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Linexcusable. woman, burned in their lust one toward of God is according to truth against another; men with men working that them which commit such things. which is unseemly, and receiving in then
3 And thinkest thou this, O man, selves that recompence of their error which was ineet. 28 Aud even as they did not that judgest them which do such things, like to retain God in their knowledge, God and doest the same, that thou shalt gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do escape the judgment of God? those things which are not convenient; 29 Being killed with all uprighteousness his goodness and forbearance and long
4 Or despisest thou the riches of liciousness ; full of envy, murder, debate, suffering; 'not knowing that the gooddeceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Back- ness of God leadeth thee to repentbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobe: ance? dient to parents,
31 Without under- 5 But after thy hardness and instanding, covenant-breakers, without na- penitent heart treasurest up unto thytural affection, implacable, unmerciful: self wrath against the day of wrath 32 Who, knowing the judgment of God, and revelation of the righteous judga that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but ment of God; have pleasure in them that do them.
6 Who will render to every man
according to his deeds: CHAP. II.
7 To them who by patient continuTHEREFORE thou art inexcus- ance in well doing seek for glory and
able, 0 man, whosoever thou art honour and immortality, eternal life : that judgest: for wherein thou judgest 8 But unto them that are contenanother, thou condemnest thyself; for tious, and do not obey the truth, but thou that judgest doest the same things. obey unrighteousness, indignation and
2 But we are sure that the judgment wrath,
EXPOSITION_Chap. I. Continued. former they encouraged the vulgar idola. be done in this respect in India, China, tries of the multitude; in the latter it is Africa, and elsewhere ; but as the Spirit of supposed they taught the spiritual and God accompanies the progress of Missionary eternal nature of God; but we believe this labours, we trust that these nations will was the case in very few instances; those follow the example of the South Sea Island. wbu rejected the vulgar superstition, often ers, and give " their idols to the moles sunk into a sort of philosophic atheism, and to the bats," or rather scatter them to and worshipped Nature.
the winds and to the seas; no more substiIn the course of eighteen centuries the tuting the creature for the Creator, who worshipping of idols, stocks, and stones, is blessed," aud sball be " blessed for ever, has been in great part abolished from the Amen." Pagan world; much, however, remains tu
NOTES. Ver. 23. Did not like to retain.-Marg.“ To ac. CHAP. II. Ver. 1. Therefore." Wherefore." knowledge."Areprobate mind.-Marg: “ A mind This is not an inference from what precedes, so void of judgment." -Things not convenient.--"A much as from what immediately follows. See Macigure of speech, intimating the most detestable knight. crimes." --Cox.
Ver. 2. The judgment.-Mackn." The sentence;" Ver. 30. Inventors of evil things-- That is, proba- i. e. the judgment pronounced. Comp. chap. v. 16. bly of false and scandalous reports, agreeing with Ver. 1. Or despisest thou.-Mackn. “ Dost thou the preceding articles_" Backbiters," &c.
misconstruct?" 'But Duddridge, Cox, and BoothVer. 31. Without natural affection.--Marg. “Un. royd, prefer the common rendering. sve iable.” This is supposed to refer particularly to Ver. 5. Hardness and impenitent.-Mackn.“ Ob.
durate and impenitent.” Ver. 32. Rare pleasure in them that do them.- Ver. 6. His deeds.- Dod Ir." His works." This Marg. "Conseat with them."_" To bebold vice word, ' works,” should be preserved throughout, on with complacency, is the last stage of a degenerate acconnt of the argument founded on it.
Ver. 8. Them that are contentious.-Gr. " Aro
[nor Gentiles 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon boast of God, every soul of man that doeth evil, of 18 And knowest his will, and apthe Jew first, and also of the Gentile; provest the things that are more excel
10 But glory, honour, and peace, to lent, being instructed out of the law; every man that worketh good, to the 19 And art confident that thou thy. Jew first, and also to the Gentile : self art a guide of the blind, a light of
Il For there is no respect of persons them which are in darkness, with God.
20 An instructor of the foolish, a 12 For as many as have sinned teacher of babes, which hast the form without law shall also perish without of knowledge and of the truth in the law: and as many as have sinned in law, the law shall be judged by the law; 21 Thou therefore which teachest
13 (For not the hearers of the law another, teachest thou not thyself? are just before God, but the doers of thou that preachest a man should not the law shall be justified.
steal, dost thou steal ? 14 For when the Gentiles, which 22 Thou that sayest a man should have not the law, do by nature the not commit adultery, dost thou comthings contained in the law, these, mit adultery ? thou that abhorrest idols, having not the law, are a law unto dost thou commit sacrilege ? themselves :
23 Thou that makest thy boast of 15 Which shew the work of the law the law, through breaking the law diswritten in their hearts, their consci- honourest thou God? ence also bearing witness, and their 24 For the name of God is blasthoughts the mean while accusing or phemed among the Gentiles through else excusing one another ;)
yon, as it is written. 16 In the day when God shall judge 25 For circumcision verily profiteth, the secrets of men by Jesus Christ ac- if thou keep the law: but if thou be a cording to my Gospel.
breaker of the law, thy circumcision 17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, is made uncircumcision. and restest in the law, and makest thy 26 Therefore if the uncircumcision
NOTES-Chap. II. Contin. of contentions.” Doddr.“ Children of contention," against the light of nature, and their own con. which preserves the Hebrew idiom.
sciences, will be thereby judged; but the Jews, Ver. 9 and 10. Gentile.- Marg. “ Greek.” who had been favoured with a written revelation by
Ver. 11. There is no respect of persons with God. Moses and the prophets, will be subjected to a screte -See Lev. xix. 15; Deut. i. 17.
scrutiny, according to their obedience or disobedi. 'Ver. 12. Without law.-Doddr, and Boothroyd ence to it. According to my gospel_" Not say onderstand this of the law of Moses;" Mack night written gospel or history of Jesus Christ, but the and Cox, of divine revelation generally; but we doctrine of the gospel, which had been preacbed by must remember, that at this time (A. D. 60) scarcely Paul.” Lardner's Sup. ch. iv. So Doddridge, Macany of the New Testament was published.- Sin
knight, &c. ned in.- Doddr. &c. " under the law."
Ver. 17. Called a Jen" Bearest the name of a Ver. 13. The doers of the law shall be justified.- Jew." Doddr., Cox, &c. But Boothroyd, followThis is the first time the important term "justified” ing Griesbach, reads, on the authority of some MSS. occurs in this epistle: and it is evidently used in a and ancient versions, " But if thou be called a Jew, forensic sense, referring to a judicial sentence, as in and rest in the law, and glory in God," &c. Matt, xii. 37.-" If a Jew sinned in respect of any of Ver. 18. Approvest the things that are more exthe precepts (of the Mosaic law), and did not offer cellent.-Marg. "triest the things that differ." So the prescribed sacrifice, he could not be acquitted Doddridge, nearly: or justified."-Boothroyd.
Ver. 19. A guide of the blind, &c.-These are Ver. 15. Their conscience, &c.—Marg. " The con- titles in which the Rabbies were used to glory, ia rescience witnessing with them.” Their thoughts ference to the Gentiles. the mean while, &c.—Marg. " Their thoughts be- Ver. 22. Thou that sayest.-Doddridge, " that tween themselves, accusing,' &c Doddr. “Their preachest.”. So Cox-Dost thou commit seerimutual reasonings among themselves, accusing or lege?-Mackn. “ rob temples." See Mal, ji. 8. defending," &c.
Ver. 24. As it is writien.-See 2 Sam. xii. 14; Ver. 16. In the day, &c.-This verse connects Isa. lii, 5; Ezek. xxxvi. 22, 23. with verse 12, the three intervening verses (13, 14, Ver. 25. Is made (or becomes) uncircumcisionand 15) being a parenthesis ; and the sense is, that i. c. is rendered nugatory and useless. “ In the day of judgment, the heathen who sinned Ver. 26. Shall noi his uncircumcision, &c. That
Can be justified]
[by the law. keep the righteousness of the law, shall 28 For he is not a Jew, which is not his uncircumcision be counted for one outwardly ; neither is that circumcircumcision?
cision, which is outward in the flesh: 27 And shall not uncircumcision 29 But he is a Jew, which is one which is by nature, if it fulfil the inwardly; and circumcision is that law, judge thee, who by the letter of the heart, in the spirit, and not in and circumcision dust transgress the the letter ; whose praise is not of men, law ?
but of God. (C)
and that on two grounds: First, a fallen (C) Ver. 1 - 29. Those are most in- and guilty creature can never be justified excusable, who commit themselves the sin by his good works; and, secondly, if even they condemn in others. — The apostle that were possible, neither Jews nor Genhaving delivered the most awful, and at tiles had any such works to boast. Consethe same time the most accurate descrip- quently, that to neither Jew nor Gentile tion of the heathen world, which was pers was there any hope of salvatiou, but through baps ever written, he was sure of the ap- the mercy of God in Christ Jesus. For as probation of the Jews, who would instantly to the former, there was no merit in hcarpronounce them descrving of God's eternal iug a law which they neglected to obey ; curse, and everlasting condemnation. He nor bad the Gentiles any ground to be vain then suddenly turns the argument upon of their science, while, whatever they might his countrymen, and endeavours to con- know, they did not acknowledge and adore vince them that they were not only equally the Author of their being. guilty, but more inexcusable; as they had When it is said (verse 13), “ The doers been favoured, not only with the same na- of the law will be justified," we must not, tural light, but with a divine revelation however, infer hence, that they will be juss also, in the law of Moses aud the prophets; tified by any merit in either their faith or and this circumstance, so far froni excusing their obedience, which would be contrary them, was a great aggravation of their to the whole tenor of Paul's reasoning in guilt, and made their case more dreadfully this Epistle; but only that obedience to the alarming. That the Jews were, indeed, will of God is the necessary evidence of our equally guilty of all the crimes here enu- interest in his merey. So, on these words, merated, we have not only the authority Mr. Cox judiciously remarks-" The aposof the apostles, but the testimony of Jo- tle does not here refer to the originating sephus, their own historian, who declares cause of a person's justification, which is that there was not a more wicked nation the mercy of God; or to the meritorious. under heaven. And he afterwards adds, cause, which is nothing less than the obe"I verily believe, that if the Romans had dience[active and passive) and intercession delayed to destroy these wicked wretches, of Christ; but to the character of those their city would either bave been swallowed who will finally be justified." up by the earth, or overwhelmed by the As to the covenant of circumcision, in Waters, or struck with fire from heaven, which the Jews boasted and placed their as another Sodum ; for it produced a far confidence, it was an external rite only, more impious generation than those who and “ he is not a Jew," in the best sense, suffered such punishment.” (See the pas- who is such ouly " outwardly;" “ But he sages quoted by Dr.Whitby from the Jewish is a Jew" indeed a worshipper of the God Wars, Books v, and vii.)
of Israel -—" who is one inwardly; and This being the awful case with both [the true] circumcision is that of the heart; Jews and Gentiles, the apostle proceeds to in the spirit (and), not in the letter; whose argue the impossibility of either being praise (as the term Jew intimates) is not saved by their own works of righteousness, of men, but of God."
NOTES is, a Gentile who fears God shall be preferred far cumcision." before a Jew who apostatizes from him.
Ver. 28. He is not a Jew-See Rev. ii. 9. Ver. 27. The uncircumcision which is by nature Ver. 29. Whose praise is not of men.-See Gen. i.c. which is nataral to man.By the letter and xxix. 35; and Expos. Compare with chap. xlix. 8. circumcision.-Macknight, “ By the literal cir
(No, not oné. CHAP. III.
they? No, in no wise : for we have
before proved both Jews and Gentiles, WHAT advantage then hath the that they are all under sin;
Jew? or what profit is there of 10 As it is written, There is none circumcision?
righteous, no, not one: 2 Much every way: chiefly, be- 11 There is none that understandeth, cause that unto them were committed there is none that secketh after God. the oracles of Gud.
12 They are all gone out of the way, 3 For what if some did not believe? they are together become unprofitable; shall their unbelief make the faith of there is none that doeth good, no, not God without effect ?
4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; but every man a liar; as it is written, with their tongues they have used deThat thou mightest be justified in thy ceit; the poison of asps is under their sayings, and mightest overcome when lips: thou art judged.
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing 5 But if our unrighteousness com- and bitterness : mend the righteousness of God, what 15 Their feet are swift to shed shall we say? Is God unrighteous blood : who taketh vengeance? (1 speak as a 16 Destruction and misery are in man)
6 God forbid : for then how shall 17 And the way of peace have they God judge the world ?
not known: 7 For if the truth of God hath more 18 There is no fear of God before abounded through my lie unto his their eyes. glory; why yet am I also judged as a 19 Now we know that what things sinner?
soever the law saith, it saith to them 8 And not rather, (as we be slan- who are under the law: that every derously reported, and as some affirm mouth may be stopped, and all the that we say,) Let us do evil, that good world may become guilty before may come? whose damnation is just. God, (D)
9 What then? are we better than
might be expected to make to his doctrine (D) Ver. 1-19. Some Jewish objections in the preceding chapter, relative to circumanswered, and all men proved guilty before cision. If a Jew have no preference to a God.- The apostle here iutroduces and Gentile,“ what advantage thea is there in apswers several objections which a Jew being a child of Abraham, or in receiving
NOTES. CHAP. III. Ver. 3. Make the faith of God with. dering is more animated and pointed; bot we fear out effect.--Doddr. “ Disannul the faith of God;" the introdaction of God's pame here and elsewhere which may mean either our faith in him, or his Gde- (when not in the original), bas occasioned too often lity to us. Macknight and Cox prefer the latter. a light and trifling use of the divine name.
Ver. 4. But every man-Or, " Though every man Ver. 8. Whose damnation.-Doddr. and Mackn. be," &c. Doddr. and Mnckn.
“ Condemnation." Ver. 5. Is God unrighteous who laketh vengeance ? Ver. 9. Proved.-Gr.“ charged." -Doddr., Mackn., &c. taking this to be the objec- Ver. 10–12. As it is written-i, e. in various pas. tion of a Jew (as ver. I), render the words, " IS NOT sares. See Ps. xiv. 1-3. God unrighteous ?” which version the latter has Ver. 13. Their throat.-Ps. v. 9. show'n the Greek will bear: but taking them as the Ver. 14. Whose mouth.-Ps, x. 7. words of the apostle, the negative must be omitted. Ver. 15-18. Their feet, &c.-Prof. I. 16; Isa.
Ver. 6. God forbid.-Gr. 1.el it not be-So ver. 4, lix. 7, 8; Ps. xxxvi. I, &c. and frequently. Mackn, “ By no means;" and Ver. 19. What the law saith.-D.ddr. This proves others, " Far be it." We confess the commou ren- that the term "law extends to the whole Scrip.
[Christ alone. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the all and upon all them that believe : for law there shall no flesh be justified in there is no difference : his sight: for by the law is the know- 23 For all have sinned, and come ledge of sin.
short of the glory of God; 21 But now the righteousness of 24 Being justified freely by his grace God without the law is manifested, through the redemption that is in being witnessed by the Law and the Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be 22 Even the righteousness of God a propitiation through faith in his blood, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto to declare his righteousness for the re
EXPOSITION. circumcision ?" To this the apostle re- but it is not easy to trace the connexion. plies, “Much every way"-or in every Dr. Duddridge explains it, as taking up the respect ; but chiefly, because that to them objector abruptly, and asking, “And why (the Jews] were intrusted the oracles of may not 1 (Paul) say, upon the same prin. God, containing at once the revelation of ciples of reasoning (as is indeed reported of man's duty and of God's mercy. And us), Let us do evil that good may comewhat if soine--yea, if many-did not be. Let us sin to magnify divine grace!' A lieve, could their unbelief disannul or sentiment which, we fear, if not openly make of no effect the truth and faithful- avowed or acted upon, has been secretly ness of God ?-Far be that! Let God be cherished and encouraged by some popular reverenced as true, though every man preachers of the present day, who, instead should thereby be convicted of falsehood. of being abashed and confounded, seem to But, rejoins the unbelieving Jew, sup: glory in the magoitude of their former posing our uprighteousness to recominend sios. But of such principles, or practises, the righteousness of God, or his glory to the apostle subjoins this awful censure, be advanced by our unbelief, which has “their damnation is just." This decree opened the door of salvation to the Gen- also strikes directly at the root of an error tiles, are we to be condemned on that ac. which prevailed too early in some parts of count?-In this case, is not God unjust in the Christian Church, that duplicity, and taking vengeance on those who promote prevarication, and even persecution, are his glory? --I speak and reason as a man. then lawful, when they subserve the inte
At this St. Paul again spuros (ver. 6), rests of the Church-a principle from which and deprecates the idea of God's injustice: the Church of Rome has not yet cleared if God were unjust, how then would he be herself, nor can, till in the most public qualified for the universal judge?- Or manner she denounces and anathematizes "how should God judge the world ?"- In the diabolical decree of the Council of verse 7 the objector again comes forward Constance, that “no faith is to be kept with in a somewhat differeut form— Suppose heretics." (says he), in denying Jesus to be the St. Paul now reverts to the doctrine of Christ, I have been guilty of error or false- the preceding chapter, that both Jews and hood, yet if that falsehood has heen the Gentiles are equally guilty before God; means, as you (Paul) pretend, of bringing and after citing several passages from the a host of Gentiles to believe in him, and Old Testament, in proof of this, most of has thereby increased the number of his which we have already noticed, he draws worshippers, and advanced the glory of this most important inference—That “do God, why am I to be condemned as a flesh '-neither Jew nor Greek--can possinner on that account??-The following sibly be justified before God by any works verse (8) is evidently Paul's language ; or rig liteousness of their own.
NOTES tures of the Old Testament, as none of the pas. dae. Doddr. Beza says, it is an allasion to those sages here referred to are in the Pentateuch.
who, in the Greek games, fell short of the goal. Ibid. 19. Become guilty before God.-Margin, Ver. 25. Set forth.-- Dodur. “ proposed.' " Subject to the judginent of God." Doddr. “ Stand convicteil before God."
propitiation.-Mackn, a “propitiatory,” in allusion
to the Jewish mercy seat, or propitiatory, which Ver.20. By the deeds -Doddr. “ works."
was the cover of the ark, whereon the Jewish High Ver. 23. Come short of the glory of God-... Priest annually spriokled blood. Heb, ix. 25. have failed in rendering him that glory which is his