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24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

24 Η χαρις μετα παντων των αγαπώντων τον Κυριον ημων Ιησεν Χριςον εν αφθαρσια. Αμην.

when it was written. And in the second, there are only falutations to Prisca and Aquila, the apostle's fellow-labourers, who were in Ephesus occasionally, and to the household of Onesiphorus, on account of the great respect which the head of that family had shewed to the apostle during his second imprisonment in Rome, 2 Tim. i. 16.-In like manner, there are no particular salutations in the epistles to the Galatians, the Philippians, the Thessalonians, and to Titus; because to have fent falutations to individuals, in churches where the apostle was so genc. rally and intimately acquainted, unless there had been some very fpecial reasons for such salutations, it might have offended those who were neglected. On the other hand, to have mentioned every person of note in these churches, would have taken up too much room. bu writing to the Romans, the case was different. The apostle was perfonally unknown to the moft of them. And therefore, he could with

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24 Grace be with all Ι them who love' our Lord the brethren in Asia, The favour of Jesus Christ in fincerity. God be with all them who love our Amen. (See Pref. fect. Lord Jesus Christ in fincerity. And iv. at the beginning.)

in testimony that all I have written and prayed in this letter, is my real sentiments, I conclude with an Amen

out offence to the rest, take particular notice of all his acquaintance. See Illust. prefixed to Rom. xvi.

Ver. 24. 1. Who love our Lord Jesus Chriftin fincerity: Evapaupoio, literally in incorruption. Our love of Christ, like our love of God, is founded in our knowledge of the excellencies of his character, and of the benefits he has conferred on us; and consists in esteem and gratitude. And shews itself by our imitating him, and our obeying his commandments. This is the import of loving our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruption, or in fincerity.

2. Amen. This is an Hebrew word, signifying truth, With this word, the Jews ended all their prayers, and most folemn speeches; in which they were followed by the first Christians, who thus fignified, that the things which they had spoken, whether to God or men, were their real sentiments and delires. See 2 Peter iii, 18. note 2.

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NE cannot view the present state of the world without

The earth would be a wilderness, were it not cultivated with great care and labour. It nourisheth a number of plants and animals noxious to man. The fruits forced from it by human labour, are oftentimes destroyed by inclement seasons. Men, its chief inhabitants, are many of them excessively wicked; and their wickedness is productive of much misery to themselves in the present life, and to others who are affected by it. Befides, ail of them are naturally liable to a variety of painful diseases and to death.

This disordered state of the world, hath been the occasion of much anxious speculation to those, who fancying that things might have been so ordered as to exclude all evil, both natural and moral, have considered the admission of fin and misery into any system formed by an infinitely powerful, wise, and benevolent being, as absolutely impossible. Hence the ancient Perfians, and after them the Manicheans, to account for the present disordered constitution of things, affirmed, that the world was the work of two independent infinitely powerful principles, the one good and the other evil.--Others of the Easterns accounted for the evils which are in the world, by supposing that mankind had existed in some prior state, and are punished here for the sins which they committed in their pre-existent state ; and that their punishment is intended to purify and reform. them. This was the doctrine of the Pythagoreans, and of some of the Jews, John ix. 1, 2.-But a third fort of reasoners, not satisfied with either of these solutions, maintained that the world hath exifted from eternity by successive generations and corruptions, in the manner we see it at present, without any first cause at all. This was the opinion of the Aristotelian atheists.—A fourth fort affirmed, that the world owes its origin to what they termed the fortuitous concourse of atoms; and that it is not governed by any intelligent principle whatever. This was the scheme of the Epicureans, who, to avoid the odium of the populace, pretended indeed to acknowledge the existence of gods, but denied that they made the world, or took any concern whatever in its affairs.

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In this uncertainty, or rather darkness concerning the origin of the world, revelation hath seasonably interposed. For it alsureth us that there is but one first cause of all things, who is not only infinitely powerful, but infinitely good : That all the beings in the universe derive their existence from him, are ab. solutely dependent on him, and subject to his government : That whatever evil exists in the world, is the natural consequence of that freedom of will with which God originally endowed his rational creatures, in order to render them moral and accountable agents: And that the first parents of mankind, abusing their liberty of action, subjected themselves and their posterity to fin and death, by one single act of disobedience: But that for remeding these evils, God was graciously pleased, in his original plan, to appoint the mediation of his Son, where, by the penal consequences of sin are so far prevented, that they do not take place in all cases. For, as many of mankind as are delivered by him from the power of sin, shall at length be also

delivered from its punishment, and be raised to a degree of perfection and happiness, greater than if they never had finned. The mediation therefore of Christ, by which God remedies the evils which were introduced into the world through the disobedience of the parents of the human race, hath for its objeet to deliver mankind, first, from the power, and, secondly, from the punishment of fin.

Sect. 1. Of the Mediation of Christ as a Priest, whereby the

penal consequences of fon are so far prevented, that they do not take place among mankind universally.

To prevent the penal consequences of sin from taking place among mankind universally, revelation affureth us, that the Son of God, by the appointment of his Father, made propitiation for the sins of mankind by his sufferings and death in the human nature; that is, by his sufferings and death he hath rendered it confiftent with the character of God, as the moral governor of the world, in certain cases to pardon finners. For we are told, Rom. v. 12. That as by the disobedience of one man, Adam, fon entered into the world, and by fon death. So by the obedience of one man, Christ, righteousness entered into the world, and by righteoufnefs life; that is, an opportunity of becoming righteous and of obtaining life, was granted to mankind on account of the obedience of Chrift.

To this account of the ruin and recovery of the human fpecies, various objections have been made. And first, It hath been loudly urged, That to involve all mankind in fin and mifery, on account of a disobedience to which they were nowise acceflary, and to bestow righteousness and life, or an opportunity of obtaining these blessings, through an obedience in which they had no concern, are both of them contrary to our natural ideas of the justice and goodness of God.

To this objection, however, it is a sufficient answer to observe, that the very fame conftitution taketh place in the present ftate of things. For we see evils brought on the innocent, and favours communicated to the guilty, through actions in which neither the one nor the other had any hand. Thus, the miscon

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