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the test of a living and availing faith ; " for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James ii. 26.
IV.-25. “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” As Christ by dying in our stead, bore the curse of the law; so, by his rising again, we receive our acquittal from the hand of the judge. His death was our payment, his resurrection our discharge.Ostervald.
V.-7. Scarcely for a righteous man, &c.” Righteousness, or justice, is doing all that good to others which they have any claim of right to demand; but goodness is doing them all that good which is any ways right, and fit, and reasonable for us to bestow.-Ostervald.
V.-13. For until the law sin was in the world : but sin is not imputed where there is no law.” In the first clause the word law, having the definite article before it, refers to the law of Moses; but in the second clause, the word without the definite article refers to any revealed law; but generally, to that universal law which Adam had, and which the Apostle proves not only affected him, but also all his offspring. St. Paul argues thus : sin is not imputed when there is no law; but until the law of Moses, sin and its penalty death were in the world : therefore some law binding men to obedience did really exist before the law of Moses.
V.-20. “The law entered, that the offence might abound.” More correctly : the law entered so that the offence abounds, i. e. becomes more manifestly sinful. Or, since the offence would abound, the law entered, i. e. that it might appear an offence, so that no one could justify himself before God by pleading ignorance. Some think that this was the law of man's nature.
VI.-13. “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.” The word translated
instruments signifies arms or weapons. The antients for merly reckoned arms or weapons the members of soldiers. To this the apostle may allude.—See Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. ii. page 363.
VI.-17. “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin; but ye have obeyed from the heart, &c.” The Apostle does not thank God because they were sinners; but, because, being once so, they had repented and, by faith, had embraced the Gospel. There is an ellipsis in the Greek text which our translators should have supplied. Beza renders it thus : Gratia autem sit Deo, quòd fuistis quidèm servi peccati, sed, &c. ; i. e. But God be thanked, since ye were indeed the servants of sin, but, &c.
VII.-1. “For I speak to them that know the law, how that the law, &c.”—See remarks at Romans ii. 12. Respecting the rest of this chapter, the following extract from Bishop Sherlock's sermon on Romans viii. 16. may prove useful : “In the latter part of the 7th chap. St. Paul describes the state of an unregenerate Jew, or heathen; for what he says, equally belongs to both. This he does in order to shew them the necessity of redemption through Christ, inasmuch as neither the law of Moses nor of Nature could free them from the power and dominion of sin, nor consequently from death, which ever follows close at the heels of sin. That this was the Apostle's intent, appears from the lamentation he makes over the state of Nature, and the remedy he immediately proposes of faith through Christ.” The Bishop clearly proves in his sermon, from this chapter, that there exists in man a witness distinct from the spirit of God, and which bears the same evidence as to his moral state and conduct.-See Romans viii. 16.
VII.- -24. " Who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?” The following document from Virgil, Æn. viii. 1. 483. clearly proves that it was once a practice to tie a dead carcase to a living body :
Quid memorem infandas cædes ? quid facta tyranni
oond manibusque manus, atque oribus ora,
Thus it may be Englished: Why should I mention the unutterable cruelties? Why the tyrant's barbarous deeds? May the gods recompense them on his own head and on his offspring. He even tied dead bodies to the living, adjusting hands to hands and face to face, a species of torture and these, wasting away with gore and putrefaction in the horrid embrace, with lingering death he thus destroyed.
VIII.-3. “And for sin condemned sin in the flesh." More correctly: And for a sin-offering, &c. “Of parallel constructions and figures,” says Mr. Horne, in his Introd. vol. ii. page 525. “We have examples in Romans viii. 3. 2. Cor. v. 21. and Hebrews x. 6. in which passages respectively, the Greek word there translated sin, means sacrifices or offerings for sin, agreeably to the idiom of the Hebrew language, in which the same word elliptically signifies both sin and sin-offering.”
VIII.-15. “Abba, Father.” Among the Jews, they who had been born of a slave, could not assume the name of Abba, which signifies Father. This was the privilege only of such as had a right of inheritance.-Lamy.
VIII.-19. 20. 21. “For the earnest expectation of the creature," &c. The word for creature signifies also creation; which appears to be the meaning of it here, i. e. the Gentile world. The words in hope at the end of the 20th verse, should begin the 21st, and the rest of the 20th, put in a parenthesis. This appears to be Beza's opinion who commences the 21st verse thus : Sub spe quòd et ipse liberabitur, &c. Here quòd that, conveys the meaning of the Greek word erroneously rendered, in our authorized version, because.
VIII. -29. “Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren.” The primary end of this predestination appears evidently set forth in the text; for it is declared to be, “that he Christ might be the first born among many brethren.” Hence, in order to this, those, whom God, before the event, knew would be disposed for eternal life, he, before the event, decreed “to be conformed to the image of his Son:" i.e. he predestinated or decreed before the event, that such should be saved in no other way but by being conformed to the image of his Son.” That the expression disposed for eternal life, used above, is, in reference to this subject, proper and true to the Greek, has already been shown in other parts of this work.
IX.-3. “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ,” &c. The condition of those who were exconimunicated was the most deplorable that can be imagined. They were debarred of all social intercourse, and were excluded from the temple and the synagogues, on pain of severe corporal punishment. Whoever had incurred this sentence was loaded with imprecations, as appears from Deut. xxvii. where the expression cursed is he, is so often repeated : whence to curse and to excommunicate were equivalent terms with the Jews. Romans ix. 3. 1 Cor. v. 5. 1 Cor. xii. 3. Horne's Introduction, vol. iii. page 143.
IX.-5. “Of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." . That the present, is the true reading of this passage, we have the authority of MSS. versions, and fathers. The testimony of Michaelis is very satisfactory : “I, for my part, sincerely believe, that Paul here delivers the same doctrine of the divinity of Christ, which is elsewhere unquestionably maintained in the New Testament.”—See Valpy's Greek Testament.
IX.- -13. “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Namely : The spiritual seed of Abraham, or those who serve me by faith, I love whether Jews or Gentiles. But those who have not the faith of Abraham, and consequently, cannot serve me according to my will, I hate; whether Jews, or Gentiles. Since Esau and Jacob were as yet unborn, and had done neither good nor evil, the distinction, as to them, personally, may easily be resolved into the Prescience of God; for it is manifest how remarkably they answered the distinction.
IX.-17. “Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up.” More correctly, made thee to stand i. e. preserved thee.---See the Hebrew of Exodus ix. 16. which the Greek of thre Septuagint renders " and on this account wast thou preserved," i. e. in the midst of God's plagues.
IX.-18. “Therefore bath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will, he hardeneth." There is, perhaps, not a greater source of perplexity 'in reading the Scriptures, than by attempting to explain passages apart from their context or connection. This is particularly true of the present; for, without its context, commencing at the 18th verse of the 8th chap. continuing to the end of the 11th, this passage cannot be understood ; but, if the reader will take that trouble, this, as well as some other passages, will be very easily comprehended. This rule of attending to the connection, in reading the epistles, especially of St. Paul, who often reasons at considerable length, should never be forgotten. We should bear in mind that we are not reading single passages; but an epistle or letter : which, although of greater length, is, yet, subject to the same rules of interpretation an ordinary letter received from a friend. This rule will enable us clearly to understand i Peter ii. 8. which see.
IX.-24. “Even us whom he hath called.” Namely, who obey the calling, or who accept and obey the Gospel;