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wicked men send from their throats. of asps is under their lips.'--MacAccordingly, it is added, “The poison knight.
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 16 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Paul's different manner of describing observes, he couches their character the characters of the Jews and of the under quotations from their own SaGreeks, is worthy of notice. For, in cred Writings, and thereby turns their speaking of the Greeks, he uses the eyes to ancient rather than to present greatest plainness, knowing that it
This method he followed, would not offend them, as they did not because, in the ancient manners of the pique themselves on sanctity of con- nation, they might, as in a glass, duct, and were conscious that the clearly see the very deformed comthings laid to their charge were true. plexion of the then generation.-Ibid. But in speaking of the Jews, as Taylor
19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Sinners, says St. Bernard, now en- Every mouth shall be stopped by the deavour to excuse their sins thus: If Law, either now or hereafter; and all it may be,' they will say, 'I did not do the world shall become sensibly guilty it;' or else, . It was no sin, but lawful ;' before God,-guilty of death, deseryor else, 'I did not do it often;' or else, ing of damnation. And therefore, if "I meant no harm ;' or else, I was some have been the subjects of a great persuaded by another, and drawn into work of the Law, and have thus beit by temptation ;' but at the great day come guilty, and their mouths have all such excuses will fall to the ground; been stopped, it is no certain sign that then every mouth will be stopped. — ever they have been converted.-L.
Pres. Edwards. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justifie in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
As sin is merely the transgression we must of course know the rule of of the Law;' and as, 'where no obedience; and comparing our conduct law is, there is no transgression;' with that rule, must see in this manit is clear, beyond question, that all ner, that our conduct is not conformed knowledge of sin must be derived from to the rule. In this way all knowledge the Law. To discern that we are sinful, of sin is derived.--Dwight.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
It is Christ's Righteousness that is the robe on the soul; and this is no the robe which covers our nakedness, small honour to which faith is preand makes us beautiful in God's eye, ferred above the other graces.-Guronly faith bath the honour to put nall.
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God: 4 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 20 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation
through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearunce of God;
Cowper, the poet, who had been long it for comfort and instruction. The depressed by religious melancholy, first verse I saw was the 25th of the driving him to a state of despair, gives third chapter of Romans. Immedithe following account of his conver- ately I received strength to believe, and sion, which will serve to show the prac- the full beams of the Sun of Righttical bearing and value of this import- eousness shone upon me. I saw the ant passage: 'The happy period, which sufficiency He had made for my parwas to shake off my fetters, and afford don and justification. In a moment me a clear discovery of the free mercy I believed, and received the peace of of God in Christ Jesus, was now ar- the Gospel. Unless the Almighty arm rived. I flung myself into a chair had been under me, I think I should near the window, and, seeing a Bible have been overwhelmed with gratitude there, ventured once more to apply to and joy.'-Life of Cowper.
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
O what boldness may the believer God Himself be against thee, when assume at this declaration! What! His very justice acquits thee?—Guris justice—the enemy that I feared, nall. that attribute which my thoughts filed A truth so strange, 'twere bold to from—now become my friend? Then, think it true; cheer up, my soul! Who shall con- If not far bolder still to disbelieve. demn, if God justifies? And how can
Young. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law ? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
There has been a two-fold law given Howe. by God to mankind, as the measure of God has enacted a law, called the a universal righteousness, the one law of faith,' for saving poor sinnersmade for innocent, the other for fallen through Christ, and He is under an man; these are distinguished by the oath to make it good, both in the sal. apostle under the names of the law vation of every one that believes in of works,' and the law of faith.' It Christ, and damnation of every one can never be possible that any of the that doth not believe; and, to make apostate sons of Adam should be de- all sure, He hath given Christ an oath nominated righteous by the former of to be faithful in His office,-He was these laws,—the righteousness thereof trusted as Priest to procure Redemp-consisting in a perfect and sinless tion,and shall sit as Judge to pronounce obedience. The latter of them is the the sentence, at the great day, of abonly measure and rule of this right- solution or condemnation.-Gurnall. eousness, viz., 'the law of faith.'—
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
None can ever enter heaven by a law- whoever attempts it is sure to be righteousness. God hath nailed this frozen up before he gets half way door up. This way to heaven is like thither.-Gurnall. the northern passage to the Indies;
29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through
faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
They who affirm that the Gospel dis- taught them that the paradise of the charges them from the Law as a rule of new creation is as accessible as the life, virtually declare that it legalizes original Eden, that the upas can be vice, that it grants them a patent to grafted on the tree of life, that they sin under its own broad seal, that it might confidently repose on the sucnaturalizes the alien and eternal out- cess of this experiment, and regard it law, sin, and makes it a denizen of as final, secure that, after this, there the kingdom of God. This, it must is nothing too monstrous to be believed, be confessed, is a doctrine of devils;' or too good to be perverted, when huit partakes of the infernal too palpably man credulity and depravity are the to be mistaken; like a stream of vol- materials to be employed.-Dr. J. canic lava, it may be traced directly Harris. to the mouth of the pit which dis- One of the chief glories of the Gosgorged it, to scorch and desolate the pel plan of Salvation is, that while it earth in its progress. If demons can justifies the sinner, it brings a new set rejoice, the successful introduction of of influences from heaven, more tenthis error into the Church must have der and mighty than can be drawn furnished them with an occasion for from any other source, to produce obeexultation not less triumphant than dience to the Law of God.-Barnes. that of the first transgression; it
CHAP. IV. THAT shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining
to works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
• What saith the Scripture ?'-Rica, contested ? • Are there? answered he having been to visit the library of a with surprise, are there? There are French convent, wrote thus to his almost as many as there are lines.' friend in Persia concerning what had •You astonish me,' said I; what then passed : Father,' said I to the libra- have all these authors been doing ?' rian, 'what are these huge volumes These authors,' returned he, “never which fill the whole side of the library?' searched the Scriptures for what ought • These,' said he, 'are the interpreters to be believed, but for what they did of the Scriptures. There is a pro- believe themselves. They did not condigious number of them,' replied I; sider them as a book wherein were 'the Scriptures must have been very contained the doctrines which they dark formerly, and very clear at ought to receive, but as a work which present. Do there remain still any might be made to authorize their own doubts? Are there now any points ideas.'-Anecdotes.
* Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. • But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
By • Him that worketh not,' is not of God would employ him in; but the meant a slothful, lazy sinner, who humble sinner, who desires and enhath no disposition to work; nor a deavours to work, but is not able to do rebellious sinner, whose heart riseth the task which the Law as a covenant against the work, which the whole law sets him; and therefore he is said, in
a law sense, not to work, because he God reckons him so, and so be shall doth not work to the Law's purpose, so pass at the great day by the Judge's as to answer its demands, which will sentence, as if he had never trodden accept nothing short of perfect obedi- one step out of the path of his duty. ence; this man's faith on Christ is -Gurnall. accepted for righteousness; that is,
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 'Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also ? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned ? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision ? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 16 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
V. 15. It is equally true that where again under social law. Society places there is no law, there is no obligation. the crown of honour upon the virtuous But we are not without law. We are man, and covers with contempt and under constitutional law-the law of detestation the vicious man. And the mind-if I may thus venture to these laws, had we not Divine Revecall it; that is, we have the precepts lation, while they exhibited rectitude, of law in our natural and necessary would create obligation. We are also judgments of right and wrong, and placed under statute law, by God's the sanctions of law in the delightful gracious gift of the Bible, which, feeling of self-approbation which re- while it fully unfolds what is right, wards the right action, and in the creates obligations to the doing of it dreadful feeling of remorse which pun- of the highest and most stringent nishes the wrong action. We are kind.—Dr. Payne.
16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.
• It is therefore free, that it might ence to which men act freely, or be sure.' This, I confess, according are left to their liberty, one would to the manner of men, would not be think were very unsure.
But it is not thought good logic. Things in refer- so with the blessed God in this case. 18 Who
The Salvation of believers is so much foundation in the Divine covenant of the more sure by how much it has its grace.-Howe.
17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
There is ' hope against hope;' hope the barrenness of Sarah's womb. But grounded faith against hope he hoped against the difficulty, by grounded on reason. Hope grounded hope that sprang by faith, which on reason would have made Abraham confided in the promise and power of expect that the promise should surely God, and so overcame the difficulty, have been ineffectual, because of the and, indeed, obtained the promise. deadness of Abraham's body and of Bunyan.
19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
It is imputed to the strength of beyond their depth; whereas, young Abraham's faith, that he would not learners feel for the ground, and are suffer his own narrow reason to have loth to go far from the bank-side. the hearing of the business, when God Strong faith fears not, when God promised him a Michaelmas spring- carries the creature beyond the depth as I may say—a son in his old age. of his reason.-Gurnall. Skilful swimmers are not afraid to go
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
The Resurrection of Christ, as a then He likewise furnished decisive means of Redemption, was important evidence that His death had answered in several respects. By this event all the redeeming purposes for which He conquered death in its own domain, He had submitted to it.-Rouse. and manifested His supremacy over We have here the grand answer of a the powers of darkness. He demon- good conscience; and in point of justistrated the Divinity of His mission, fying us before God, there can be no and the dignity of His filial relation answer but this. What have any to to the Father. He gave a pledge to say to thee? thy debt is paid by Him His people of their own final deliver- that undertook it, and He is free. ance from the grave, for He was the Answer all accusations with this, first-fruits of them that slept; and Christ is risen.-Leighton.