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the cause of fin, or any friend to it; that, with inconveniencies and absurdities, which on the contrary, it was the greatest enemy may seem fair and plaulible; and notwiththat ever fin had; for it discovered sin, Itanding thereof, we may not reject truth, laid hold upon the strength of fio, and lo which is usually tossed betwixt two exwas as a centinel or intelligencer, disco- tremes: For tho' an apostle and a great vering the motions of fin, and its forces; | apostle too) had held forth truth in the I bad not known fin, but by the law, says preceding part of this chapter ; yet he he; I had not goten a right light of the forelees, what objections, from absurdities vileness and power of lin, nor had I known seemingly following thereupon, would be well what was fin, and what was not fin, made against it; and for all cleaveth to but by the moral law. And this he con- the truth, and denieth it not. firmeth and cleareth, particularly by an III. In handling of the law, we ought instance, and that also in his own expe- fo to declare the freedom of believers from rience;. For, says he, I had not known luft, that bondage, or conjugal rye, (so to speak) except the law had said, T hou Malt* not unto che law, under. which, while in nacovet'; as if he had said, While I was a

ture they did ly, as not to make it a doctrine, Pharisee, and unconverted, tho? I knew opening a door to licentiousness; and rethe law, yet I did not well understand it, jecting the law as useless, finful, or a dead I knew not how complete and Itrict it was: | letter, as Paul doch here, who tho' he had As for example, I knew not that concu- said that believers were loosed from the piscence, that the first motions of desire, law, yet he will not have the law to be affecting the mind or will, and stiring them fin. up to think, will, or covet evil, was sin; IV. Whatever can be made out to be being either after a forbiden object, or the proper cause of sin, that same is fin after a lawful object in an inordinate man- itself; fo infecting a thing is fin: for inner, and that though the will should not stead of saying, Is the law the cause of sın? consent thereto; I did not know this, until he says, Is the law fin?: I had further sight of the law, and there V. Truth is of such a pure cleanly nasaw it forbiden.

ture, participating something of him who

is the God and fountain of truth, and OBSERVATIONS,

Truth itself, that it can admit of no sinful I. In bearing in truth upon our hearers, and erroneous consequence, nor can any we should labour by all means possible, to such foul-faced thing be fathered upon it, guard against any seeming inconvenience, let seeming grounds be never so fair and which may be thought to follow upon fpecious: for the apostle denieth the conour doctrine, against which our hearers sequence, by saying, God forbidi. have a prejudice; as Paul doth, who tak- VI. As truth is lively and beautiful in eth pains to loose what objections might | itself; so it should have so much room in seem to arise from what he had faid be- our affections, as not to entertain any fore: And for this caufe, there is much thoughts to the contrary in our hearts; the {piritual sharpness and fagacity requisite, very motions of error should be reje&ted to see whence an objection might arise; with abhorence and heart-detestation : So and much prudence wisely to remove it. doth the apostle here, saying God forbid:

II. Tho' truth be never so clearly held error being of such a dangerous and soulforth, adversaries having a prejudice against destroying nature, and no way innocent it, and being assisted by Saran, who is ripe and harmless

, it should be guarded against of invention, may find ways to loaden it more than any plague, and thuned with great carefulness and vigilance; for the the second motions consented unto, were apostle, to speak so, fleeth from this error, fin, seeing even Heathens did condemna as a peít house, by saying, God forbid. thefe, such as envy, hatred, &c. beside it

great

VII. Ministers, and private Christians is of such that the tenth commandment likeways, may lawfully bring forth their meaneth, because otherways it should not own experience in humility, 'with-all pru- differ from the rest, which do condema dence and moderation, without pride and the fecord motions towards those things often ation, to clear truths; and ministers, expreily forbidden in them, as wrath and especially, should labour to have the truths envy, in the fixth; carnal difires, in the fcwhich they preach to others, brought so venth, c. ciolely home to their own hearts and con- X. Sin being a work of darkness lieth fciences, that they may be in a capacity to so bid and darned, that not only the small verify what they say from their own ex- glimmering twilight of nature cannot fulperience, if it be pollible: so doth Paully discover it, but it may be bid even here, I had not known fin, says he, but by from these who have ourstriped others tbe lacu.

in point of external worship, and strictness VIII . The law, when rightly studied of excernal conversation, and are looked prove a faithful

, sharp- upon by others as eminent in religion, thro' fighted scout and intelligencer, discovering their reiting upon a superficial survey of the unseen motions and unknown parties the law, and not diving in deeper into the of fin, and let a soul see more of in than profound depths of this most perfect law, ever it faw before, more of its vilenels, which is exceeding broad, Psal. cxix. 96.. fruitfulness and efficacy; and this shewech for Paul was ignorant of much fin, parciboth the usefulness of the law, and its encularly of this of covetousness; even when mity against fin, or how small a friend it he was a Pharisee, and moit zealous in his is to it? This is the apostle's argument, religion, yea, and blameless also in his conwhy the law is not fin, because it was that versation, Phil. iii. 5. 6. a man that was alby which he came to the knowledge of fin. ways a man of conscience, who did not IX. Albeit the faculty of desiring, con

thorture therewith, Acts xxiii. 1.: for this fidered naturally, as our other faculties, be must be meant of him at that time; for not condemned by any law, yet if it be neither can it agree to him while a child, considered morally, and in respect of a law, nor when converted. and being considered now in the case of XI.. It is a most presumptuous,' groupdin.in fallen, and not as yet renewed by less thing, for Papists to divide the tenth grace, all the motions thereof, first and fe- commandment in two, to the end they may cond, even those which are not confented keep up the number ten; and either ex. unto by the will, are sin, being neither to- punye altogether the fecond, or calt it so wards a lawful object, but what is forbiden, in to the first, as that it may not speak in nor inte right manner; but without faith, lo even-down terms against their idolatry, and impreinately; nor to a right end, they as indeed it doth: seeing the apostle combeing conrrary to a command, which only prehendeth all the acts of covetoufuels, be is our rule, (hin being the transgrellion of a the object what it will, wife, or goods, law, 1 John iii. 4.) and not our will; for if unlawful, under that one, I bou fali of these first motions which tickle us, iho' nut covet. wanting our confent, he speaks here, XII. It is not unsuitable unto the days when he says, he had not known. lull, uli- of the gospel, for minifters to be treating less the law had said, Thou shalt not.co- of, and explaining the law unto people, vet; for he could not be ignoran., that i nor ought they for so doing, be reproach

fully fully ftiled legal preachers: for even Paul,

OBSERVATIONS. a most gospel preacher, is here large in handling the law, in explaiving it, and I. Men will be ready to blame any manifesting its usefulness.

thing rather than themselves for sin, and

will look over themselves in seeking out Verse 8. But sin taking occasion by the the true cause of it, and so be ready to

commandment, wrought in me all manner put the saddle upon the wrong horse; but of concupifcence. For without the law would they look in into their own hearts fin was dead.

and minds, they would find out the true

original cause of every wicked act, to be N this verse, as we conceive, the apostle a corrupt nature within themselves, and it

doth two things; 1. He cleareth that is their ignorance of this, which maketh which he had spoken in the 5th verse, them so oft at a loss to find out the true which was the ground of the objection last cause of fin : All this is clear from Paul's mentioned; viz. How the motions of fin laying, That it was sin that wrought all

by the law; by saying, that the body lustful acts. of death within, the natural pravity and Il. Tho' that natural corruption and corruption that original mother sin took pravity, which we brought into the world. occasion (none being given) at the law's with us, be a punishment of the transgresheming of it in with high banks, to break liont of our forefathers; yet it is not only out with greater violence, more impetu- a want of original righteousness, as sickoully; as a strong runing river, the more ness is the want of health, but it is a finit be damed up and hemed in on all hands, ful privation of that righteousness which it bursts out with greater strength : So once we were possessors of in Adam; it is fin (that is original sin) taking occafion by such a corruption of our whole nature, as the commandment, its bordering of it with is offensive to God, and contrary to his Strong walls, wrought in me all manner of holy commandment, and so properly sinconcupiscence; it begot effectively, and, ef. ful. Therefore it is here called sin, as befeétually brouglat forth, it perfected and ing the chief fin, or mother-fin. accomplished linful motions of all sorts ; III. So strong and active is this corrupfor the word fignifies, to carry on a thing tion of our natures, that it produceth, begun, until it be perfected, Phil. ii

. 12. causeth, promoteth, and accomplisheth where it is rendered work out. And here. | finful motions and acts of concupiscence by he further confirmeth, that the law is in us, even those first motions which are pot the cause of fin, as by a second argu- sinful (as was shown before) owe their ment; because, at most it is but the occa-original and first rise, as also their perfectifion thereof, and an occasion only taken on, unto this fountain evil: for it is this by the natural pravity and corruption with fin which worketh all manner of concupisin, which is the only proper cause of these cence. finful motions.

2. The apostle doth fur- IV. Such as, in their own experience, ther clear and confirm his first argument; have felt the activity of corruption, causFor without the law fin was dead, says ing actual transgressions, are most able to he; that is, until I attained unto the convince self-righteous folks, whose eyes more clear and distin& knowledge of the self-love hath fo put out, as they cannot law, fin was lying dead and buried, never see, or rather will not fee, that the native once stiring or kything, but was quite rise of fin is within themselves, and reaout of fight and mind, as a thing dead and fons broughi from such experiences, are buried.

most ready to take with these : as is clear

MO

in Paul's practice here, who maketh use , the law, and are, as it were, without the of his own experience, by saying, that sin law: for Paul says, he was without the wrought in him all manner of concu:piscence. I law, instead of laying, he had not the

V. So prone are these naturally cor- thorough knowledge of the law. rupted hearts of curs, to break out into all manner of actual transgressions, till grace VERSES 9. 10. 11. For I was alive with make a change, and diminih the strengt out the law once: but cuben the commande and vigour of original corruption; that mert camne, lill revived's and I aied. what ihould prove a curb, will prove a And the communent which was ordained spur, and it will take cccasion at the law

to lift, juuni 10 be unto death. of Go!, which should be a strong rampart | For fin taking occusion by the commandment, to keep it in, to break out more fiercely: deceived me, and by it few. me. for it is this fin that takes occafon by the commandment, ta work all manner of concu. Oreover the apostle bringeth ancpiscence.

ther argument to prove that the VI. Ler men blame the holy law of law is not the cause of sin, to this purpci, God as they will, and thereby think to. The law is fo far from being the prope: evade God's just judgment because of cause of sin, that it was the mean of bringtheir gransgreflions; yet in end it shall be ing me to a thorough fight and sense of my found, that the law of God has had no miserable state and condition;, and had it hand in their iniquities, but at most was not been the law, I had perished for ereia a passive occafion, and that fin followed and my vain and groundless hopes had thereupon by accident, by reason of the given up the ghost with me : And here. strength of corruption : Therefore it is by also he confirmeth and cleareth how faid, that sin took occa;.on (none at all in was dead. So then, 1. he fays, He given) at the command.

was alive without the law once; the tine VII. Though corruption be very active was, while he, being a Pharisee puffed up and operative in itself

, and continually with a good conceit of himself, imagining bringing out finful brood; yet it

may

be no danger, but looking upon himself a as dead unto such as swell with pride and safe, and fure of life, because he was free conceit of themselves, and trust to their of external out-breakings, his conscience own righteousness, their minds being dark. not condemning him for any thing of that ened, and their eyes blinded, so as they nature, he then was alive, a thousand milo cannot see the mind of God fully in his from death or any danger, while he was law, but relt upon their own superficial without the law, that is, the true and ipi glosses, and half interpretations : for so did ritual meaning of the law, reiting upon hi it fare with Paul, while a Pharisee, not pharifaical glosses

, which were most wide awakened, to him sin was dead, that is, to as Christ gives us to understand in his e his fight and apprehension his nature was mendations, Matth. v. and vi. Now how not fo vicious and corrupted as indeed it was this helped ?. when the commandmer

came; that is, when the true sense an VIII. Let men have as much external, meaning of the law was taken up, whic literal, head knowledge of the law as can formerly was exiled and far out of figh be; yet so long as it doth not discover the when that came near hand, and was clea activity and strength of natural corruption, ly and distinctly seen; then, sin revive. bringing forth actual transgressions, but lieth sin and corruption, which before was by as dead and harmless, working no evil, unknown as if it had been dead and buri they have indeed ro saving knowledge of lout of all mens light and apprehenfin

was.

מת

now gets up, and is now seen more fully selves as far from any danger; they have than ever; it is now brought above ground, no will to have any evil thoughts of themand appeareth as one risen from the dead: selves; and so long as they are in black and I died; that is, when I got such a light nature, lying under the power of fin and of fin now reviving, and appearing from Satan, they cannot see well how matters under the ashes, I saw myself a lost man go with: them, they fear no danger, they by the law; the more that sin appeared, have no thought of damnation, but please the more guilt appeared, and so I saw my.theinselves in their own dreams, and look self more and more dead by the law. And upon themselves as alive; as Paul did once this he amplifieth by a fad consequent, while unconverted; he was alive oncé, which he hereby had found out by his own tho never more dead than then, when he experience; viz. That the law, which at thought himself alive. the begining was appointed to have been II. One main mean which lulleth natural the way of life, was now turned quite con- folk thus hard and fast alleep, and keeptrary unto him, and proving a way unto eth them thus up in their vain conceits, is death, because of his natural corruption; the their want of the spiritual sight of the law; commandment which was ordained unto life, a right sight of the spiritual sense and

be found to be unto death : The law which meaning of the law, would rouze finners at first was appointed for this end to have out of their natural secure condition, by been the way unto life, so as such as would discovering unto them their guilt, and their keep it perfectly should certainly have at- danger of eternal vengeance therefore: It tained unto life as a reward, was now bind. was Paul's being without the law was the ing him over to everlasting destruction, cause of his being alive; I was alive withbecause of the penalty annexed, Cursed is out the law once, faith he. every one that abideth not in every thing III. The right understanding of the law written in the book of the law, it now be being so necessary and useful for discovering broken daily thro' sin and corruption. ing folks natural condition, and their danAnd because it seemed hard to say, that ger, and so a main mean of making them the law was a way unto death unto him, fall out of all conceit of fin; we may be therefore, verse 11. he cleareth the mat- abundantly convinced, that the law is not ter, and confirmeth what he had said, by to be blamed with our sins: for this is faying, For fin taking occasion by the com- one reason, why the law is not sin, because mandment, deceived me, and by it New me; he was alive without the law once, but when that is, the blame is not to be laid upon the commandment came, sin revived, &c. the law, that it is now turned to be unto IV. Conversion makerh a real change death, when before it was unto life; but upon the souls of sinners, howbeit many upon sin and corruption, which took may be in the dark as to the right taking occasion by the law, seeing the law laying of it up, and may doubt thereof: for once bonds upon it, it was tired up the more Paul was alive, and then dead, and this to use all the means and wiles it could, to is a great change; their thoughts of themdraw the man unto fin, and so it deceived selves before and after conversion are very him; and he being deceived and drawn different. into the snare, he was a dead man, by rea- V. As all the faculties of man are naSon of the commination added; and thus turally defiled with fin, and out of a right the commandment flew him.

posture; so in particular, there is great OBSERVATIONS.

ignorance and darkness upon their judgI. It is natural to all the children of ments, so as they are ignorant of those Adam to ly secure, and look upon them- truthis which are most neceilary- to be

G g 2

known;

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