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the preservation of a faithful Israelitish remnant amidst the general unbelief and fall of the nation, and the ultimate TOODTery of all Israel to constitute, with the Gentiles in the latter day, one Catholic Church of God upon earth. The reaninder of the epistle is devoted to sundry practical topics, winding up with salutations and outpourings of heart delightfully suggestive.

CHAPTER L... Isee on Acts, 13. whicharnal, uncreated nat

mon expression must mean 'in His other nature, Ver. 1-17. INTRODUCTION. 1. Paal (see on Acts, 13. which we have seen to be that "of the Son of God 9. a servant of Jesus Christ-The word here rendered an eternal, uncreated nature. This is here styled the "servant" means 'bond-servant,' or one subject to the "Spirit," as an impalpable and immaterial nature will and wholly at the disposal of another. In this (John, 4. 24), and "the Spirit of holiness." probably in sense it is applied to the disciples of Christ at large absolute contrast with that "likeness of sinful flesh" a Corinthians, 7. 21-23, as in the Old Testament, to all which He assumed. One is apt to wonder that if this the people of God (Isaiah, 66. 14). But as, in addition be the meaning, it was not expressed more simply. to this, the prophets and kings of Israel were officially | But if the apostle had said 'He was declared to be the *the servants of the Lord" (Joshua, 1. 1: Psalm 18. Son of God according to the Holy Spirit.' the reader title), the apostles call themselves, in the same official would have thought he meant 'the Holy Ghost;' and sense, "the servants of Christ" (as here, and Philip it seems to have been just to avoid this misapprehenvians, 1. 1: James, 1. 1; 2 Peter, 1. 1; Jude, 1), expressing sion that he used the rare expression, “the Spirit of fach absolute subjection and devotion to the Lord holiness." 5. By whom (as the ordained channel) we Jesus as they would never have yielded to a mere have received grace the whole "grace that bringeth creature. See on v. 7; and on John, 6. 22, 23.) called salvation") and apostleship-for the publication of that to be an apostle-when first he "saw the Lord;" the " grace," and the organisation of as many as receive indispensable qualification for apostleship. See on it into churches of visible discipleship. (We prefer Acts. 9. 5: 22. 14; 1 Corinthians, 9. 1. separated unto the thus taking them as two distinct things, and not, with (preaching of the gospel-neither so late as when "the some good interpreters, as one - the grace of apostleHoly Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul" (Acts, ship.') for obedience to the faith (rather, 'for the obedi. 13. 2, nor so early as when "separated from his inother's ence of faith')-i.e., in order to men's yielding themwomb (see on Galatians, 1. 15). He was called at one selves to the belief of God's saving message, which is and the same time to the faith and the apostleship of the highest of all obedience. for his name-that He Christ (Acts, 26. 16-18). of God-i.e., the gospel of which might be glorified. 6. Among whom are ye also .e. God is the glorious Author. So ch. 16. 16; 1 Thes-along with others; for the apostle ascribes nothing salonians, 2.2, 8, 9; 1 Peter, 4. 17. 2. Which he had special to the Church of Rome (cf. 1 Corinthians, 14. promised afore ... in the holy Scriptures--Though the 36). [BEXGEL.] the called (see on ch. 8. 30) of Christ Roman Church was Gentile by nation (see on v. 13), Jesus-i.e., either called 'by Him' (John, 5. 25), or the yet as it consisted mostly of proselytes to the Jewish called 'belonging to Ilim''Christ's called ones.' Perfaith (see Introduction to this Epistle) they are here haps this latter senso is best supported, but one hardly reminded that in embracing Christ they had not cast knows which to prefer. 7. beloved of God-(cf. Deuteroott, bat only the more profoundly yielded themselves nomy. 33. 12; Colossians, 3. 12). Grace ... (see on to, Noses and the prophets (Acts, 13. 32, 33). 3, 4. John, 1. 14, p. 70, 2d column) and peace – the peace Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord- the grand which Christ made through the blood of His cross burden of this "gospel of God." inade of the seed of | Colossians, 1. 20), and which reflects into the believing David -23. according to "the holy Scriptures," He bosom the peace of God which passeth all understandLeboved to be. See on Matthew, 1, 1.) according to | ing (Philippians, 4. 7). from God our Father, and the the leahhe., in His human nature cf. ch. 9. 5, and Lord Jesus Christ - 'Nothing speaks more decisively John, 1, 14; implying, of course, that He had another for the divinity of Christ than these juxtapositions of nature, of which the apostle immediately proceeds to Christ with the eternal God, which run through the speak. And declared - lit., 'marked off,' 'definod,' whole language of Scripturo, and the derivation of • determined,' i.e., 'shown,' or 'proved.' to be the Son purely divine influences from Ilim also. The name of of God-Observe how studiously the language changes no man can be placed by the side of the Almighty. He bere. He "ecas MADE (says the apostle) of the seed orl only, in whom the Word of the Father who is Himself David, according to the flesh;" but He was not made, God became flesh, may be named beside Him; for men He was only "declared (or proved) to Be the Son of are commanded to honour Him even as they honour God." So John, 1. 1, 14, “In the beginning was the the Father, John, 6. 23.' (OLSHAUSEN.) 8. your faith Word ... and the Word was MADE flesh;" and Isaiah, is spoken of throughout the whole world-This was quite 2. 6. "Unto us a Child is BORN, unto us a Son is practicable through tho frequent visits paid to the GIVES," Thus the Sonship of Christ is in no proper capital from all the provinces; and the apostle, having sense a born relationship to the Father, as some, other- an eye to the influence they would exercise upon wise sound divines, conceive of it. By His birth in others, as well as their own blessedness, gives thanks the flesh. that Sonship, which was essential and un- for such faith to "his God through Jesus Christ." as created merely efloresced into palpable manifestation. I being the source, according to his theology of faith, as See on Luke, 1. 35; Acts, 13, 32, 33.) with power--This of all grace in men. 9. For God... whom I serve (the may either be connected with "declared," and then the word denotes religious service, with my spirit (from my meaning will be powerfully declared' (LUTHER, BEZA, I inmost soul, in the gospel of his Son (to which Paul's BESGEL, FEITZSCHE, ALFORD, &c.); or (as in our ver whole religious life and official activity were consesion, and as we think rightly) with "the Son of God," | crated) is my witness, that without ceasing I make and then the sense is, 'declared to be the Son of God mention of you always in my prayers-So for the Ephein possession of that "power" which belonged to Him sians (Ephesians, 1. 15, 16): so for the Philippians as the only-begotten of the Father, no longer shrouded (Philippians, 1, 3, 4); so for the Colossians (Colossians,

in the days of his flesh, but "by His resurrection | 1, 3, 4); so for the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians, 1. from the dead" gloriously displayed and henceforth l 2, 3). What catholic love, what all-absorbing spirituto be for ever exerted in this nature of ours.' (VULI ality, what impassioned devotion to the glory of Christ GATE, CALVIX, HODGE, PHILIPPI, MEHRING, &c.] among men! 10. Making request, if by any means now according to the spirit of holiness-If "according to the at length I may have a prosperous journey by the will of flesh menn here, 'in His human nature,' this uncom- 1 God, to come to you - Though long anxious to yisit the

Olaces where have some other Gentis explicitly Sewish

The Gospel is for the


Justification of all Men. capital, he met with a number of providential hind. Hebrews, 10. 38 - showing that the gospel way of rances (v. 13; ch. 15. 22; and see on Acts, 19. 21; 23. 11; / 'LIFE BY FAITH,' so far from disturbing. only con28. 16): insomuch that nearly a quarter of a century tinued and developed the ancient method - On the elapsed, after his conversion, ere his desire was ac | foregoing verses, note (1.) What manner of persons complished, and that only as "& prisoner of Jesus ought the ministers of Christ to be, according to the Christ." Thus taught that his whole future was in the pattern here set up-absolutely subject and officially hands of God, he makes it his continual prayer that at dedicated to the Lord Jesus; separated unto the gospel length the obstacles to a happy and prosperous meet- of God, which contemplates the subjugation of all ing might be removed. 11, 12. For I long to see you, nations to the faith of Christ; debtors to all classes, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift-not any

the refined and the rude, to bring the gospel to them supernatural gift, as the next clanse shows, and cf. all alike, all shame in the presence of the one, as well 1 Corinthians, 1. 7. to the end that ye may be established; pride before the other, sinking before the glory which That is, that I may be comforted together with yon by the they feel to be in their message; yearning over all faith

L ot wishing to lord ful churches, pot Jording it over them, but rejoicing it over their faith," but rather to be a "helper of their

in their prosperity, and finding refreshment and joy," the apostle corrects his former expressions: my

strength in their fellowship! (2.) The peculiar features desire is to instruct you and do you good, that is, for

of the gospel here brought prominently forward should us to instruct and do one another good: in giving I

be the devout study of all who preach it, and guide shall also receive.' (JOWETT.) 'Nor is he insincere

the views and the taste of all who are privileged in so speaking, for there is none so poor in the Church statedly to bear it: that it is "the gospel of God." as of Christ who may not impart to us something of

& message from heaven, yet not absolutely new, but value: it is only our malignity and pride that hinder

on the contrary, only the fulfilment of Old Testament us from gathering such fruit from every quarter.'

promise; that not only is Christ the great theme of it. (CALVIN.) How 'widely different is the apostolic style

but Christ in the very nature of God as His own Son. from that of the court of Papal Rome! (BENGEL.]

and in the nature of men as partaker of their flesh13. oftentimes I purposed to come auto you, but was let

the Son of God now in resurrection - power and in(hindered) hitherto-chiefly by his desire to go first to

vested with authority to dispense all grace to men, places where Christ was not known ch. 15. 20-24).

I and all gifts for the establishment and edification of that I might have some fruit (of my ministry) among

the Church, Christ the righteousness provided of God

for the justification of all that believe in His name: you also, even as among other Gentiles -The GENTILE origin of the Roman Church is here so explicitly stated,

and that in this glorious Gospel, when preached as that those who conclude, merely from the Jewish

such, there resides the very power of God to save Jew strain of the argument, that they must have been

and Gentile alike wbo embrace it. (3.) While Christ mostly Israelites, decide in opposition to the apostle

is to be regarded as the ordained Channel of all grace himself. (But see Introduction to this Epistle.) 14, 15.

from God to men (v. 8), let none imagine that His I am debtor both to the (cultivated) Greeks and to the

proper divinity is in any respect cornpromised by this (rude) Barbarians. ... So, as much as in me is, I am ready

arrangement, since He is here expressly associated with to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also-He

God the Father," in prayer for “grace and peace" feels himself under an all-subduing obligation to carry

(including all spiritual blessings) to rest upon this the gospel to all classes of mankind, as adapted to and

Church (v.7). (4.) While this Epistle teaches, in conordained equally for all (1 Corinthians, 9. 16). 16. For

| formity with the teaching of our Lord Himself, that I am not ashamed of the gospel (The words, "of Christ,"

all salvation is suspended upon faith, this is but half a which follow here, are wanting in the oldest and best truth, and will certainly minister to sell-righteousness, MSS. This language implies that it required some 11 dissociated Iroin another feature of the same truth.

h ora her here explicitly taught, that this faith is God's own gift "to the Jews was a stumbling-block and to the Greeks

-for which accordingly, in the case of the Roman foolishness." But its inherent glory, as God's life

believers, he "thanks his God through Jesus Christ" giving message to a dying world, so filled his soul, that,

(v. 8). (5.) Christian fellowship, as indeed all real like his blessed Master, he “despised the shame." for

fellowship, is a mutual benefit; and as it is not possible IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION TO EVERY

for the most erninent saints and servants of Christ to ONE THAT BELIEVETN-Here and in the next verse

impart any refreshment and profit to the meanest of the apostle announces the great theme of his ensuing

onnces the great theme of his engning their brethren without experiencing a rich return into argument: SALVATION, the one overwhelming neces

their bosoms, so just in proportion to their humility sity of perishing men: this revealed IN THE GOAPEL and love will they feel their need of it and rejoice in it MESSAGE; and that message so ovoned and honoured of

18. WHY THIS DIVINELY PROVIDED RIGHTEOUSGod as to carry, in the proclamation of it, God's own NESS 19 NEEDED BY ALL MEN. For the wrath of God POWER TO BAVE EVERY SOUL THAT EMBRACES IT. (His holy displeasure and righteous vengeance against Greek and Barbarian, wise and unwise alike. 17. For sin) is revealed from heaven-in the consciences of men. therein is the righteousness of God revealed that is, (as and attested by innumerable outward evidences of a the whole argument of the Epistle shows) GOD'S JUSTI- Moral Government. against all ungodliness-i,e., their FYING RIGHTEOUSNESS. from faith to faith-a difficult whole irreligiousness, or their living without any con. clause. Most interpreters (judging from the sense of scious reference to God, and proper feelings towards such phrases elsewbere) take it to mean, 'from one Him, and unrighteousness of men-i.., their whole degree of faith to another.' But this agrees ill with the deviations from moral rectitude in heart, speech, and apostle's design, which has nothing to do with the pro- behaviour. (So these terms must be distinguished gressive stages of faith, but solely with faith itself as when used together, though, when standing alone. the appointed way of receiving God's “righteousness." either of them includes the other.) We prefer, therefore, to understand it thus: 'The 18-82. THIS WRATH OF GOD, REVEALED AGAINST righteousness of God is in the gospel message, revealed | ALL INIQUITY, OVERHANGN THE WHOLE HEATHEX (to be) from (or 'by') faith to (or 'for) faith,' that is, í WORLD. 18. who hold (rather, 'hold down,' 'hinder.'

in order to be by faith received.' (So substantially, or "keep back) the truth in unrighteousness - The MELVILLE, MEYER, STUART, BLOOMFIELD, &c.) as it apostle, though he began this verse with a comprehenis written (Habakkuk, 2. 4), The just ahall live by faith sive proposition regarding men in general, takes up in -This golden maxim of the Old Testament, is thrice the end of it only one of the two great divisions of quoted in the New Testament-here: Galatians, 3. 11; mankind, to whom he meant to apply it; thus rently

The Wrath of God Overhangs


the whole Heathon World, sliding into his argument. But before enumerating 1 24. Whereforo God also in righteous retribution) gave their actual iniquities, he goes back to the origin of them up-This divine abandonment of men is here them all, their stifling the light which still remained to strikingly traced in three successive stages, at each of them. As darkness overspreads the mind, so impot which the same word is used (v. 24; v. 26; and v. 28, ence takes possession of the heart, when the "still where the word is rendered "gave over"). "As they

all voices of conscience is first disregarded, next deserted God, God in turn deserted them; not giving thwarted, and then systematically deadened. Thus them divine (i.e., supernatural laws, and suffering

the truth" which God left with and in men, instead them to corrupt those which were human; not sending e having free scope and developing itself, as it other them prophets, and allowing the philosophers to run wise would, was obstructed (cf. Matthew. 6. 22, 23; into absurdities. He let them do what they pleased, Ephesians, 4. 17, 18, 19. Because that which may be even what was in the last degree vile, that those who Tatber.*which is') known of God is manifest in them; had not honoured God, might dishonour themselves.' far God hath showed it into them The sense of this (GROTIUS.] 25. Who changed the truth of God into a lie prekdant statement the apostle proceeds to unfold in i.e., the truth concerning God into idol-falsehood), the next verse. 20. For the invisible things of him from and worshipped and for since') the creation of the world are clearly seen the Creator-Professing merely to worship the Creator by mind brightly beholding what the eye cannot discern), means of the creature, they soon came to lose sight of beng understood by the things that are made-Thus, the the Creator in the creature. How aggravated is the ontward creation is not the parent but the interpreter guilt of the Church of Rome, which, under the same of our faith in God. That faith has its primary sources flimsy pretext, does shamelessly what the heathen are willin our own breast v. 19); but it becomes an intel- here condemned for doing, and with light which the ligible and articulate conviction only through what we heathen never had! who is blessed for ever. AmenCbserve around us (* by the things which are made," v. By this doxdogy the apostle instinctively relieves the

And thus are the inner and the outer revelation horror which the penning of such things excited within of God the complement of each other, making up his breast; an example to such as are called to expose between them one universal and immoveable convic like dishonour done to the blessed God. 26. 27. For tion that God is. (With this striking apostolic state- this cause God gave them up-See on u. 24. for even their ment agree the latest conclusions of the most profound women - that sex whose priceless jewel and fairest speculative students of Theism.) even his eternal ornament is modesty, and which, when that is once poser and Godhead - both that there is an Eternal lost, not only becomes more shameless than the other Power, and that this is not a mere blind force, or sex; but lives henceforth only to drag the other sex Dentheistic spirit of nature,' but the power of a living | down to its own level. did change, &c.-The practices Godhead. so that they are without excuse - all their here referred to, though too abundantly attested by deceneracy being a voluntary departure from truth classic authors, cannot be further illustrated, without thus brightly revealed to the unsophisticated spirit. trenching on things which "ought not to be named 21. Because that, when they knew God that is, while still among us as become the saints." But observe how retaining some real knowledge of Him, and ere they vice is here seen consuming and exhausting itself, sank down into the state next to be described), they When the passions, scourged by violent and congiarifed him not as God, neither were thankful-neither tinued indulgence in natural vices, became impotent yielded the adoration due to Himself, nor rendered the to yield the craved enjoyment, resort was had to granitude which His beneficence demanded but became artificial stimulants by the practice of unnatural and Fain (cf. Jeremiah, 2.5) in their imaginations, (thoughts, monstrous vices. How early these were in full career, potions, speculations regarding God: cf. Matthew, 15. | in the history of the world, the case of Sodom affect16: Lake, 2. 38; 1 Corinthians, 3. 20, Greek), and their ingly shows; and because of such abominations, cenfaclish (senseless,' 'stupid') heart (i. e., their whole turies after that, the land of Canaan "spued out its inner man wag darkened - How instructively is the old inhabitants. Long before this chapter was penned, downward progress of the human soul here traced ! the Lesbians and others throughout refined Greece 22, 23, Prcfessing themselves ("boasting,' or 'pretending had been luxuriating in such debasements; and as for to be') wise, they became fools-It is the invariable the Romans, Tacitus, speaking of the emperor Tiberius, property of error in morals and religion, that men take tells us that new words bad then to be coined to excredit to themselves for it and extol it as wisdom. So press the newly invented stimulants to jaded passion. the heathen, 1 Corinthians, 1. 21.' (THOLUCK.) and No wonder that, thus sick and dying as was this poor changed for, 'exchanged') the glory of the uncorruptible Humanity of ours under the highest earthly culture, Gad into or for an image ... like to corruptible man its many-voiced cry for the balm in Gilead, and the

The allusion here is doubtless to the Greek worship, Physician there, "Come over and help us," pierced the and the apostle may have had in his eye those exquisite bearts of the missionaries of the cross, and made Chisellings of the human form which lay so profusely them "not ashamed of the gospel of Christ!" and beneath and around him as he stood on Mars' hill, receiving in themselves that recompence of their error and *beheld their devotions." See on Acts, 17. 29.) which was meet-alluding to the many physical and But as if that had not been a deep enough degradation moral ways in which, under the righteous government of the living God, there was found a lower deep still of God, vice was made self-avenging. 28-31. gave them and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things over (or, 'up'--see on v. 24) ... to do those things which -referring now to the Egyptian and Oriental worship. are not convenient-in the old sense of that word, i.e.. In the face of these plain declarations of the descent of 'not becoming,' indecorous,''shameful,' haters of God man's religious belief from loftier to ever lower and -The word usually signifies 'God-hated,' which some more debasing conceptions of the Supreme Being, there here prefer, in the sense of abhorred of the Lord; exare expositors of this very Epistle as Reiche and Jowett) pressing the detestableness of their character in His who, believing neither in any Fall from primeval sight (cf. Proverbs, 22. 14; Psalm 73, 20). But the active innocence, nor in the noble traces of that innocence sense of the word, adopted in our version and by the which lingered even after the fall, and were only by majority of expositors, though rarer, agrees perhaps degrees obliterated by wilful violence to the dictates better with the context. 32. Who knowing (from the of conscience, maintain that man's religions history voice of conscience, ch. 2. 14, 15) the judgment of God (the has been all along & struggle to rise, from the lowest stern law of divine procedure), that they which commit forms of nature-worship, suited to the childhood of our such things are worthy of death-here used in its widest ruce, into that which is more rational and spiritual. I known sense, as the uttermost of divine vengeance

The Wrath of God Overhangs


the whole Heathen IT orld. against sin: see Acts, 28. 4. not only do the same- Moral corruption invariably follows religious debase. which they might do under the pressure of temptation ment. The grossness of Pagan idolatry is only equalled and in the heat of passion. but have pleasure in them by the revolting character and frightful extent of the that do them-deliberately set their seal to such actions immorali

immoralities which it fostered and consecrated (v. 24, by encouraging and applauding the doing of them in 26, 27). And so strikingly is this to be seen in all its others. This is the climax of our apostle's charges essential features in the East at this day, that tas against the heathen; and certainly, if the things are HODGE says) the missionaries have frequently been in themselves as black as possible, this settled and accused by the natives of having forged the whole of unblushing satisfaction at the practice of them, apart the latter part of this chapter, as they could not believe from all the blinding effects of present passion, must that so accurate & description of themselves could be regarded as the darkest feature of human depravity. have been written eighteen centuries ago. The kinge -On this section, note, (1.) " The wrath of God" against doms of Israel and Judah furnish a striking illustra. sin has all the dread reality of a "revelation from tion of the inseparable connection between religion and heaven" sounding in the consciences of men, in the morals. Israel corrupted and debased the worship of self-inflicted miseries of the wicked, and in the ven. Jehovah, and the sins with which they were charged geance which God's moral government, sooner or later, were mostly of the grosser kind--intemperance and takes upon all who outrage it; so this "wrath of God" sensuality: Judah, remaining faithful to the pure is not confined to high-handed crimes, or the grosser worship, were for a long time cbarged mostly with formanifestations of human depravity, but is "revealed" mality and hypocrisy; and only as they fell into the against all violations of divine law of whatever nature | idolatries of the heathen around them, did they sink

against all ungodliness" as well as "unrighteousness into their vices. And may not a like distinction be of men." against all disregard of God in the conduct observed between the two great divisions of Christenof life as well as against all deviations from moral dom, the Popish and the Protestant? To test this. rectitude; and therefore, since no child of Adam can we must not look to Popery, surrounded with, and plead guiltless either of "ungodliness" or of “un more or less influenced by, the presence and power of righteousness," to a greater or less extent, it follows Protestantism; por to Protestantism under every sort that every human being is involved in the awful sweep of disadvantage, internal and external. But look at of "the wrath of God" (v. 18). The apostle places this Romanism where it has unrestrained liberty to develop terrible truth in the forefront of his argument on justi- its true, character, and see whether impurity does not fication by faith, that upon the basis of universal con- there taint society to its core, pervading alike the demnation he might rear the edifice of a free, world-highest and the lowest classes; and then look at wide salvation; nor can the gospel be scripturally Protestantism where it enjoys the same advantages, preached or embraced, save as the good news of sal. and see whether it be not marked by a comparatively vation to those that are all equally "lost." (2.) We high standard of social virtue. (7.) To take pleasure must not magnify the supernatural revelation which in what is sinful and vicious for its own sake, and God has been pleased to make of Himself, through knowing it to be such, is the last and lowest stage of Abraham's family to the human race, at the expense human recklessness (v. 32). But (8.) this knowledge of that elder and, in itself, lustrous revelation which can never be wholly extinguished in the breast of man. He bas made to the whole family of man through the So long as reason remains to them, there is a still medium of their own nature and the creation around small voice in the worst of men, protesting, in the them. Without the latter, the former would have name of the Power that implanted it," that they which been impossible, and those who have not been favoured do such things are worthy of death" (v. 32). with the former will be without excuse, if they are deaf

CHAPTER II. to the voice and blind to the glory of the latter (v. 19, Ver. 1-29. THE JEW UNDER LIKE CONDEMNATION 20). (3.) Wilful resistance of light has a retributive WITH THE GENTILE From those without, the apostle tendency to blunt the moral perceptions and weaken now turns to those within the pale of revealed relixion the capacity to apprehend and approve of truth and the self-righteous Jews, who looked down upon the goodness; and thus is the soul prepared to surrender uncovenanted heathen as beyond the pale of Gou's itself, to an indefinite extent, to error and sin (v. 21, mercies, within which they deemed themselves secure. &c.). (4.) Pride of wisdom, as it is a convincing evi. however inconsistent their life may be. Alas! what dence of the want of it, so it makes the attainment of multitudes wrap themselves up in like fatal confidence. it impossible (v. 22; and cf, Matthew, 11. 25; 1 Corinth- who occupy the corresponding position in the Christian ians, 3. 18-20). (6.) As Idolatry, even in its most Church. 4. the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance plausible forms, is the fruit of unworthy views of the 1.e., is designed and adapted to do so. 5. treasurest Godhead, so its natural effect is to vitiate and debase up unto thyself wrath against (rather 'in') the day of still further the religious conceptions; nor is there any wrath-i.e. wrath to come on thee in the day of wrath, depth of degradation too low and too revolting for What an awful idea is here expressed-that the singer men's ideas of the Godhead to sink to, if only their himself is amassing, like hoarded treasure, an evernatural temperament and the circumstances they are accumulating stock of divine wrath, to burst upon him placed in be favourable to their unrestrained develop-in “the day of the revelation of the righteous judement (v. 23, 26). The apostle had Greece and Egypt in ment of God!" And this is said not of the reckless. his eye when he penned this description. But the but of those who boasted of their purity of faith and whole Paganisms of the East at this day attest its life. 7-10. To them who, &o. -The substance of these accuracy, from the more elaborate idolatry of India verses is that the final judgment will turn upon and the simpler and more stupid idolatry of China character alone. by patient continuance in well-doing. down to the childish rudiments of nature-worship pre &c.--cf. Luke. 8. 15: "That on the good ground are they. valent among the savage tribes. Alas! Christendom which in an honest and good heart, having heard the itself furnishes a melancholy illustration of this truth; word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience: the constant use of material images in the Church of denoting the enduring and progressite character of the Rome and the materialistic and sensuous character new life. But unto them that are contentions, and do no: of its entire service (to say nothing of the less offen- obey the truth, &c.-referring to such keen and detersive but stupider service of the Greek Church) debas-mined resistance to the gospel as himself had too ing the religious ideas of millions of nominal Christians, painfully witnessed on the part of his own countrymen. and lowering the whole character and tone of Christi. See Acts, 13. 44-46; 17. 6, 13; 18. 6, 12; and cf. 1 Thesanity as represented within their immense pale. (6.) | salonians, 2. 15, 16. indignation and wrath - in the

Je and Gentile


under like Condemnation. bosom of a sin-avenging God. tribulation and anguish seed of Abraham that had never received the seal of the effect of these in the sinner himself. to the Jew l circumcision (see on Galatians, 6. 6); and this inter:

if obedient pretation is confirmed by all that follows. he is not a to the truth, first in salvation (v. 10). 11, 12. For as Jew which is one outwardly, &c.-in other words, the mary as have sinned- not as many as have sinned at name of "Jew" and the rite of “circumcision were all' but. 'as many as are found in sin' at the judgment designed but as outward symbols of a separation from of the great day (as the whole context shows). without the irreligions and ungodly world unto holy devotedla-i.e., without the advantage of a positive Revela- ness in heart and life to the God of salvation: Where tion. shall also perish without law-exempt from the this is realised, the signs are full of significance; but charge of rejecting or disregarding it, and as many as where it is not, they are worse than useless.-Note, (1.) kate sinned in the law-within the pale of a positive, It is a sad mark of depravity when all that is designed written Revelation. shall be judged by the law-tried and fitted to melt only hardens the heart (v. 4, and and condemned by the higher standard of that written cf. 2 Peter, 3. 9; Ecclesiastes, 8. 11). (2.) Amidst all the Revelation. 13-15. For not the hearers, &c.-9.d., 'As inequalities of religious opportunity measured out to touching the Jews, in whose ears the written law is men, and the mysterious bearing of this upon their continually resounding, the condemnation of as many character and destiny for eternity, the same great of them as are found sinners at the last involves no principles of judgment, in a form suited to their redifficulty: but even as respects the beathen, who are spective discipline, will be applied to all, and perfect strangers to the law in its positive and written form equity will be seen to reign throughout every stage of since they show how deeply it is engraven on their the divine administration (v. 11-16). (3.) “The law moral nature, which witnesses within them for right-written on the heart" (v. 14, 15-or the Ethics of Natural eousness and against iniquity, accusing or commending Theology -may be said to be the one deep foundation them according as they violate or obey its stern dic- on which all revealed religion reposes; and see on ch. Estes-their condemnation also for all the sin in which | 1. 19, 20, where we have what we may call its other they live and die will carry its dreadful echo in their foundation-the Physics and Metaphysics of Natural own breasts. their thoughts the mean while accusing or | Theology. The testimony of these two passages is to else ercusing-1.e., perhaps by turns doing both. 16. In the Theologian invaluable, while in the breast of every the day, &c. -Here the unfinished statement of v. 12 is teachable Christian it wakens such deep echoes as are resumed and closed. shall judge the secrets of men inexpressibly solemn and precious. (4.) High religious here specially referring to the unfathomed depths of professions are a fearful aggravation of the inconsishypocrisy in the self-righteous whom the apostle had tencies of such as make them (v. 17-24). See 2 Samuel, to deal with. (See Ecclesiastes, 12, 14; 1 Corinthians, 4. 12. 14. (5.) As no external privileges, or badges of dis5.) according to my gospel-to my teaching as a preacher | cipleship, will shield the unholy from the wrath of God, of the gospel. 17-24. Behold-But if' is, beyond doubt, so neither will the want of them shut out from the the true reading here. (It differs but in a single letter kingdom of heaven such as have experienced without from the received reading, and the sense is the same.) them that change of heart which the seals of God's Approvest the things that are more excellent-Margin, covenant were designed to mark. In the sight of the *triest the things that differ.' Both senses are good, great Searcher of hearts, the Judge of quick and dead, and indeed the former is but the result of the latter the renovation of the character in heart and life is all action. See on Philippians, 1. 10. hast the form of know in all. In view of this, bave not all baptised, sacraledze and of the truth in the law-not being left, as the mented disciples of the Lord Jesus, who "profess that beathen are, to vague conjecture on divine things, but | they know God, but in works deny Him," need to favoured with definite and precise information from I tremble-who, under the guise of friends, are "the heaven. thou that abborrest idols (as the Jews did ever enemies of the cross of Christ?" after their captivity, though bent on them before),

CHAPTER III. dost thon commit sacrilege? - not, as some excellent Ver. 1-8. JEWISH OBJECTIONS ANSWERED. 1. 2. interpreters, dost thou rob idol-temples Y but more | What advantage then bath the Jew?--q.d., 'If the final generally, as we take it, 'dost thou profane holy things' I judgment will turn solely on the state of the heart, and

as in Matthew, 21. 12, 13, and in other ways). as it is this may be as good in the Gentile without as in the written - see Margin reference.). 25-29. For circum- Jew within the sacred enclosure of God's covenant, cision-he.. One's being within the covenant of which what better are we Jews for all our advantages ? circumcision was the outward sign and seal. verily Answer: Much every way: chiefy, because (rather, 'first, profiteth, if thou keep the law-if the inward reality cor- | that') unto them were committed the oracles of God. This respond to the outward sign. but if, &c.-9.d., 'Other remarkable expression, denoting 'divine communicawise, thou art no better than the uncircumcised tions in general, is transferred to the Scriptures to besthen. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the ... express their oracular, divine, authoritative character. law, &c.-Two mistaken interpretations, we think, are 3, 4. For what if some did not believe :-It is the unbelief given of these words: First, that the case here sup of the great body of the nation which the apostle posed is an impossible one, and put merely for illustra- points at; but as it sufficed for his argument to put the tlon' (HALDANE, CHALMERS, HODGE); second, that it supposition thus gently, he uses this word “some" to is the case of the heathen who may and do please God soften prejudice. shall their unbelief make the faith (or. when they act, as bas been and is done, up to the light I faithfulness) of God of none effect - nullify.' 'invalidate' of nature (GROTIUS. OLSHAUSEN, &c.L The first inter- | it. God forbid-lit., 'Let it not be,' q.d.. 'Away with pretation is, in our judgment, unnatural; the second such a thought'--& favourite expression of our apostle, Ooposed to the apostle's own teaching. But the case | when he would not only repudiate a supposed conbere put is, we think, such as that of Cornelius (Acts, I sequence of his doctrine, but express his abhorrence 10., who, though outside the external pale of God's of it. The Scriptures do not authorise such a use of covenant, yet having come to the knowledge of the God's name as must have been common among the truths contained in it, do manifest the grace of the English translators of the Bible.' [HODGE.] gea, let covenant without the seal of it, and exemplify the God be (held) true, and every man a liar - 1.6., even character and walk of Abraham's children, though not though it should follow from this that every man is a called by the name of Abraham. Thus, this is but lar. when thou art judged -so in Psalm 51. 4, accordanother way of announcing that God was about to ing to the LXX.; but in the Hebrew and in our vershow the insufficiency of the mere badge of the Abra- sion, 'when thou judgest. The general sentiment, hamic covenant, by calling from among the Gentiles a however, is the same in both-that we are to vindicate

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