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But we are set at Liberty from the Law, 2 For the Woman which as if it had never been. Just as it is, accord- Sect. 14. hath an Husband, is bound by the Law to her Husband ing to the Law itself, with Respect to the Powso long as he liveth : But if er of an Husband over his Wife, which Death Rom. VII. 2. the Husband be dead, she is intirely dissolves : For the married Woman is inloosed from the Law of her deed bound and confined by the Law to [ber] HufHusband,

band, while he is alive ; but if [ber] Husand be
dead, she is set at Liberty from any farther Suba
jection to the Law of [ber] Husband, that is, from

that Law, which had given him a peculiar Pro-
2. So then, if while her perty in her, and Authority over her.
Husband liveth, she be mar- fore if she become the Property of another Man (6),
shall be called an Adulte whilft ber Husband liveth, she carries the infamous
ress : But if her Husband Name of an Adultress ; but if ber Husband be
be dead, she is free from dead, she is set at Liberty from the Obligation of
that Law; so that she is no the Law that bound her to him, so as to be no
Adulteress, though the be
married to another Man.

more subject to the Shame and Punishment of an
Adultress; tho' she became the Property of another
Man : For Death having interposed between

them, hath diffolved the former Relation; he is
4 Wherefore, my Bre- dead to her, and she to him. Thus ye also, my 4
thren, ye also are become
dead to the Law by the Bo- dear Brethren, are in Effect dead to the Mofaick
dy of Christ ; that ye should Law by the Body of Christ (c); his Death and
be married to another, even Sufferings having now'accomplished its Design,
to him who is raised from
the Dead, that we should and abrogated its Authority : And this, with a
bring forth Fruit unto God. gracious Intent, that ye might be, as it were, mar-

ried to another, [that is] to him who was in so glo-
rious and triumphant a Manner raised from the
Dead, no more to die; that, in Consequence of
this new Marriage, we might bring forth Fruit

unto GOD in all the Ways of holy Obedience. 5 For when we were in And

ye should do it with the greatest Zeal; for 5 the Flesh, the Motions of

when we were in the Flesh, that is, under the
comparatively carnal Dispensation of Moses, a
Variety of finful Paffions, accidentally occasio-

ned

Sins

b) If she become the Property of another, (tav yeonlei avopa Elepw,) while her Husband liveth, &c.] The Apostle here speaks in the general, not entering exactly into every excepted Cafe, that might be imagined ; to infer therefore, contrary to our Lord's express Decifion elsewhere, that Adultery is not a sufficient Foundation for Divorce, seems very unreasonable; tho' Bishop Burnet affures us that great Stress was once laid on the Argument. Burn. Hij. of the Reformation, Vol. i. pag. 57.

(6) By the Body of Christ.) He is to be considered here, as testifying by the Authority of a
Christian Apoftle, that this was the Design of Christ's Death; fo that all he does in this Ar-
gument here is to Thew, that allowing it to have been thus, (as Jewish Believers all did)
their Freedom from the Mofaick Law followed on the very Principles of that Law itself.
Vol. IV,

L

(d) Newness

!

6 on.

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That we may be married to Christ. Sect. 14. ned and irritated by the Law, were attive in our Sins which were by the Lawr. Rom. VII. 5. and in them to bring forth a very different Fruit Death. VII. Members, so as to produce visible finful Acions, did work in our Members

to bring forth Fruit witá from that which I have just been mentioning; even as I observed before, (Chap. vi. 21, 23. such Fruit as would expose you to eternal Death, if God were to be strict to mark

your Offences, and if his Mercy did not interpose to break the fatal Connection: A Circumstance which it is of the utmost importance serioufly to reflect upBut now we are set at Liberty from our vered from the Law, that

6 But now we are deliObligation to the Law, that Obligation in which being dead wherein we were we were held, being in Effect dead, or abrogated, held; that we should serve as I told you above, (Ver. 1,--4.) fa as that now in Newnefs of Spirit, and you are, in a more liberal Manner, and from not in the Oldness of the dobler Principles, to serve God as your Master and Father in Christ, in the Newness of the Spirit, and not [in] the Cldness of the Letter (d) : That is, you are to live as thosę, that are renewed by the Holy Spirit of God, in a rich Abundance poured out upon you under this new and better Difpensation, whereby you are brought to observe the spiritual Meaning and Design of the Law; being no longer bound by these literal and ceremonial Precepts, which were indeed obligatory long since, but now begin to be antiquated, and out of Date. (Heb. viii. 13.

Letter.

IMPROT E M E N T.

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Ver: 4.

OD hath conferred upon all Christians this fingular Honour, that

the whole Body of them Thould be represented as espoused to Chrift: Let us always remember, how we are engaged by that Sacred Relation, to bring forth Fruit unto GOD. And may the Remembrance of the Resurrection of Christ put continual Vigour into our Obedience, while we regard him as the everliving Lord, to whom our Obligations are indiffoluble and everlasting.

Too much have. finful Paffons. reigned in our Flesh, during our unconverted State. In too many Instances have they wrought effectually to bring. forth Fruit unto Death. And we owe it to to the wonderful Mercy and

Forbearance

Ver. 5.

(d) Newness of the Spirit, not [in] the Oldness of the Letter.] This is the literal Version; but new Spirit, and old Letter, are tantamount Expresfions, and are more agreeable to the Turn of our Language..

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Reflections on Freedom from the Law and Union to Chrft. Forbearance of God that Death, eternal Death, hath not long since Sect. 14. been the Consequence. :. Being freed from the Yoke of the ceremonial Law, being freed also Ver. 6. from the condemning Sentence of that moral Law, under the Obligations of which by the Constitution of our intelligent and rational Nature we are all born ; let us thankfully acknowledge the Favour, and charge it upon our grateful Hearts, that we serve GOD in Newness of Spirit and of Life. To engage us to this, may we experience more abundantly the Renewings of the Holy Ghost; and the A&tions of our Lives will be easily and delightfully reduced to the Obedience of these Precepts, which his omnipotent and gracious Hand hath inscribed on our Hearts !

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To wean the believing Jews from their undue Attachment to the

Law of Moses, the Apostle represents at large, how comparatively ineffe&tual its Motives were, to produce that Holiness, which, by a lively Faith in the Gospel, we may so happily obtain. Rom. VII. 7, to the End. VIII. I---4.

I

ROMANS VII. 7.

ROMANS VII. 7. THAT shall we say then ? Is the Law

HAVE been observing above, to those of Sect. 15. Sin! God forbid. Nay, I my

Christian Brethren, who were educated
had in the Jewish Religion, that irregular Paffions, Rom. VII. 7.

while we were under the Law of Moses, and
were acquainted with no superior Dispensation,
did in some Instances, by Means of the Law, ope-
rate so as to bring forth Fruit unto Death. And
is is necessary, that I should not only farther il-
lustrate that important Remark, but expressly
caution against any Mistake with Relation to it.
What shall we say then, or what do we intend by
that Assertion? [that] the Law itself [is] Sin, that
there is any moral Evil in it, or that it is intended
by God, or adapted in its own Nature, to lead Men
into Sin? GOD forbid! We revere the high Au-
thority by which it was given, too humbly, to in-
sinuate any Thing of that Kind. And indeed
there are many Particulars, in which I should not

have

L 2

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By the Law of Moses is the Knowledge of Sin. Sect. 15. bave known Sin, but by the Law (a). I should had not known Sin, -but by

not, in a mere State of Nature, have apprehen- known Luft, except the Rom. VII. 7. ded the Evil of them; which I now learn Law, had said, Thou shalt

from finding them so expressly prohibited. I bad not covet.
not for Instance known the Sinfulness of Lust,
or irregular Defires, unless the Law had said,
thou shalt not covet (6)"; from whence it was

easy to infer, that this Law takes: Cognizance of
8 the Heart, as well as of external Actions. But 8 But - Sin taking Occa-
as soon as I had Understanding enough to per-

fion by the Command

ment, ceive, that the Law forbad the Indulgence of ir- . regular Defires, I found that I had in Fact bro. ken it; and thereby.incurred the Penalty without any Hope of Help and Deliverance from the Law. "And this, while I looked no farther, naturally tended to throw my Mind into a State of Dejection and Despair. So that I may say, that Sin taking Occasion from the awful Sánction of the Commandment (c), the Wrath and Ruin which it denounced, brought me into so fad a Situation of Mind, and left me so little Strength and

Spirit

(a). I should not have known Sin, &c.] The Apostle here, by a very. dexterous Turn, changes the Person, and speaks as of himself

. This he elsewhere does, (Rom. iii. 6. : i Cor. x. 30. Chap. iv. 6.) when he is only personating another Character. And the Character assumed here is that of a Man, first ignorant of the Law, then under it, and sincerely defiring to please God, but finding to his Sorrow, the Weakness of the Motives it fuggested, and the fad Discouragement under which it left him; and last of all, with Transport discovering the Gospel, and gaining Pardon, and Strength, Peace and Joy by it. But to fuppose he speaks all these Things of himself, as the confirmed. Christian that he really was, when he wrote this Epiftle, is not only foreign, but contrary to the whole Scope of ħis Discourse, as well as to what is expressly asserted, Chap. viii. 2.

(b) Thou shalt not covet.] This by the Way proves, that Paul thought the Covetousness, forbidden in the Tenth Commandment, related to the Heart, and not merely, as some have represented it, to any overt Act, to an Attempt to take away what belongs to another. And this might be a Hint to all thinking Men, that the secret Powers of their Souls were under a Divine Inspection, and that much Guilt might be contracted, which did not appear to. any human Eye.

(c). Sin taking Occasion from the Commandment.] Most Commentators have explained this, as signifying, that Sin was quickened by the Prohibition; the Inclination of human Nature in general being like that of a froward Child, who will do a Thing, because it is. forbidden, and perhaps is, as it were, reminded of an Evil; on hearing it mentioned in a. Prohibition. But, not to examine how far this is a universal Cafe, it must furely be acknowledged, that all Lust does not arise from hence, much being previous to. any possible. Knowledge of God's Law, whether revealed or natural. I therefore incline to the Interpretation which Mr. Dunlope has given, in his excellent. Sermon on this Pasage, the Tenor of whose Thoughts. I have followed. in the Whole of. my Paraphrafe upon it, begging leavę: to refer my. Reader to his Discourse, for the Reasons that have determined.me to it. Coma pare Jerem. ü. 25. See Dunl, Serm. Vol. i. pag. 46, 4.7

(Wrought

85

But my.

died.

The Commandment found to be unto: Death : -ment wrought in me all Spirit to resist future Temptation, when I seemed Sect. 15. Manner of Concupiscence. already undone; that it might in a Manner be For without the Law Sin "was dead.

said

to have wrought powerfully in me all Manner Rom. VII. 8. of Concupiscence (d): Such Advantage. did Sin gain against me. And I mention this, as the Effect of my becoming acquainted with the Law, because while I was ignorant of the Sentence, and considered myself as without the Law of God, Sin [was] dead. I was no more aware of any Danger from it, or any Power it

had to hurt me, than if it had been a dead Ene9 For I was alive without the Law once : For I once was, as it were, alive without

9 when the Commandment the Law (e), considering myself as a Man unaccame, Sin revived, and I quainted with it, I may say I was comparatively

chearful and Happy; but when the Commandment
came, and I became acquainted with it in its wide
Extent, unspotted Purity, and awful Sanctions,
then Sin immediately came to Life again ; it
sprung up against me as a living Enemy, armed
with Instruments of Destruction; and I, as inca-
pable of resisting it, fell down, and died; find-
ing myself unable to resist

my

miserable Doom..
10 And the Command- And thus the Commandment which was] in its origi- 10
ment which was ordained to nal Constitution [intended] for Life (f), and calcu-
Life, I found to be unto

lated so to regulate Mens Temper and Conduct,
as if perfectly obeyed, to give them a legal Claim
to Life and Happiness, was quite changed in this
Respect. For I having thus broken it, and by
such Breach brought its condemning Sentence
upon me, really found it [to be] unto Death. I
found it attended with deadly Consequences, both
as it consigned me over to Destruction for past

Sin,

Death,

(d) Wrought in me.] The Word' xalegpacopaco in many places signifies to operate in a powerful and efficacious Manner ; (Compare 2 Cor. iv. 17. Chap. v. 5. Chap. vii. 11. Chap. xii. 12.) and may well here fignify a strong Irritation of what might, without it, have been in fome Degree natural.

(0) I was once alive without the Law.] The Apostle cannot, as Mr. Locke supposes here,, speak in the Person of the whole Jewish People, and in this Clause, refer to the Time between Abraham and Mofes ; for, not to examine how far this Description would suit them then, we must on that Principle of Interpretation suppose, they are all represented in the Close of the Chapter, as believing in Chrif; which alas! we know to have been very far from being their Cafe.

(f) Intended for Life.] The Law niay be said to have been intended for Life, though. by Sin made the Occasion of Death ; as Medicines, which not being rightly applied prove fatal, may nevertheless be said to have been intended for Cure.

(&). Se

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