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and indignation; so it is buc folly to deal reasons convinced, we have charged and any more with them, especially when they proved by realon, as the original importa are become so gross, as to be so far fron etn) both Jews and Gentiles, that they are being willing to receive coaviction, as that all under sin, that is under the guilt and they flander, and lay false imputations up- conde nning power of lin; as Gal. iii. 22. on, the maintainers of truih; and it is | But the Scripture hath concluded all under safest then to leave such to God's iminedi 1 fin, that the promise by faith of Jesus are conviction, that they may be persuaded Chriit might be given to them that believe. of the truth of that, the contrary whereof they lay to the charge of Gol's faithfull HENCE OBSERVE, fervants: for all the answer that the apostle I. When people do once doat on pria now, in the last place, giveth to these vileges, and external favours granted of objectors, (besides the simple negation of God, it is fo hard a matter to get themthe consequence of what they made bold rectified in their thoughis, that whatever to infer from his doctrine) is this, whose they hear spoken of these privileges, condamnation is just.
sidered in themselves, as tending to hold
forth their nature, and to put them in their VERSE 9. What then? are we better than | own place, and to keep folk from the they? No, in no wise: for we have be- | other extremity of trampling upon, and fore proved both Jews and Gentiles, that vilipending them, tenderh rather to con-they are all under fin.
firm them in their falfe opinion, than
bring them off it ; for this we see here, by D Efore the apostle cometh to his new | Paul's answering this objection, that from
argument from testimonies, he first what Paul granted, verse 2d, as clearing concludech from what he had said foriner- | the nature of these external privileges, they ly, that the Jews were in no better case, were ready to be the more-hardened and as to justification, than the Gentiles, confirmed, and to say, are we not then What, (might they say) are we not then į better than they? in a betier case than the Gentiles, leeing ' II. However, in speaking of the privileges you ascribe to us such a pre-eminence ia and external advantages, which God is respect of privileges, and do maintain it pleased to bestow on the vilble members so strongly? He answereth, that though of his church, we should beware of derothere was a difference in point of civil and gating from their just esteem; yet, conecclefiaftical dignity, (which was all he sidering the proneness of such as do misgranted, verse 2.) yet if we have respect place them, in their resting upon them, to to ourselves, says he, who have no way abuse what they hear, to foster themselves deserved those forementioned privileges, in their erroneous practice, we ought waDor have profited much by them, we have rily to guard against that, and upon this no excellency beyond the Gentiles; but score and consideration, to cast them as far chiefly (which is the business he hath in down as formerly we put them up, after hand) in the matter of justification, we, Paul's example here, who fearing they says he, (for he includes himself, that they should have turned what he had said unio might so much the less take offence) in no a wrong use, presently answereth that wife are better than they; and this he cont. question, are we not better than they? thus, firmeih from what he said formerly both no, in no wise. fooching Jews and Gentiles, chapters first III. When we are crying down privie and second, For, says he, we have before leges and external advantages, which in proved, not only accused; but with strong | themselves are to be valued, as great fa
vours of God, and when keeped in their , no pre-eminence, viz. because they are due place are useful) in regard of people's still under fin, as well as others who want reiting on them, and applying them to a those privileges. And that thould only wrong use; then, as it is the best way to be high in our account, which serveth to guard-against people's taking offence, to be help us out of this natural condition, and thewing them how in so doing we do no bring us from under the condemning more wrong to them than to ourselves, so power of sin: for, says he, we have proved it is a prevalent way to convince them of both Jew and Gentile under fin. their folly in misplacing these allowances, Vl. It is the common lot and calamity of when our doctrine is backed with our ex. all mankind, bond or free, Jew or Gentile, ample, and they see, we would have them of whatsoever sex or quality, to be by nature, doing that which we have done ourselves, and till free grace make a change, under sin, and that we are no more trusting to under both the dominion of it, and condemnthese privileges than we would have them ing power thereof; to have sin as a tyranı dodoing: for Paul, as to ward off their taking mineering over them, and sentencing them offence, so the more to prevail with them, to death; and that fince Adam's treacherTheweth, that albeit he was a Jew as | ous breach of covenant, Gal. iji. 23.; and well as they, and so bad all the advantages therefore fin is said to have reigned, Rom. they had; yet, in point of justification, he v. 21. and vi. 14. and to have a law, was no ways because of them (solely) better Rom. vii. 23. 25.: for here, both Jerus than the Gentiles: therefore, says he, are and Gentiles are said to be under fin. we better than they? No.
VII, When a people are once once puffed IV. Howbeit the privileges and advan- | up with a vain conceit of their own contages which God confereth upon church- dition, by reason of some external advanmembers, puis a great difference betwixt | tages and privileges which they have, they them, and such as are without, in point of are so blinded and bewitched, that they ecclefiaftic dignity; yet they put no ho- | cannot, nor will not see how fad and minour or dignity upon church-members, as ferable their condition is, notwithstanding to real acceptance before God, or in point of these, albeit there be never so clear of justification : for in this sense it is, that and undeniable demonstrations held forth Paul says, that the Jews are no ways bet. to convince them: for, albeit Paul had ter than the Gentiles; all those privileges abundantly before proved (as he says) both did not make them holy by nature, and Jews and Gentiles to be under sin; yet lo righteous before God, and so, no whit blinded were they with self-love, that he more acceptable before him : for potwith- / saw a necessity, even after all these proofs. Landing thereof, they, no less than the of telling them, that they had no preGentiles, were under fin.
eminence, and were no better as to their • V. This should abundantly convince | spiritual condition, and before God, than folk of folly, in trusting to, and expecting others. God's special favour, because of privileges VIII. As it is a matter of no small diftsand external advantages, bestowed on them culty to get people thoroughly convinced by God; viz. That those cannot deliver of their natural condition, how they are them from guilt of fin, and the con flaves to fin, and dead and condemned to demning power thereof; but that nor.. death thereby; so it is ministers duty to be withstanding of all those, they are still in | labouring so much the more, with clear their natural condition, under sin: for the and undeniable proofs, to bear in convicapostle gives this as a reason, why, not- tions on people, of this their natural conwithstanding of these advantages, they have | dition: therefore, says Paul, we have be