever hands; and therefore their deportment in the work of the ministry, to persuade those Romans whose faith was according to their commiffion; so they inuft spoken of far and near, to receive kindly give an account of their carriage in that em- and chearfully the doctrine he was to deliployment unto their master, Luke xvi. 2.--.ver, he useth this as a morive, that he was a Give an account of thyftewardship. 5. Because, fervant of Jesus Christ, whom they profefhowever the Lord hath cloathed his servants led to respect and love, and it was his mes. with power and authority over che flock, sage he was about. i Cor. iv. 21. hence they are said to be set
IX. However it be a duty lying upon over, 1 Theff . v. 1 2. and to to have rule
, every Christian to help others to Christ acfleb. xii. 7. 17. yet they are not to lord it cording to their power, within their own
sphere, and in a private way, yet none XIII. It pleased the Lord, at the first ought to intrude themselves into the office | founding of gospel churches, to set up fome of the ministry, and take upon themselves officers for a time, whereof the office of the public, ordinary, and authoritative way apostleship was one, and the highest, and of preaching the gospel of Christ, as his am- these had special privileges that officers now balladors, unless they be called thereunto, as have not, as, 1. They were immediately was Aaron, for Paul was now called to be called of Christ, John XX. 21.--- As my Faan apostle.
ther huthjent me, even so send ) you. Mat. X. As people are to try the doctrine de- xxviii. 20. viz. either viva voce, or ex, livered, whether it be according to the law traordinary determination from heaven, as and testimony, or not; so they should see it was in the case of Matthias, Acts i. 26. that he whom they receive as a messenger of And they gave forth their lots ;" and the lot the Lord, be duly and orderly called there- fell upon Matthias, and he was, numbered unto; and not to hearken to every one with with the eleven apostles. 2. They were out trial, whether he be sent or not: for inspired of the Holy Spirit, John xvi. 13. Paul here tells them he was called, it being Howbeit, when be the Spirit of truth is come, a thing he knew concerned them to know. pe will guide you into all truth, and so in
XI. Though truth should be embraced fallible in holding forth the doctrine of the and believed as truth, yet it should be re- gospel. 3. They had the gift of miracles ceived and welcomed so much the more that working, for further confirmation of their it is delivered by such as are commissioned doctrine. 4. And were not tied to any cerand called thereunto; and as the neglecting tain place, but had the broad world for their of truth, delivered by such, will be so much charge, Matth. xxviii
. 19. Go ye therefore more a guilt, so the knowing of the mef- and teach all nations, baptizing them in the fenger to be one authorised for that effect, name of the Father, and of the Son, and of should be a motive to people to welcome the Holy Ghoft. more heartily truths proposed; for this may XIV, Albeit that high office of apostlebe looked on as an argument and motive to thip be now ceased, and ministers cannot more them to receive his doctrine, that he persuade or move people to hear them, from was a called apostle.
chis, that they are extraordinary ministers, XII. As a minister's clearness in the mat- immediately called by Christ Jesus; yet they ter of his call, will do much to support him may in some sense be called apostles, as amand bear up his spirit in that day when his baffadors sent and commiffioned; for the call shall be questioned, as Amos vii. 14. 15. word in general signifies any ambassador or Tben answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, messenger, John xiii. :6.---T be servant is I was no prophet; neither was I a prophet's not greater than his Lord, neither he that is fen; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer fent, greater than he that sent him. Phil
. of fycomore-fruit. And the Lord took me as | ii. 25. Yet I supposed it necessary to send to I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion mue, Go prophesy unto my people Ifrael; and in labour, and fellow-foldier, but your melhe shall meet with opposition as Jeremiah senger, and he that ministred to my wants; did, Jer. xvii. 15. Behold, they say unto me, and upon this score their words should have Where is the word of the Lord? let it come weight, and be heartily received. And ngw: So it is incumbent to all such to la- however, it will not a little aggravate the bour for so much clearness in his call, as he guilt of such as hear the gospel, and receive may ayo the lane, when the good of the it not heartily, that it was delivered firit by gospel calls for it, as here Paul ayowshe such eminent, extraordinary, and immediatewas called to be an apostle.
ly called and inspired messengers, and that