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For the the Law is holy. and spiritual';' Sect. 15. Sio, and occasionally, though not intentionally,
proved productive of new Guilt and Misery. Rom. VIL For Sin, as. I before faid, taking Occafor by the
ri For Sin taking Occgo Terror. and Curse of the violated Commandment, deceived me, and by it flew
fion by the Commandment, and reprefenting the great Law-giver, as now be- me. come my irreconcileable Enemy, deceived me into:a Perfuafion, that I could be no worse than I was, and thereby it few me; it multiplied my mortal Wounds, and rendered my Case still more desperate.
So that you fee, upon the whole, the Law in 12 Wherefore the Law the general [is] acknowledged to be kody, and the ment holy, and jüftand
is holy; and the Commandparticular Commandment in Question is acknow- good. ledged to be agreeable to the holy Nature of God, juft in Reference to the Reason of Things, and on the whole, in its Consequences good, and sub
servient to Mens Happiness, if they continue in
good in itself, made Death to me? Shall I charge is good made Death unto
that it might appear Sin, By no Means. GOD forbid, I should ever utter working Death in me by any Thing like that. But I must rather charge that which is good; that it
upon Sin, which by Means of fo holy an In- Sin by the Commandment ftrument undid me.
might become exceeding I say it again, Sin was finful. made Death to me, so that it appeared to be Sin indeed (8), (that odious dreadful Thing, of which nothing can be faid worse, than that it is itself,) which working Death in me, by the Occasion of that which is so eminently good : That fo Sin might by the Commandment thus perverted, appear exceeding finful, and stand forth in all its native and deteftable Colours'; capable of turning the Law itself into a Means of producing the Guilt it so solemnly forbad, and the Ruin it was intended to prevent. 'Tis on this therefore that I lay all the Blame;
14 For we know, that for we well know, that the Law is spiritual, and the Law is fpiritual : Bus as it extends to the Spirit, was intended to purify and exalt it, and to exert its Superiority over the ineaner Part of our Nature.
But, alas, may
(8) So that it appeared: wv påms.] 'Elsner contends that pain is an Expletive here; but I choofe not to allow any Word in Scripture to be an Expletive, that may fairly and naturally be expounded into any significant Senfe ; as it is plain this may her: be. See Elfner, Obferv.
Vol.ii. pag. 37
Yet by Means of the Law Sin worketh Death;
nion over me, as if I were its Slave and Property.
tation, I practise not that, which in the general
Respects I am so unhappy to do; which indeed
I do so far, though to my own Condemnation,
comes, contrary to my Resolution, I fail in ob-
to do it ; but rather Sin, which dwelleth in me,
better-self. 18 For I know, that in in; which I would call
18 me (that is in my Flesh) well know, that in me, that is, in my Flesh, the dwelleth no good Thing: corrupt and degenerate felf, nothing that is good
() Sold under Sin.] This is often urged as an Argument, that the Apostle here speaks in the Person of a wicked Man, and is represented as a Phrase parallel to 1 Kings xxi: 20. 2 Kings xvii. 17. where some of the worst of Men are described, as having sold themselves to do Evil.. But the Diversity of the Expression is very obvious; and yet had this Person been reprefented, as lamenting that he had fold himself to Sin, it might have been understood as the Language of penitent Remorse for past Guilt, and so very consistent with a good Man's Character. And the many Instances, in which very excellent Persons, in the Distress of their Hearts for the Remainder of Imperfection in their Character, adopt this very Phrase, plainly shew, with what Propriety Paul might put it into the Mouth of one, whom he did not consider as an abandoned Sinner, and destitute of every Principle of real Piety.
(i) I approve not.} Gataker (de Styl. Nov. Testm. Cap.iv. *Advers. Miscell. Lib. I. Cap. 6.. and Raphelius in. Loc.) bring opposite Instances of such a Use of the Word ynwoxa,
The Cause of which is indwelling Sin.dwelleth. I find my animal Powers sadly debased For to will is present with and enslaved : For to will is indeed present with me, but how to perform
that which is good, I find Rom. VII. me, I form many good Purposes and Resolutions
but when the Time comes, in which I should
which I know is good, and which I acknowledge 19 to be most amiable and desirable. Tis indeed 19 For the Good that I
would, I do not: But the fo grievous a Reflection to me, that I cannot for- Evil which I would not, that bear repeating it again and again; for it is really I do. so, that I do not the good, that I often will, and resolve to do; but the Evil which I will not to do,
which I form the strongest Purposes against, that 20 I do (k) in repeated Instances. If therefore,
20 Now if I do that I as I said before, I do that which I would not, and that do it, but sin that
would not, it is no more I am, as it were, overpowered in some Cases and Cir- dwelleth in me. cumstances, contrary to the settled and prevailing Bent and Inclination of my Soul; it is no more I that do it, but Sin which, as another Person, dwelleth in me (l), and, like an evil Dæmon, when it has taken Poffeffion of a Man, uses
Faculties and Powers, over which it usurps an abhorred Dominion, to carry on it own contrary and destruc
21 I find then a Law, 21 tive Interests. I find then, upon the whole, a
that when I would do good, Sort of constraining Law, which fo influences Evil is present with me.
me, that when I would do Good, Evil is in fact
Man, that is, my Mind, the better and nobler Law of God, after the in-
(k) The Evil which I will not, that I do.) If the Meaning of fuch Expressions as these were, that upon the whole, the Person using them went on in a prevailing Course of habitual Wickedness, against the Convictions and Dictates of his own Conscience, one would imagine Paul would have rebuked such an one with great Severity, and answered these vain and hypocritical Pleas; whereas he represents this Person afterwards, as with Joy embracing the Gospel, and so obtaining superior Strength upon the full Manifestation of pardoning Grace there.
(1) Sin that dwelleth, &c.] This seems indeed no more than a Repetition of Verse 17. but it is a graceful and expressive Repetition ; and shews, how near the Affair lay to the Heart of the Person thus complaining, and in what fad and frequent Successions the Complaint was removed. The beautiful Passage in the 6th Book of Xenophon's Cyropadia, (pag. 312. Edit. Hutchin. 1738. 8vo.) where Araspas complains of two Souls contending within hin, (a Passage which it is very possible St. Paul might bare read,) contains an agreeable Illuftration of this Paragraph.
(m) I delight in the Law of GOD after the inner Man.] This is so sure a Trace of real Piety, and is represented in Scripture as, in this Vicw, so decisive ; that if it be supposed a
The Happiness of being freed from this Law of Sin;
it, and look upon its whole System with Com- Sect. 15. placency, as what I could rejoice to be conform
ed to in the compleatest Manner, and highest Rom. VII. 23 But I fee another Law
23 But alas, I see another and quite opin my Members, warring Degree. against the Law of my posite Law, of vicious and irregular Inclinations, Mind, and bringing me unto seated in my Members, which, taking its Rise from Sin, which is in my Mem: a lower and meaner Principle, is continually bers.
making War against the better Law of my Mind,
Sin, which is, as I said, seated in my corporeal : :24.0 wretched Man that
Members. Wretched Man that I am! Do I 24
better Supports and Incitements than the Law
Carcase, tied to a living Body, to be dragged
25 then with the Mind I my- Mosaick Law, the Discoveries it makes, the Mo
self tives its suggests, and the Circumstances in which
it leaves the Offender: But in the Midst of this
true Representation of the Character, we must surely allow it to have been that of a truly good Man; whatever lamented Imperfections might attend it. Plato uses the Phrase o sylos Bx9pwaros for the rational Part of our Nature.
(n) Dead Carcass, &c.] It is well known, that some antient Writers mention this, as a Cruelty practised by some Tyrants on miserable Captives, who fell into their Hands; and a more forcible and expressive Image of the sad Case represented, cannot surely enter into the Mind of Man.
(0) I thank GOD thro' Jesus Chrift.) For exapos w 1w @w fome Copies read n xapos le oty, the Grace of GOD, which to be sure makes a noble Sense; but that of the received, and much more authentick Copies comes very near it, and in the Main coincides with it. ...(0) Whereas I serve, &c.—there is now no Commendation, &c.] I think, there is not in the whole New Testament a more unhappy Division between two Chapters, than what has been made here, not only in the Midst of an Argument, but even of a Sentence. Apre sv, and apa vv answer so evidently to each other, that I think it plain the former should be rendered whereas, and then the Sense appears plain and strong. I must confess this to be an uncommon Use of apa, but if it bc, as it often is, an Expletive, it will come to much the fame. VOL. IV.
As we are by the Law of the Spirit of Life ; Sect. 15. my Spirit serve the Law of GOD; tbo’ in too self serve the Law of God; many Instances I am so oppreffed with the Infir- but with the Flesh, the
Law Rom. VII.
Romans VIII. 1. There ROMANS of Šin;
[There is] now, under the Gospel-DifVIII. I. penfation, no Condemnation to those in Chrift
, Jésus, demnation to them which
is therefore now no Conwho walk not after the Flesh, but after the Spio are in Christ Jefus
, who rit (9); that is, to those, who making a Profef- walk not after the Flėth, fion of the Christian Faith, do in the main Course but after the Spirit. of their Lives verify that Profession; governing
themselves by spiritual Views and Maxims, and 2 not by carnal Appetites and Interests.
2 For the Law of the it again, I thank God for this Dispensation with Spirit of Life in Chrift Jeall the Powers of my Soul; for tho', when con- from the Law of Sin and sidering myself as only under the Law, I made Death. such melancholy Complaints, the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, that glorious Gofpel, which is attended with an abundant Effusion of the vivifying and animating Spirit, has now recovered me, mortally wounded as I seemed to have been, and set me at Liberty from that la
mented Captivity to the Law of Sin and Death (r). 3
For GOD bath now, by a gracious and most 3 For what the Law wonderful Appearance [done] what it was impolli- could not do, in that it was ble for the Law to do, in that it was comparatively
weak through the Flesh, weak thro the great Infirmity of the Flesh (s), against which in fo corrupt a State it could not, merely by its own Principles, sufficiently pro
(9) To those in Christ Jesus who walk, &c.] It is certain, that to be in Chrift, though it: fometimes imports a true and fanctifying Faith, 2 Cor. v. 17.) at other Times expresses . only an external Profeffion, (John xv. 2.). and as the Article 10-ç is not repeated, I think. 'tis plain the latter Clause limits the former, which justifies our Rendering. Compare Pfal.
(-) Hath fet me .at Liberty, &c.] It is to be observed, that the fame Person, who fpoke before, is here represented, as continuing the Discourse, and speaks of himfelf, as delivered: from the Bondage so bitterly complained of.
(s) What it was imposible for tbe Law to do, &c.] It is indeed true in the general, as the pious Profeflor Zimmerman justly observes in his excellent Comment, de Emin. Cognit. Chrifti, pag. 6, 7. and 34.). “ that the Strength of the Law is not adequate to that of corrupt. “ Nature, and it is by Evangelical Considerations, that we are most effectually animated to “ fubdue Sin.” But that is to be considered as a Consequence of what the Apostle here asferts concerning the Law of Moses, rather than the Affertion itself. And indeed whoever considers the awful Nature and Sanctions of that Law, must acknowledge, that it wascalculated to be a much more efficacious Restraint from Sin, than the unaffifted Light of Nature, or than any other Dispensation revealing God's Law, prior to the Gospel. So that the above-mentioned Consequences is very strong.