Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The Apostle takes this opportunity of urging on the Christians

at Rome, that Holiness, to which they were so strongly obliged by the Gospel. Rom. VI. 15, to the End.

Sect. 13.

ROMANS VI. 15.

ROMANS VI. 15.
I

HAVE just been reminding you, Christians, Wwe fin, because we

of Rom. VI. 15

your great Privileges; that you are now are not under the Law, but under a Dispensation of the most glorious Grace under Grace ? God forbid. in the Gospel, and not under the Restraints, nor under the Terrors, of the Mosaick Law. And what then are we to infer? Shall we take Encouragement from thence to offend him, to whose distinguishing Goodness we are so much obliged, and fin securely and presumptuously, because we are not under the Law, but under the Grace of the Gospel ? GOD forbid! The Inference would be so odious, and so dangerous, that tho' I disclaimed it before, (Ver. 1.) I cannot too frequently guard you against it. And fhould you allow yourselves to argue thus, it would lufficiently prove, that you do not belong

to Christ; however you may glory in a pre16 tendect external Relation. Know ye not, that 16 Know ye not, that

to whomsoever ye present yourselves [as] Servants, to whom ye yield yourselves actually to obey his Commands, bis Servants you vants ye are to whom ye

Servants to obey, his Serare? Not his, whose Name you may bear without obey; whether of Sin unto practically acknowledging his Authority, but his, Death, or of Obedience whom you in Fact obey. Least of all can you di- unto Righteousness? vide yourfelves between two contrary Mafters, but must either be intirely the Servants of Sin, which you know hy a certain Consequence leads to eternal Death, or intirely the Servants of God, by a Course of resolute and persevering Obedience; which, notwithstanding your former Failures, will securely lead to Righteousness and

But Thanks be to GOD, that whereas you 17 But God be thanked, were once the Servants of Sin, this is to be spok- that ye were the Servants en of as a Bondage past and

of Sin
and that
gone;
ye

obeyed bave

17 Life.

[ocr errors]

but yo

have

your

But, being free from Sin, are the Servants of Righteousness : 77
obeyed from the Heart that have now obeyed, not in Profefsion alone, but Sect. 13.
Form of Doctrine which from the Heart, the Model of Doctrine into which
was delivered you.

Rom. VI. 17
Je were delivered, as into a Mold (a); that
whole Temper and Life might be formed and

fashioned into an amiable and glorious Corres-
18 Being then made free pondence with it. And therefore being thus 18
from Sin, ye became the made free from Sin, ye are become the Servants
Servants of Righteousness.

of Righteousness, and are at once enabled, and
obliged to lead a Life of true Piety and exem-

plary Goodness.
19 I speak after the Man I speak as a Man, and upon the common Prin- 19
ner of Men, because of the ciple of human Equity and Justice, as well as
Infirmity of
For as ye have yielded your with a Reference to civil Customs, with which
Members Servants to Un- you Romans are fo familiarly acquainted. And
cleanness, and to Iniquity Í reason thus with you, because of the Weakness
unto Iniquity ; even so now
yield your Members Ser- of your Flesh, because of those infirmities and
vants to Righteousness, un- Temptations arising from it; against which I would

endeavour to fortify you by every Consideration,
that may render you victorious over it. As ye
have (6), in Time past, while ignorant of the
Gospel, and many of you the Slaves of Heathen
Vice and Idolatry, presented your Members Ser-
vants to Uncleanness, and to other kinds of Ini-
quity, into which that Debauchery too naturally
leads ; fo let it now be your Care to present your
Members Servants of Righteousness, in order to the

Practice of universal Holiness.
20 For when ye were And it is very fit, that this should be your 20
the Servants of Sin, ye were intire Employment; for when ye were Servants of
free from Righteousness.

Sin, gou were free from Rightecusness, you never
did any single Action that was truly good, and
on the whole acceptable to Gon, because none
was performed from such Principles, as could in-

title

to Holiness.

(a) Model of Doctrine, &c. Es oy Teepedw@yle lutov dodaxens.] That lursos may properly be rendered Model, fee Note on Rom. v. 14. and add to the Instances there given Elsner's Note on this Place; and fee Dr. Sykes of Christianity, pag. 178.-Mr. Locke thinks 'tis an elegant Me taphor, to represent the Delivery of a Servant over from one Master to another, and that the Gospel, expresied by the Form of found Words, is the Master succeeding to the Law. But it seems more probable, that it may allude to melted Metal being formed by the Mold, into which it is poured ; and it finely expresses that Pliancy of Temper with Respect to the Gospel, which constitutes so lovely a Part of the true Christian's Cha Eter.

(6) As y: have.] It is in the Original wotrop rap : But yap is here most evidently an Expłctive, as in Greek it often is. It is of some Moinent to observe this; and I think it had been better, if our Translators had more frequently attended to it.

(c) Eternal

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

in

78 For the Wages of. Sin is Death; the Gift of GOD, eternal Life. Sect. 13 title it to his compleat Approbation. Now surely

should be as ready to obey Righteousness, as

you Rom. VI. 20.

you have been to obey. Sin, and Thew as much
Zeal in the best, as you have done in the worst

21 What Fruit had ye
2.1 of Causes.
To engage you therefore to this,

then those Things consider, what Fruit or Advantage did you then whereof ye are now alhamderive from these Things, of the very Remem- ed? For the End of those brance of which you are now heartily ashamed; Things is Death. which

you would not be, if you had indeed obtained any folid Advantage by them; whereas

this is far from being the Case, for the certain 22 End of those Things [is] Death. But remember, 22 But now being made you have now what is most honourable and most free from Sin, and become

Servants to God, ye have advantageous in your View ;. for being set free your Fruit. unto' Holiness, from Sin, and engaged. to GOD as bis Servants and and the End everlasting Life. Property, you have your Fruit-unto Holiness, in which

you find a prefent, and most solid Advantage; and the End you have in View is nothing less than eternal Life : Such is the infinite Difference, and fo advantageous the Exchange you

have made. For eternal Death [is] the proper 23

23 For the Wages of Sin Wages and Desert of Sin, and is all the Gain, is Death : But the Gift of

God is eternal Life, thro' which its wretched Slave will have to shew from

Jesus Christ our Lord.
the Hand of his tyrannical Master in the
great Day of future Account (c): But eternal Life
[is,] not as in the former Instance, the justly de-
served Retribution of the Action, but the Gift of
a gracious and bountiful GOD in Christ Jesus our
Lord, to whom we are to ascribe it, that

any

of our Services are accepted, and much more that they are recompensed with a Munificence worthy the Lord of all.

(c) Eternal Deathin the great Day of future Account.] I see no imaginable Reason to believe, as some late Writers have intimated, in their Paraphrase on this Verse, that Death here signifies being cast out of. Existence. See Chap. ii. 12. Note (i). If this could be inferred with Relation to wicked Heathens from the Places 'before us, it might also, contrary, to the Opinion of these Authors, be concluded to be the Case of wicked Christians from Chapa viii. 13. The Truth is, that to die, signifies to fall under the Capital Sentence of the Divine Law; and 'tis well known, that being cast into the everburning Lake is in this View called Death. Rev. xxi. 8.

IMPROVE

RefteEtiques or the Wages of Sin, and the Fruits of Righteousness.

79

I M P R O V E M E N T.

EING set at Liberty from the condemning Sentence of God's Sect. 13.

we do not turn his Grace into Wantonness; or deceive ourselves with Ver. 15.
vain Words in a Matter of infinite Importance. We cannot be at the
same Time the Servants of GOD, and the Servants of Sin; and certainly Ver. 17.
our Understandings must be darkened to Infatuation, if we can long doubt
whose Service we should prefer. The Work of Righteousness is Peace, the
Effect of it Quietness and Afurance for ever ; (Isai. xxxii. 17.) but Death Ver. 23.
is the Wages of Sin, and it shall be repayed to all that go on in it. And
Oh what, and how terrible a Death! To be cast into the Lake which buru-
etb, with Fire and Brimstone, which is the second Death. How merciful
are all the repeated Admonitions which warn us to flee from it! Let us
all judge, that it is already too long that we have yielded ourselves the Ver. 18, 19.
Servants of Sin : Too long that our Members, made for the Service of
their Creator, devoted perhaps with great Solemnity to our Redeemer,
have been abused and prostituted as the Instruments of Unrighteousness. Ver. 22.
Surely it is too much Time that we have already spent, too much Vin
gour that we have already exerted, in so base a Servitude. For the fu-
ture let us act, as those who are made free from Sin.

And to animate us to it, let us often reflect, how unfruitful the Ver. 21.
Works of Darkness have been found; in what Shame they have already
ended ; in what Shame and everlasting Contempt they must end, if they
be finally pursued. And let us daily direct our Eye to that everlasting
Life ; that crowns the happy Prospect of those who have their Fruit unto Ver. 22..
Holiness. Blessed Effect of serving God now, to serve and enjoy him
for ever! To enjoy, thro' eternal Ages, the Pleasures of a Nature
throughly sanctified, and the Sight and Favour of that God, who is
the original Source and Pattern of Sanctification ! 'Tis the glorious Mark,
at which we are aiming. Let us pursue it steadily and resolutely;: yet
always remembring, that it is the Gift of GOD, and never presuming Ver. 23:
to think of so glorious a Remuneration, as the Wages of any Duty we
can perform. Alas! The Imperfections of our best Services daily for-
feit the Blessings of Time : How impossible then is it, that the Since-
rity of them, amidst so many Frailties and Defects, should purchase.the
Glories of Eternity!!

[merged small][ocr errors]

80

The Law bath Dominion, as long as it livetb.

SECT.

XIV.

.

[ocr errors]

Sect. 14.

as he liveth?

The Apostle enters upon bis Design of taking off the believing

Jews from their fond Attachment to the Mosaick Law, now
they were, 'in a spiritual Sense, married to Christ by the
Gospel. Rom. VII. 1,---6.
ROMANS VII. 1.

ROMANS VII. I.':
I HAVE been endeavouring to direct your K New ye not, Bie-

Regards to the Gospel, and to Christ as there. them that know the Law) Rom. VII. I.

exhibited, in order to your Justification and Sal- how that the Law bath Do-
vation. Now you may perhaps be ready to ob- minion over a Man, as long
ject, that you, who are Jews, will certainly be out
of the Way of obtaining those Privileges, if you
should neglect the Mosaick Law, the Divine
Authority of which none can reasonably ques-
tion. But know ye not Bretkren, (for I am now

.s;
Speaking to those, that are supposed to be fami-
liarly acquainted with the Contents of that Law;
for which they are so zealous ;) that, on the
Principles which the Law itself lays down, it
ruleth over a Man, only so long as it liveth (a):
Its Dominion over particular Persons can, at the
utmost, last no longer, than till it is itself abro-
gated; for that is as it were its Death, since the
Divine Authority going along with it was the
very Life and Soul of the Law. Suppose that to
cease, and the Letter of the Precept is but a
dead Corpse, and with Respect to its Obligation

'as

(a) So long as it liveth : sp coor zpovov &n.] : It would be contrary to the Apostle's Design, to suppose the Sense of this to be, as our Translation renders' it, as long as he, that is, the Man in Question liveth; for he professedly. endeavours to: prove, that they had out-lived their Obligations to the Law. Elsner would connect arbowas with ropos, and render.it

, the Law and Authority of the Husband continues in Force, as long as he, that is,' the 1 Iisand liveth, and produces Authorities to prove that xupieuw is often applied to the obliging Forec of a Larisor that matrimonial Customs are sometimes called Laws. (Obferv. Vol. ii. pag. 31.) But this, if it avoid, as he pleads, one Tautology, certainly occasions another, for the 2d Verse plainly expresses 'this Sense; and it would require a Transposition not to be allowed without more apparent Reason. Our Rendering is more natural, and suits the Connection with the following Verses in which the Law is represented as the firji IIivanid, whose Decease leaves them free to be married to Christ.

(0) If

« AnteriorContinuar »