Page images

Christ Loth died, rofe again, and revived,, help them in all their necesities, and that he might be Lord both of the dead and useth this argument, I have sworn, &c. the living

that is, All flesh fhall be forced to acknowXIII. As the consideration of the dear ledge me, and do me homage by submitprice which Christ laid down to purchase ing to me, bowing the knee, and so exterthe elect to himself, should put believers nally professing their worshiping of me, to be more serviceable to him; so may it and swearing by me, or avouching their ascertain them, that the relation they have owning of me as Lord, and professing this; to him shall not have an end, but thall now, this the apostle applyeth to the last stand in force even after death; to prove judgment, because it is certainly there inthat whether we die or live, we are the cluded. Then he concludes, ver. 12. So Lord's, he says, for to this end Christ both then every one of us hall give acconnt of bimdied, and rose, &c.

felf to God; none shall escape tryal (hen.

So that in this one main argument there VERSES 10. 11. 12. · But why dont thou are many others couched, as s. It is un

judge thy brother? or why dost thou set natural that each of you should judge or at nought thy brother? for we shall all despise another, for you are brethren one Nand before the judgment seat of Christ. to another. 2. It is an anticipating of the For it is written, As I live, faith the Lord, judgment of the great day. 3. It is an en

every knee hall bow to me, and every croachment on Christ's prerogative, who tongue shall confess to God.

shall be judge both of quick and dead in So then every one of us shall give account of that day. And 4. It is needless, for every himself to God.

one will be forced to make answer then,

and none shall escape. 5. It were better He apostle's last argument is taken that each of us were looking to himself,

[ocr errors]

from the consideration of the dread and preparing. ful day of judgment that is coming, wherein every person and every church-member,

OBSERVATIONS. be they weak or be they strong, shall give 1. Believers, whether they be strong or up their accounts, and answer for all that weak, are all members of one family, havthey have done in the flesh; and therefore ing all one Father, the God of heaven; he adviseth all of them to forbear their all one Lord Jesus to their elder brother, judging or censuring one another; and he being all begotten by the word of God; he speaketh to them both, Why dost thou who is despised is a brother, as well as he judge thy brother? that is, the weak; and

who is judged then to the strong he says, Or why dost 11. It is the looking upon one another thou set at nought thy brother? We mall all with a stern countenance, and not as brestand before the judgment seat of Christ; thren, that makes each have such harth none of us shall escape at that day: now censures and thoughts of another; and this he proveth out of Isa. xlv. 23. and were christian believers keeping up the afmaketh use of the meaning of the prophet, fection of brethren, and looking on others (for tho' the word's differ, the sense is the as equally dear to God and related to Christ fame); As I live, faith the Lord, every knee as themselves, they would be loth to harshall bow to me, and every tongue fall con bour any finifter thoughts, or uncharitable fefs to God. The Lord by the prophet is apprehensions of another, tho' differing calling on all nations to take notice of his from them in the practice of indifferent power acd God-lıead, and to lay hold on things; Why dost thou judge thy brother? him, who is the only true God, able to or why despiseft thou thy brother?


3 X 2

III. It is no uncouth thing (tho' most people shall have to do with in that day: unnatural) to see, even Christians, fo hot tho' that will be dreadful enough, confiderabout matters of small moment, as is the ing how he hath all power given to him use of things indifferent, as to break out of God, and how God hath exalted him, in unchristian and uncharitable cevfures, and subjected all things unto him, 2 Cor. casting others, so far as in them lieth, not XV. 27. but they shall have to do with God, only out of the church, but even out of who is able to rip up their secrets, and God's love and favour. The strong here hath infinite power to render to every one del pised the weaker, as contemptible, un- his due, and to exeeute the sentence proworthy to be regarded; the weak again pounced; for tho' this judgment shall be judged the strong as graceless, and un- gone about in a visible form, by Christ in worthy to be imitaied: Why dost thou thus his human nature, Acts xvii. 31. Matth. judge thy brother? or why despisest thou tby xxviii. 18. yet God the Father, Son, and brother?

Holy Spirit, is the principal cause thereof, IV. It is the little minding of that Dan. vii. 9. 10. in respect of the authority dreadful day of judgment that is coming by which the feptence is pronounced, and that makes Christians so careless in their the power by which it is executed; and walk, and fo rash in censuring and con- therefore, verse 12. it is said, We shall demning others, otherways they would be render an account unto God. See Acts xvii. more taken up with themselves and their 31. Rom. ii, 16. own walk, and be loth to take upon them VIII. Tho' Christ Jesus, at his first comwhat is Christ's prerogative: this is the ing into the world, was meek as a lamb, force of the apostle's argument whereby he not opening his mouth; yet when he comwould dissuade them from judging one an- eth again unto judgment, he shall be glo. other: We hall all stand before the judg. rious in majesty, and dreadful unto the ment seat of Christ. See 1 Cor. iv. 5. proudest wretch that stepeth; he shall V, Tho' God doth oftentimes execute come with a notable train of angels, 2 Thess

. judgment in this earth upon wicked doers, i. 7. and Thall set himself upon a stately yet because he doth not so always, nor throne of glory, Matth. xix, 28. We shall doth he fully execute his

wrath upon the all appear before the judgment feat of Chrijl. wicked, but often times suffereth the righte- See 2 Cor. v. 10. Marth. sxv. 31. ous to be wronged; therefore there is a IX. Before this Judge, who will accept general day of judgment coming, appoint of no man's person, no man shall be exeem. ed of God to be, wherein he will judge ed from appearing, but all flesh, rich and righteous judgment: We shall all appear poor, noble and ignoble, good and bad, before the judgment seat of Christ. See strong and weak, quick and dead, shall all Matth. xxv. 31. &c. John xii. 48. Acts be presented before this dreadful Lord : xvii, 31. 2 Thess. i. 6. Heb. vi. 2. 2 Cor. We fwall all appear. See Rev. xx. 12. V. 10. Jude 6.

A&ts x. 42. There is no exception of perVI. Tho' men now think little of Christ, fons with God. but do defpise and every way undervalue X. Tho' men may find ways to shift him, yet the self fame despised Lord Me. human judicatories, yet there thall none, diator shall be their Judge in that great no not the greateft, be able to shift the day: We shall all appear before the judg. judgment of that day, but nill they will ment feat of Christ. See John v. 22. 27. they, they fhall be impannelled and listed Acts x. 42. and xvii. 31. Rom. ij. 16. before the tribunal; for the word in the o2 Tim. iv. I.

riginal which is rendered appear, fignifierh VII. It shall not be man alone which a judicial fisting and impannelling, or a


forcing of men before a judge to be judged, peal in all controverted points of tru:h, for it is a judicial word borrowed from because therein there is only ground for a courts and places of judgment: We hall conscience to settle on; and in points not all appear before the judgment feat of Christ. controverted but commonly received, beSee Rey. xx. 13. Matth. xxv. 32. and xiii. ing molt necessary and useful, it is good 39.

to look on these as pressed immediately by XI. At that day. there will be an exact God, that the impression may be the more inquisition made after all a man's actions; deep and lasting, and to take even these and as he who shall be Judge in that day obvious truths as spoken by the Lord, that is God, who knoweth the secrets of all the false heart may know no way of litt. things, so thill all these bo disclosed, and ing: therefore doth he prove, that all felh man must answer to God for his actions, must appear before God at the great day, 2 Cor. v. 10. all his words, Matth. xii. 37. by a scripture, saying, For it is writtent. and for all his thoughts, Rom. ii. 16.; the Il. So complete and full a canon is the books wherein all is written must be open word, and so perfect, that very conseed, Rev. xx. 12.; we must give an account quences, natively and clearly deduced thereof our judging and despising our brother, from, are to be looked on as of everlastwhich may be by thoughts, words, and ing truth, and of divine authority, as well deeds; so that every one of us shall give an as what is set down in plain terms; the account of himself.

penmen thereof being guided immediately XII. Tho' now men and women be and acted by the infallible Spirit to ser ready to smooth over and colour their ac down the very words and sentences in such rions, and to put the best excuse they can and such an order : for that which the de invent upon them, yet in that day, as all postle is here proving, followeth upon things will be brought to light, so every these words of Isaiah by consequence only, word, thought, and action, will be exactly at least the prophet doth not speak in plain fifted, examined, and tried by the law of terms of the day of judgment, of which God, whether it be the law of nature, the apostle is speaking expressly. Rom. ii. 5. 6. 12. the law moral, 2 Cor. v. III. Our Lord Jesus Christ is God equal 10, or the law of the gospel, Rom. ii. 16. with the Father in power and glory. Phil. John xii. 48.; making up of an account 6. having the same Godhead, and bedoth suppose this: fall give an ac ing of the same substance with him: for count of ourselves to God.

here not only is he who is called Chrill, XIII. Tho' we should not altogether verle 10. called God, verse 12. but all lay aside the care of our neighbour's wel that the prophet speaks of Jehovah, Ild. fare, yet we should mainly be taken up xlv. 22. 23. 24. the apostle here applieth with searching and trying our own state to Christ; As it is written, As I live, and condition, knowing that as the day of faith the Lord, every knee small bow to judgment we will be mainly questioned me, &c. and so he is declared the object for ourselves, and for our own actions, and of adoracion. will not be accountable for others, fave in IV. Tho' he who is the God of truth fo far as by our finful actions or omissions cannot lye, and so whatever he says be we have occafioned their fall: Every one certainly true, and ought undoubtedly to of us shall give an account of himself to God. be believed ; yet it hath seemed good

in the Lord's eyes, because of our backFrom the passage cited ver. 11. OBSERVE, wardness to believe, and readiness to quel

1. The word of God is the only rule of rion even such truths as are most necessary faith and manners, and to it lhould we ap: 1 for us to believe and rely upon, to set to


bis oath to seal and confirm fome truths: bow, so every tongue should confess to him, As I live, faith the Lord, every knee fall or confess him. bow, &c.

X. Tho' many press more for this exV. That Christ Jesus shall be still more ternal gesture and outward fign of spiritual and more exalted, till at length his very worship and adoration than for what is enemies shall be made his footstool, Psalm more inward, and should be the rise of cx. 1. and all Aesh shall be forced, even that, and others lay more weight upon it, such as are most refractory, to subject and are therefore more taken up there themselves unto this great Lord and Com with; yet it is no infallible sign of inward mander, is a truth that flesh and blood grace in the heart, for it is here told that can hardly digest, and be fully persuaded it shall be the gesture of both good and of, or at least will never heartily close bad: Every knee shall bow, and every with; and therefore the Lord bath thought tongue confess; even all who Thall be judged good to confirm it with an oath : As I

in the last day. live, faith the Lord, every knee shall bow XI. Tho' oftentimes the enemies of to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. Christ be raised high up, and they have

VI. The Lord Jehovah, of whom all | Christ, in his followers and cause, far other creatures have their being and de under their feet, and think to be victoripendence, bath his being in and of him- ous ftill; yet Jesus Christ Thall at length self, and therefore it is his prerogative on. Be great, and exalted very high above ly to swear by his life: As I live, faith the neck of all his enemies, and all fleth the Lord ; He sweareth by himself, because shall extol him ; for this is a prophecy, he hath not a greater, Heb. vi. 13. and the last accomplishment thereof will

VII. The Lord Jesus our Mediator, not be till the day of judgment; then evewho is God and man in one person, is to be ry knee shall bow; the godly shall heartily worshiped, adored, and subjected unto by then avow their subjection unto him, and all; Every knee mall bow before him, and the wicked shall be forced to adore and every tongue confess him: And by this bow- reverence him as their dreadful Judge: ing of the knee is meant; fubjection, and Every knee fhall bow, &c. reverent religious worship and adoration. xíl. Whatever civil honour, reverence

VIII. The Lord calleth not gonly (tho' and respect may be given to men in high mainly) for internal adoration, and spiri place, by bowing of the knee, yet there Lual worship, by the gracious habits of is nothing the proper object of spiritual grace put in exercise, so as he thall be worship and divine adoration but God; fo Joved, feared, &c. above all; but also for that to worship any other thing with dithe outward expression of this in signs and vine worship is rank idolatry, forbidden in gestures of the body, suitable unto and the first Command; and to worship this naturally flowing from the stirings of these God any other way than he has commandinward affections: Every knee Mall bow. ed, is sinful superstition forbidden in the

IX. Tho' the Lord' alloweth not his second Command: And so we ought noc people to play the hypocrite, and shew to kneel (as thereby we express any reforth more than is in wardly in the heart, ligious worship,) at the name Jefus, for nor to be proud and conceited, or vain that is but fo mapy letters and syllables, glorious; yet he alloweth his people, in and not a Diery ; nor worship God at the iime and place convenient, to make open hearing of that name pronounced, and delaration of their owning Christ as their at no other name, for this is no where comLord, and to profess their subjection and manded; for that place, Phil. ii. 9. 10. adherence to him; for as every knee foould I --- At the name of Fėjus every knee should



bow, &c. is parallel with this; and here, 1 lying in ones way, whereupon he may or not the name of Jesus is made the object, doth dash his feet; the other properly, the either quod or quo, but himself; Every knee bridge in a trap, which, when touched, Jhall bow to me; that is, him who lives in occasioneth the 'hurt or taking of the rac and of himself, and has sworn this; and or mouse; and so both holding forth thac in that same place of the Philippians, him. possible or actual stumbling, halting, or self is named also, as is clear from the pa- hurting of the weak through the pracrallel place of Ild. xly. 2 3. and because it tice of the strong; and seeing it is fo dan. is meant of him who was exalted with gerous to our neighbour in this case to power and glory, or of his glory which use such indifferent things, it were far bete he got by being exalted; for this is the ter to forbear chem. The ad argument name above every name, and it is that to is in the word brethren; he or she, how which very devils bow, and that is his weak soever in grace and knowledge, is power : Every knee ball bow to me. and ought to be looked on as thy brother,

and so it were unnatural for thee to do any VERSE 13. Let us not therefore judge one thing tending to his hurt.

another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block, or an

OBSERVATIONS. occasion to fall in his brother's way.

I. Such weight should be laid upon

light and instruction received, that we Fter a transition from the former pur- Thould therefore forbear these practices

pose, by a conclulion drawn from which we have been accustomed with forhis foregoing arguments, viz. Let us not merly, after sight and discovery of their therefore judge one another any more, the Gofulness, lealt afterward our fin become apostle seis down an exhortation, and useth greater; Joho ix. 41. James iv. 17. and a notable antanaclasis, saying, But judge our judgment more grievous, Prov. i. 26. this rather, that no man put a stumbling Luke xii. 47. : therefore he concludes, Let' block, &c. which exhortation is mainly di- | us not therefore judge one another any more. rected unto the stronger, whom he would II. There is such an evil too rite often. have forbearing the use of these meats times amongst Christians, as scandalizing, (for of this part of the difpute he mainly or occasioning the hurt, sin, stumbling, inlisteth on here,) in this particular cafe, and retarding of others in the way of wherein the weak were thereby scanda. Christianity: Judge this rather, that no lized. This being the hypothesis, the a- man put a stumbling-block, or an occafion to poftle.profecuteth the point in way of a fall in his brother's way. See 1 Cor. viii. 7. general thesis viz. That in case of scandal III. This lin of scandalizing, or giving the use of indifferent things should be for offence, is when any thing is done, spokea born; and for this caule he userh several | or: omited 'unduely, whereby our neigh. arguments, unto the end of this chapter. bour is induced, or an occalion is laid

In this verse there are two argments for him, to halt, fun ble, or fail, in his touched upon; 1/tFrom the nature of way; for it is called a stumbling block, or the deed, for which he useth two expref- any thing in ones way against which he - fions much to the same purpose, in calling is ready to stable, and an ociofion to fall, it, 1. a l’umbling-block; and, 2. an occafun or off nie, a fca dal, or that which is in to fall, (which expressions usually goto ductive sin du; and to it is that which gether, i Pec. ii. 8. 1 Cor' viji: 5. compared may mar the (piri:ual edifica ion of our with ver. 1 3. Rom. ix. 33 Ka. viii. 4) the brother : For this much dith these bor-one importing er signifyiny properly a stone: I roved ex ipfiums jou touch

« PreviousContinue »