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ject God's way of salvation by faith in Christ, as measure the ways of the infinitely wise
IX. The seeking of righteousness by
the works of the law, and by faith in pains, and toil much for heaven, yea, and Christ, are fo diametrically oppofite and may out-strip others far in aiming at hea irreconcileable, that they cannot be united; ven, and in external duties, and yet come but whosoever seekerh righteousness by short of the prize; much may many do, and the one, misseth it; and whosoever feekcontinue long in doing, and yet shoot short eth the fame by the other, obtaineth it: of the crown: Israel did not attain to the Wherefore? because they fought it not by law of righteousness, though they followed faith, but as it were by the works of the after the law of righteousness; much pains law. were they at ip keeping the moral, judi X. Whoever seek righteousness by the eial, and ceremonial law, and yet all in works of the law, do reject Jesus Christ
and wage war against him, and stumble at VI. Such is the way to life and com- him: For, they stumbled at that stumblingmunion with God, revealed in the new stone. covenant, viz. by faith in Christ offered XI. The cause why the Lord uachurchin the gospel; that whoever shall becake ed the people of the Jews, was, because themselves thereto, and fly in to Christ, they rejected the Messiah, and would not trusting to him allenarly, fhall certainly be have him to reign over them, but stumbled faved, whatever vile and abominable at that stumbling-stone: for this is the reawretches they have been before: for even fon why the Jews were excommunicated, the Gentiles, and such Gentiles too, as fol- because they stumbled at that stumbling.stone. lowed not after righteousness, have attained to that righteousness which is by faith. VERSE 33. As it is written, Behold, I lay
VII. So ready are people, who have at in Sion a stumbling-stone, and a rock of tained to any outward civility and Thew of offence; and whosoever believeth on him, religion, to rest upon the fame; that shall not be ashamed. whoremongers, adulterers, and such lewd and profane wretches will be more ready Bechrift, might seem
strange and harbo
Ecause what he faid laft, touching to come out of themselves, and to accept of the offer of Christ, than they; and viz. that he hould be a stone of stumbling, will enter into the kingdom of heaven, be- who is the only means of salvation, and fore fuch as are not far therefrom; so the one on whom many should stumble and Gentiles come better speed than the Jews: fall, and never rise again, therefore he The Gentiles which followed not after righ- confirms the same out of several paffages teousness, have attained to it; when Ifrael , of Isaiah, faying, As it is written, Bebold
, which followed after the law of righteoul I lay in Zion a stumbling-stone, and a rock ness, have not attained to the law of righ- of offence; where he joins two places toteousness.
gether, viz. lsa. viii. 14. and xxviii. 16. VIII. It seemeth a great paradox unto such ! In the first it is only thus, And besball
be for a stone of stumbling, and a rock of Song v. 10. and worthy of all-acceptation; offence; and in the next it is said, Behold, yet many thro' the corruption of their own I lay in Zion; and so cleareth, that in both hearts, take up a prejudice at him, his places Christ the Messias is spoken of; and ways, ordinances, and followers, and rehe is said to be laid in Zion, that is, inject salvation in and through him; thus he the church, whereof Zion was a type; a is a stumbling-stone to many, and they stone of fumbling, that is, a stone lying in stumble at him: Behold, I lay in Zion a folks way, which strikes the feet and makes stumbling-stone. them halt, and hurts them, Jer. vi. 21. III. Even in the church of God, where and not only fo, but a rock of offence, that most of Christ is revealed and manifested, is
, such a stumbling-block as he that stum- his excellency and beauty most held forth, bleth at it shall not win over, but thall, as a there are many that ituinble at him, and vessel by a rock, be dalhed to pieces, and take up a prejudice to their own destrucdriven backward.
tion: Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of sumThen, left this should have sadened the bling. hearts of the godly, he adds a word out of IV. Among many things which occasion the forecited Ira. xxviii. 16. And whofo- the stumbling of many at Christ, this is ever believeth on him, shall not be ashamed; one, that if they lay hold on him, and foltherein following the Seventy, for in the low his way, they must renounce their own Hebrew it is thus, He that believeth fall righteousness, and come quite out of themnot make haste: but all comech to one; for felves, and expect salvation through the he who is ashamed and confounded, or pur righteousness of another, which their spirits through-other, makes haste, and doth not cannot condescend unto; they fought righhis business with deliberation, but preci- teousness by the works of the law, and pitately: This is added, I say, to comfort therefore they stumbled at that stumblingthe hearts of the godly, who might possibly fione, verse 32. and it is such as believe fall a trembling when they hear that he is not who stumble : Behold, I lay in Zion a ftone of stumbling, and be afraid to come a stone of stumbling, and they that believe, near him; and therefore he says, Tho'he Shall not be confounded. be a stone of stumbling to some, yet such V. God hach a holy and finless hand in as will come unio hiin, and roll themselves the stumbling of the wicked at Jesus Christ; over on hiin, shall never be confounded; it is not an accident that falleth out bethey shall not be the worse of that, but yond his expectation, but according to his much the better.
determination and appointment : Behold, I OBSERVATIONS.
lay in Zion, saith the Lord, a lone of
/tumbling, and a rock of offence, &c. See I. Whatever expressions we have of 1 Pet. ii. 8. Christ, at which ill-willers are ready to VI. Notwithstanding of this secret and take up hard thoughts, should be well holy counsel of God, determining of the guarded and backed with scripture, that existence of finful events, and laying a lo if enemies will have hard thoughts of stumbling-stone in Zion; yet is God, who Christ upon any such ground, they may infuseth no evil in man, James i. 13. free see that they justie against the word; of their guilt who stumble; and Christ is therefore says he, As it is written, this is not the cause thereof, being in some kind the expression of the Spirit of the Lord, paffive, and they themselves are guilty beBehold I lay in Zion, &c.
fore God, because they willingly reject the II. Tho' Jesus Christ be precious in counsel of the Lord, and dash themselves himself, being the chief among ten thousand, I upon the rock; for tho' the Lord hath laid
a stumbling block in Zion, yet it is finners | deep wisdom and just judgment, Christ is own fault that they stumble at him, for to a stone of stumbling unto many, yet this such as believe on him he is no stumbling is no warrant to any to stand back from ftone, but such are not confounded; and the offers of the gospel; but we should still ne is but a stone of stumbling, a stone heartily close with the offers of the goon which men, in their drunken and furi- spel, seeing they are laid forth indefinitely ous mood, stumble; and a rock on which without exception of persons, and all are vefsels, thro' the ignorance or wilfulness encouraged to come who will come: for of their pilots, do split : Behold, I lay in it is added to that sad word, Behold, I lay Zion a stone of stumbling.
in Zion a slone of Numbling, ---and whosoever VII. Whoever within the visible church believeth on him mall not be ashamed. do not reft their burden wholly on Chrift XI. Let the wicked unbelievers in a Jesus, whatever parts and flourishes of world have what honours and estimation feeming grace they have, to such Chriil they please; yet the portion of all tuch thall be the blackest fight that ever they before the Lord is shame and confufion of faw; they fhallistumble on him and fall, face: Whofoever believeth on him shall not and never rise again: to such he will not be ashamed ; and, upon the contrary, whoonly be a stone of stumbling, but also a rock foever believeth not, shall be ashamed. of offence, on which they shall split and XII. Whatever disgrace and opprobry dash in pieces.
the children of God may be loaded with VIII. As all the works of the Lord are in a world, and how vilely foever account. wonderful, and his dispensations, both ed of; yer having now fed in to Christ one way and another, worthy of serious for reluge, he is a sure shelter unto them, thoughts; fo also the depths of his wisdom, and shall free them from all shame before in the holding forth the only means of the Lord, and they shall be much honour. salvation, so as some embrace the same, ed and esteemed of the Lord, as his anointand others stumble thereat and break their ed ones : Whosoever believeth on him (be necks; therefore is there a behold prefix- they otherways in a world as they will,) ed, Behold, I lay in Zion, &c.
fail not be ashamed; where more may be IX. Whatever fad and heavy truths understood than is expressed. unto the godless and profane wretches, the XII. Believers are by Christ, on whom ministers of the gospel be handling, yet they roll all their burdens and grievances, they should use such discretion and wisdom ealed of much perplexity of mind and in dispensing the word of God, as that the anxiety of spirit, about iheir own souls godly may not be disccuraged or dis condition, the end of such and such dila heartened, but great tenderness should be pensations, the accomplishment of such used towards, and respect fown to them; and such promises, and the like; and it is they should be faithful stewards, i Cor. faith in Christ which settles believers, and iv '. and dividers of the word aright, composeth their spirits in the worst of 2 Tim ii. 15. and should no ways discou- times, and keepeth them from sinking when rage the hearts of the godly: therefore it God hideth his face, and from puring out is added, And whosoever believeth on him their hands to fin, in a time of trial, to shall not be ashamed.
work their own ouigate; for, as it is in X. Notwithstanding of the Lord's fe. the Hebrew, He that believeth firall net cret purpose and decree, whereby, in his make haste.
N this chapter the apostle, after he has prevented mistakes, verses 1. 2. speaketi
more fully of the rejection of the Jews, and inbringing of the Gentiles, Thewing
the grounds of God's casting the Jews off, to verse il.; and nest giveth some grounds proving the inbringing of the Gentiles, and thereby both clearing God's dilpensation in this, and vindicating his own practice in preaching salvation to the Gentiles, to verse 19.; then he cleareth the same from such grounds as the Jews themselves could not be ignorant of, verses 19. 20. And lastly, he ends with a word touching the calling off of the Jews, and gives the main ground and reason of it out of Isaiah.
VERSES 1. 2. Brethren, my hearts desire you think that all this which I speak of
and prayer to God for Ifrael is, that they my kinsmen according the flesh, floweth might be saved.
from any ill-will I have to them? No, inFor I bear them record, that they have a deed, there is no such matter, I love them
zeal of God, but not according to know with my heart; for iny heart's desire and ledge.
prayer to God for Israel is, that they might
by Javed: Glad would I be to have them HE apostle being to speak some more faved, and for this.cause I often pour out
of the cause of the rejection of the my soul to God for them, that he would Jews, a theme which he knew they had no have mercy upon them, and let them fee delight to hear handled, and fearing left they the right way, and save them; and this I fhould take exceptions, and reject what he do not feignedly, but it is the thing I wish
from my heart.
malice and envy he had conceived againf "Next he gives the ground of this, verse 2.
them, therefore he prefaceth something saying I know for a certainty, and can witto obviate this mistake : and also, left the ness the truth thereof, I bear them witness, Gentiles, to whom he was writing mainly, that they have a zeal of God, but not acshould caft at this fundamental truth of jul- cording to knowledge; that is, they seem tification by faith, and look upon him as to be much affected and moved with the an apoftare from the law, upon some discon- wrongs which God gets; they have a great tent, and that his in veighing against their grief for the wrongs which their law suflaw flowed from discontent, and so was fers by this doctrine of faith, but their much to be suspected, he thinks it fit to zeal is preposterous, and not well ground. shew what room Ifrael had in his affec- ed; it is not according to knowledge: they tion. And, withal, left the Romans should know not that the doctrine which we teach think he that speaks lo of his own nation doth no way rub on God, nor wrong his as he doth, cannot have any great love to glory, they mistake in this, being ignous, he gives them a warm and kindly rant of the right way whereby God is compellation, in the first place, and says, glorified; and because they seeni so holy Brethren. Then, as if he would say, Do' and zealous, and to seem to have a good intention, and yet they are but blinded, christian love towards ; thus doth Paul's and follow a wrong guide and priociple, | love evidence itself, in his heart's desire and I cannot but pity them, and with them prayer to God for Israel
, that they may be well, and pray for them from my heart. saved.
V. Whatever ground people have OBSERVATIONS.
whereupon they gather, that their miniI. It is an old stratagem of the devil to iter's affection is not towards them, yet raise jealousies and suspicions in the hearts the bottom of all their groundless mistakes of people at their pastors, and make them should be driven out, when they see and suspect their affection, and conclude their are persuaded, that the main thing the free language and inveighing against their minister is driving at is the falvation of courses, to flow from malice and ill-will, their souls; and when they find that he is and thus raise a chick mist, which may wrestling with God for the fame, and fo hinder them from receiving the light of would have them saved as well as himself, truth: Thus Paul was put to remove this they need question the reality of his afftumbling-block out of their way, and say, fection no more; for the apostle gives this Brethren, my heart's desire to God, &c. as such an evidence of his affection as
II. True christian affection in pastors should fully satisfy them of the fame, that towards their flock, may well confilt with his heart's desire to God for Israel was, that their freedom in reproving and expoftulat- they might be saved. ing with them for their iniquiries, and VI. All Christians, having one Farber, faithfully discovering unto them their fol. and being all bound to promote the glory ly, and the sinfulness of their courses : for of God, and the kingdom of his Son Jesus notwithstanding of Paul's freedom in thew- Christ, are in some measure made their ing his mind toward the Jews, yet he had brethrens keepers, being bound to proa great affection towards them; Brethren, mote their spiritual welfare by adinoni. my heart's defire and prayer to God for If tions and rebukes, Lev. xix. 17. by all raelis, &c.
their carriage and deportment, which III. Tho' we be sure that many be call. Thould look christian- like, and free of ed and few chosen, and so all within the scandal, Rom. xiv. 15. and by hearty visible church shall not certainly be saved, wrestling with God by prayer for their yet the Lord's secret purpose and intention salvation; and especially this duty lieth upof election or reprobation, being hid from on ministers whom the Lord has made ous, as to particular persons, and no ground verseers unto the people; both the one of our duty, we are allowed to pray for and the other should have their hearts deall men, 1 Tim. ii. 2. except such as have fire and prayer to God for their salvation: finned unto death, 1 John v. 6. after Paul's | My heart's defire and prayer to God for Ifexample, who prays for Israel, though he rael is, says he, that they may be saved. faid before this, God had rejected them, VII. Prayer to God should not be a not knowing who they were in particular bare form and complimenting with God, that should be everlastingly rejected, and but it should flow from, and express the being assured of the salvation of some, Rom. hearty and sincere desires of the soul; xi. 25.: My heart's desire and prayer to prayers that want this are a dead carcass God for Ifrael is, that they may be saved. of words without life: we should pray in
IV. Where-ever special and christian desire, Mark xi. 24. and from a hearty love is, it will vent and kyth itself in se- desire: My heart's defire and prayer to rious and earnest prayer and wrestling with God, &c. God, for the salvation of such as we carry