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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 standi. e. preserved thee.-See the Hebrew of Exodus ix. 16. which the Greek of tle Septuagint renders “and on this account wast thou preserved,” i. e. in the midst of God's plagues.
IX. - 18. “Therefore hath 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 as 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;
whether Jews, or Gentiles. These, most assuredly, are the persons on whom God wills to shew mercy; and those who reject the invitation or calling, are the persons whom he pronounces or permits to be hardened. He may, moreover, “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie,” &c. which passage see in 1 Thessalonians ii. 10. and following verses.
-13. “For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” These words are from Joel ii. 32. In the original Hebrew, the word here rendered Lord is Yehovah, or Jehovah. Since, then, St. Paul applied the term to Christ, as also the invocation or calling upon him, the inference of our Lord's divinity is abundantly manifest.
XI.-5. “There is a remnant according to the election of grace.” The condition on which this grace was bestowed may be seen in other parts of Scripture; but particularly at Ephesians ii. 8. Hence it is evident why the rest of the Jews were rejected.
XI.-7. “The election hath obtained it.” St. Paul here uses the abstract term for the concrete : the elect, beloved, or approved on account of their faith, have obtained it, i. e. the believing remnant.
XII.3. “ The measure of faith." According to the measure, or, as Clark observes, the nature and degree of the power committed to every man's trust, or faithfulness.—See the 6th verse.
XII.6. “According to the proportion of faith.” Some think, with Clark, that this means,-according to the nature and degree of the trust reposed in us. Others that “thé proportion,” or, as it is in the original, analogy of faith, is that general and important role of interpreting any particular passage, not by an abstract consideration of the passage itself, but by taking it in conjunction with other portions of
Scripture relating to the subject, “ comparing things spiritual with spiritual,” (1 Cor. ii. 13.) a rule which, though it be especially applicable to the prophetic writings, is also of general importance in the exposition of the sacred volume. See Horne's Introduction, vol. ii. page 563.
XII.-10. “In honour preferring one another." Beza renders it: honore alii aliis præeuntes.
XII.-20. “For in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” And thus melt him down with kindness. The metaphor seems to be taken from chemists, who place coals over their vessels, in which they melt and liquify their metals.
Ward's Diss. XIII. -2. “ Shall receive to themselves damnation." More correctly, condemnation, i. e: poena quæ sequitur sententiam judicis condemnatoriam.-See Valpy's Greek Testament. XIII.-6.
-6. “For they are God's ministers.” More correctly : God's public ministers.
XIV.-23. “Is damned if he eat." Condemned.
I.17. “ Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” The work of an apostle, but particularly of St. Paul, was to call men to the belief of christianity in general, by preaching its doctrines and inculcating its precepts; whereas the office of baptizing was often delegated to inferiors.
I.-21. “For, after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Some understand the meaning to be,- That since the world, in the wis
dom of God, i. e. by contemplating the wisdom of God in the great works of creation, had not by wisdom, i. e. by the exercise of their reason, arrived at the true knowledge of God, it pleased God to take another method, and, by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.-See Bishop Sherlock's, Sermon on this text.
II.-14. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God.” More correctly,—The animal or sen.. sual man.
III.1. “As unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." The term carnal, is limited by the latter words even as unto babes in Christ. Thus, it may be observed, that regeneration is, generally, a progressive and not an instantaneous work: a work truly effected by the operation of the Spirit of God; at the same time, not exclusive of attending to the laws or mea.ns by which God has decreed that his Spirit should operate.
III.15. “He himself shall be saved; yet so, as by fire.” Or from fire; so as out of, or through the flames , in such a manner as a person escapes out of the burning, when his house is on fire on all sides.--Ostervald. III.18.
-18. “ Let him become a fool." Namely, arcording to the erroneous judgment of the world.-See the 19th verse.
IV.-9. “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death,” &c. Let it be farther observed, for the elucidating a very striking passage in 1 Cor. iv. 9. that in the Roman amphitheatre, the bestiarii, who in the morning combated with wild beasts, had armour with which to defend themselves, and to annoy and slay their antagonist. But the last who were brought upon the stage, which was about noon, were a miserable number, quite n'aked, without any weapons to assail their adversary--with ima nediate and inevitable death before them in all its horrors, and destined to be mangled and butchered in the direst mar iner.