Images de page
PDF
ePub

The original and nature

ROMANS.

partition between us, (Jews and Gentiles.) Having abolished by his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." 62. And that this anion or coalition between believing Jews and Gentiles, is to be understood of the believing Gentiles being taken into that church and covenant in which the Jews were before the Gospel dispensation was erected; and out of which the unbeliev ing Jews were cast, is evident from the fol lowing considerations:

of the Jewish constitutions ternal advantages, God, who may do what he | that sojourneth with you, an ordinance for, Jewish) fold; them also I must bring, and pleases with his own, bestows them in any ever in your generations; as ye are, so shall they shall hear my voice, and there shali be kind or degree, as he thinks fit. Thus he the stranger be, before the Lord." Deut. xxvi. one flock, (so the word rovn signifies, and makes a variety of creatures; some angels in 11, 12," And thou shalt rejoice in every good so our translators have rendered it in all the a higher sphere of being, some men in a low-thing, which the Lord thy God hath given unto other places where it is used in the New Tes er. And among men he distributes different thee, and unto thy house, thou, and the Le-tament. See Matt. xxvi. 31. Luke ii. 8. 1 Cor. faculties, stations and opportunities in life. vite, and the stranger that is among you." ix. 7. And here also it should have been transToone he gives ten talents, to another five, to Ezek. xxii. 7, 29. lated flock, not fold) and one shepherd." 1 another tico, and to another one, severally as 58. And not only were they required to treat Cor. xil. 13," By one Spirit we are all baptized ne pleases; without any impeachment of his strangers, or men of other nations, with kind in one body, whether we be Jews or Genjustice, and to the glorious display and illusness and humanity; but it appears from se- tiles." Gal. iii. 28, "There is neither Jew nor tration of his wisdom. And so he may beveral parts of Scripture, that the whole Jewish Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is stow different advantages and favours upon dispensation had respect to the nations of the neither male nor female; for ye are all one in different nations, with as much justice and world. Not indeed, to bring them all into the Christ Jesus;" that is, under the gospel diswisdom as he has placed them in different Jewish church, (that would have been impensation. Ephes. ii. 14, 15, 16, "For he is our climates, or vouchsafed them various accom-practicable, as to the greatest part of the world) peace, who has made both (Jews and Gentiles) modations and conveniences of life. But, but to spread the knowledge and obedience of one, and has broken down the middle wall of whatever advantages some nations may enjoy God in the earth. Or, it was a scheme which above others, still Gol is the God and Father was intended to have its good effects beyond of all: and his extraordinary blessings to the pale of the Jewish enclosure, and was essome are not intended to diminish his regards tablished for the benefit of all mankind. Gen. to others. He erected a scheme of polity and xii. 3, " And in thee (Abraham) shall all famireligion for promoting the knowledge of God,les of the earth be blessed." xxii. 18, " And in and the practice of virtue in one nation; but thy seed shall all nations of the earth be bless not with a design to withdraw his goodness ed." Exod. vii. 5, "And the Egyptians shall or providential regards from the rest. God know that I am the Lord, when I stretch forth has made a variety of soils and situations; my hand upon Egypt, and bring out the chil yet he cares for every part of the globe; and dren of Israel." ix. 16, "And indeed for this the inhabitants of the North Cape, where they very cause have I raised thee (Pharaoh) up, conflict a good part of the year with night and for to show in thee my power, and that my extreme cold, are no more neglected by the name may be declared throughout all the universal Lord, than those who enjoy the per earth." xv. 14. Lev. xxvii. 45. Numb. xiv. 13, petual summer and pleasures of the Canary 14, 15. 63. First, that Abraham, the head or root of Ties At the same time that God chose the 59. But though the Jewish peculiarity did the Jewish nation, is the Father of us all. children of Israel to be his peculiar people, in not exclude the rest of the world from the care Rom. iv. 16, 17, "Therefore it is of faith, that a special covenant; he was the God of the rest and beneficence of the universal Father, and it might be by grace, to the end that the proof mankind; and regarded them as the oh-though the Jews were commanded to exercise mise might be sure to all the seed; not to jects of his care and benevolence. Exod. xix. benevolence towards persons of other na- that only which is of the law (the Jews) but Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice tions; yet about the time when the Gospel to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, Indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall was promulgated, the Jews were greatly ele (the believing Gentiles) who is the father of be a peculiar treasure unto me above all peo vated on account of their distinguishing pri- us all, (as it is written, I have made thee a ple: although all the earth is vileges: they looked upon themselves as the father of many nations,) before him whom he mine" So it should be rendered. Deut. x. only favourites of heaven and regarded the believed," that is to say, in the account and 14, 15, "Behold the heaven and the heaven of rest of mankind with a sovereign contempt, purpose of God, whom he believed, he is the heavens is the Lord's thy God, the earth with as nothing, as abandoned of God, and with father of us all. Abraham, when he stood beall that therein is. Only the Lord had a delight out a possibility of salvation; unless they fore God and received the promise, did not, in in thy fathers, to love them, and he chose should incorporate, in some degree or other, the account of God, appear as a private pertheir seed after them, even you above all peo with their nation. Their constitution, they son, but as the father of us all; as the head ple, as it is this day." Verse 17, 18, " For the supposed, was established for ever, never to and father of the whole future church of God, Lont your God is God of gods, and Lord of be altered, or in any respect abolished. They from whom we were all, believing Jews and londs, a great Gol, a mighty, and a terrible, were the true and only church, out of which Gentiles, to descend; as we were to be ac which regardeth not persons, (or is no re no man could be accepted of God: and conse cepted, and interested in the divine blessing Specter of persons, Acts x. 34. through par-quently, unless a man submitted to the law and covenant after the same manner as ho tality to one person, or one nation, more than of Moses, how virtuous or good soever he was; namely, by faith. Gal. iii. 6, &c. "Even another) nor taketh reward. He doth exe- were, it was their belief, he could not he saved. as Abraham believed God, and it was account ute the judgment of the fatherless and wi-He had no right to a place in the church, nor ed to him for righteousness. Know ye, theredow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him could hereafter obtain life. fore, that they which are of faith, the same are food and raiment." A stranger was one who SV. The Jewish Peculiarity was to receive the children of Abraham. For the Scripture, was of any other nation beside the Jewish. its Perfection from the Gospel. 60. But the foreseeing that God would justify," would Psal. cxlvi. 9, "The Lord preserveth the stran Jewish dispensation, as peculiar to that peo- take into his church and covenant "the hea gers," vili. I. xix. 1, 2, 3, 4. xxiv. 1. xxxiii. 5, ple, though superior to the mere light of na then through faith, preached before the Gos The earth is full of the goolness of the Lord." ture, which it supposed and included, was but pel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all Verse 8 "Let all the earth fear the Lord; let of a temporaryduration,and of an inferior and nations be blessed. So then they which be all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe imperfect kind, in comparison of that which of faith," (of what country soever they are, of him." Verse 12, "Blessed is the nation was to follow, and which God, from the be- heathens as well as Jews,) are blessed" whose Gal is the Lord, and the people whom ginning, (when he entered into covenant with justified, taken into the kingdom and cove he has chosen for his own inheritance." Verse Abraham, and inad the promise to him.) in-nant of God)" together with believing AbraThe Lord looketh from heaven; he be tended to erect, and which he made several ham,") and into that very covenantwhich was holdeth all the sons of men. From the place declarations under the Old Testament that he made with him and his seed.) In this cove of his habitation he looketh upon all the inha-would erect, in the proper time, as successive nant were the Jers during the whole period, bitants of the earth. He fashioneth their to the Jewish dispensation: and, as a super from Abraham to Moses, and froni Moses to hearts alike; he considereth all their works." structure, perfective of it. And, as the Jerish Christ. For the covenant with Abraham was Aivil. 2, 8, "The Lord most high is a great dispensation was erected by the ministry of a with him, and with his seed after him, Gen. king over all the earth. God reigneth over much nobler hand,even that of the Son of God, xvii. 7. "To Abraham and his seed were the the heathen." Ixvi. 7. cvii. 8, 15, 21. cxlv. 9, the Messiah, the foreordained before the world promises made." Gal, fif 16. And the apos"The Lord is good to all, and his tender mer was made, promised to Abraham, foretold by tle in the next verse tells us, that (the pro cies are over all his works." Many more pas-the prophets, and even expected by the Jeres mises or) "the covenant that was confirme:1 sages might be brought out of the Scriptures themselves; though under no just concep-before of God in Christ, the law which was of the Old Testament to show that all the nations of the end of his coming into the world. (given by Moses) four hundred and thirty tions of the earth were the objects of the Di-He was to assume, and live in a human body, years after, could not disannul, that it should vine care and goodness, at the same time that to declare the truth and grace of God more make the promise (or covenant with Abra he vonchsafed a particular and extraordinary clearly and expressly to the Jeirs, to exhibit ham) of none effect," consequently, the Jews providence towards the Jercish nation, a pattern of the most perfect obedience; and during the whole period of the law, or Mosai 57. And agreeably to this the Israelites were to be obedient even unto death in compliance cal dispensation, were under the covenant required to exercise all benevolence to the with the will of God. When Christ came into with Abraham; and into that same covenant Gentiles, or strangers, to abstain from all in- the world, the Jews were ripe for destruction; the apostle argues, Rom iv. and Gal. iii. that arious treatment, to permit them to dwell but he published a general indemnity for the the believing Gentiles are taken. Forwhich reapeaceably and comfortably among them, to transgressions of the former covenant, upon son he affirms, that they are no more strangers partake of their blessings, to incorporate into their repentance; and openly revealed a fu- and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the the same happy body, if they thought fit; and ture state, as the true Land of Promise, even saints, that is, the patriarchs, &c. And that the to join in their religious solemnities. Exod. eternal life in heaven. Thus he confirmed great mystery, not understood in other ages, xxl. 21, "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, the former covenant with the Jers, as to the was this, "That the Gentiles should be fellownor oppress him." xxil. 9, 12. Lev. xix. 10, favour and blessing of God; and enlarged, or heirs and of the same body" with his church "Thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither more clearly explained it, as to the lessings and children, the Jews, Eph. ii. 19. iii. 5, 6. shalt thou gather every grape of thy vine- therein bestowed; instead of an earthly Ca yard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and naan, revealing the resurrection of the dead, stranger I am the Lord your God." xxiii. 22 and everlasting happiness and glory in the XXX 33, 34," And if a stranger sojourn with world to come. thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But 61. That the Gospel is the Jewish scheme enthe stranger that dwelleth with you, shall larged and improved, will evidently appear be unto you as one born amongst you, and if we consider that we Gentiles, believing in Several of the parables of our Lord are intend Christ, are said to be incorporated into the ed to point out this fact. And many passages same body with the Jetes; and that believing in the epistles directly prove it. Jews and Gentiles are now become one, one flock, one body in Christ. John x. 16, " And Being justified does not merely signify other sheep I have which are not of this (the being taken into covenant, so as to be incorporated with the visible church of God; it is Yes, and thus to become a Sacrifice for sin, used repeatedly by St. Paul, to signify that that those who believe in him might have re- act of God's niercy, whereby a penitent sindemption in his blood. This is the light in ner, believing on Christ as a sacrifice for sin. which the New Testament places the death of has his transgressions forgiven for Christ's Christ A. C. sake. Rom. v 1, &c. A. C

thou shalt love him as thyself." xxv. 35, And
ifty brother be waxen poor, and fallen in de
cay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him:
though he be a stranger or a sojourner,
he may live with thee." Numh
And If a stranger sojourn with you
per be among you in your gener
will offer an offering made by
as your unto the Lord naredo
One ordinance shall he b
gregation, and also for

64. Secondly, Agreeably to this sentiment, the believing Gentiles, are said to partake of all the spiritual privileges which the Jews enjoyed, and from which the unbelieving Jews fell: and to be taken into that kingdom and church of God, out of which they were cast

9

The original and naturo

65. Mat. xx. 1-16. In this parable the vineyard is the kingdom of heaven, into which God, the householder, hired the Jeans early in the morning; and into the same vineyard he hired the Gentiles at the eleventh hour, or an hour before sunset.

[graphic]

be ye idolaters, as were some of them; neither who say they are Jees," members of the let us provoke Christ as some of them pro- church of Christ," and are not, but are the voked," &c. Hebr. ill. 7, &c." Wherefore as the synagogue of Satan." And again chap. 11. 9. Holy Ghost salth, To-day, when or while you hear his voice, harden not your hearts as in leges of Christians; and the terms signifying SVI. The particular honours and privt 66. Matt. xxi. 33, 34. The husbandmen to your fathers tempted me, wherefore I was conformity to this sentiment, (namely, that the day of temptation in the wilderness, when these honours explained. 73. Seventhly. In whom the vineyard was first let, were the grieved with that generation, and sware in the believing Gentiles are taken into that Jews; to whom God first sent his servants, my wrath, they shall not enter into my church, covenant, and kingdom, out of which the prophets, ver. 34-36. and at last he sent rest. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in the unbelieving Jews were cast,) the state, his Son, whom they slew, verse 37-39. and any of you an evil heart of unbelief." Chap. membership, privileges, honours, and rela then the vineyard was let out to other hus- iv. 1, "Let us therefore fear, lest a promise tions of professed Christians, particularly of bandmen; which our Saviour clearly ex-being left us of entering into his rest, any of believing Gentiles, are expressed by the same plains, verse 43,"Therefore I say unto you, you should seem to come short of it." Verse 2, phrases with those of the ancient Jewish (Jews) the kingdom of God shall be taken" For unto us hath the Gospel been preached, church; and therefore, unless we admit a from you, and given to a nation (the believing as well as to them;" that is, we have the joyful very strange abuse of words, must convey Gentiles, bringing forth the fruits thereof." promise of a happy state, or of entering into the same general ideas of our present state, Hence it appears, that the very same kingdom rest, as well as the Jews of old. Verse 11, membership, privileges, honours, and rela of God, which the Jews once possessed, and in "Let us labour, therefore, to enter into that tions to God, as we are professed Christian which the ancient prophets exercised their rest, lest any man fall after the same example For instance, ministry, one after another, is now in our of unbelief." possession; for it was taken from them, and given to us.

74. L. As God chose his ancient people the 71. Fifthly. Hence also the Scriptures of the Jews, and they were his chosen and elect, so 67. Rom. xl. 17-24. The church or king- ten for our use and instruction, and to explain as well as Jees, are admitted to the same Old Testament are represented as being writ- now the whole body of Christians, Gentila dom of God is compared to an olive tree, and our dispensation as well as theirs. Matt. v. honour; as they are selected from the rest of the members of it to the branches. "And if 17, "Think not that I am come to destroy the the world, and taken into the kingdom of some of the branches, (the unbelieving Jews,) law and the prophets; I am not come to de- God, for the knowledge, worship, and obedi be broken off, and thou" Gentile Christian, stroy but to fulfil." And when our Saviour ence of God, in hopes of eternal life. Rom. "wert grafted in among them, and with them taught his disciples the things pertaining to viii. 38, "Who shall lay any thing to the partakest of the root and fatness of the olive- his kingdom, he opened to them the Scrip charge of God's elect?" &c. Eph. 14, "Ac tree" that is, the Jewsh church and cove-tures, which were then no other than the Old cording as he hath chosen us" (Gentiles, nant. Ver. 24, For if thou," Gentile Christian, Testament. Luke iv. 17-22. xviii. 31. xxiv. chap. ii. 11.) "in him before the foundation "wert cut out of the olive-tree, which is wild 27, " And beginning at Moses and all the pro- of the world, that we should be holy, ard by nature, and wert grafted, contrary to na-phets, he expounded unto them in all the without blame before him in love." Col. L ture, into the good olive tree," &c.. Scriptures, the things concerning himself." 12, "Put on, therefore, (as the elect of God, 68. 1 Pet. l. 7, 8, 9, 10. "Unto you, Gentiles Ver. 45, "Then opened he their understanding holy and beloved.) bowels of mercies," &c. who believe, he (Christ) is an honour, run, that they might understand the Scriptures. 2 Thess. ii. 13, "But we are bound to give but unto them which be disobedient, (the un- Thus the apostles were instructed in the things thanks to God always for you, brethren, be believing Jews,) the stone which the builders pertaining to the Gospel dispensation. And loved of the Lord, because God hath from disallowed, the same is made the head of the always in their sermons in the Acts, they con- the beginning chosen you to salvation, corner, and also a stone of stumbling, and a firm their doctrine from the Scriptures of the through sanctification of the Spirit, and beller rock of offence. They stumble at the word, Old Testament. And in their Epistles they of the truth." Tit. i. 1, "Paul, a servant of being disobedient, whereunto also they were not only do the same, but also expressly de- God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, accordappointed." (They are fallen from their pri- clare, that those Scriptures were written as ing to the faith of God's elect, and the acknow vileges and honour, as God appointed they well for the benefit of the Christian, as the ledging of the truth which is after godliness" should in case of their unbelief.) "But ye Jewish church. Rom. xv. 4, After a quotation 2 Tim. ii. 10," Therefore I endure all things (Gentiles, are raised into the high degree from out of the Old Testament, the apostle adds, for the elect's sake, that they also may obtain which they are fallen, and so)" are a chosen "For whatsoever things were written afore the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, time were written for our learning; that we eternal glory." 1 Pet. i. 1, 2, "Peter to the a pecultar people, that ye should show forth through patience and comfort of the Scrip- strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galathe praises of him who hath called you out of tures might have hope." 1 Cor. ix. 9, "It is tia, Cappalocía, Asia, and Bithynia, elect, acthe heathenish darkness into his marvellous written in the law of Moses "Thou shalt not cording to the foreknowledge of God the light." muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, 69. Thirdly. The Jews vehemently opposed the corn." Ver. 10, "For our sakes no doubt, unto obedience." li. 9, "Ye (Gentiles) are a the admission of the uncircumcised Gentiles this is written." 1 Cor. x. 11. "Now all these chosen generation," &c. v. 13, "The church Into the kingdom and covenant of God, at the things," (namely, the before-mentioned pri- that is at Babylon, elected together with you, first preaching of the Gospel. But if the Gen-vileges, sins, and punishments, of the ancient saluteth you." tiles were not taken into the sarne church and Jews) "happened unto them for ensamples; 75. II. The first step which the goodness Covenant, in which the Jewish nation had so and they are written for our admonition, upon of God took in execution of his purpose of long gloried, why should they so zealously whom the ends of the earth are come," 2 Tim. election, with regard to the Gentile world, oppose their being admitted into it? Or why ili. 16, 17. "All Scripture is given by inspira- was to rescue them from their wretched si so strenuously insist that they ought to be cir- tion of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for tuation in the sin and idolatry of their hea cumcised in order to their being admitted? reproof, for correction, for instruction in righ- then state, (by sending his son Jesus Christ For what was it to them, if the Gentiles were teousness; that the man of God may be per into the world to die for mankind, and thus) called and taken into another kingdom and fect, thoroughly furnished unto all good to bring them into the light and privileges of covenant, distinct, and quite different from works." the Gospel. With regard to which, the lanthat which they would have confined wholly to themselves, or to such only as were circum- the believing Gentiles are taken into that 21. Saved, 3d. Bought or purchased, 4th. Re 72 Sixthly. Agreeably to this notion, that guage of Scripture is, 1st. That he delivered, cised? It is plain the Gentiles might have church or kingdom, out of which the unbe-deemed them. Gal. i. 4, "Who gave himself for been admitted into another kingdom and co- lieving Jers are cast, the Christian church, our sins, that he might deliver us from this venant, without any offence to the Jews; as considered in a body, is called by the same ge- present evil world," the vices and lusts in they would still have been left in the sole pos- peral names as the church under the Old Tes- which the world is involved. Col. L 12, 13, session of their ancient privileges. And the tament. Israel was the general name, of the "Giving thanks to the Father who has deli apostles could not have failed of using this as Jewish church, so also of the Christian, Gal. vered us from the power of (heathenish) an argument to pacify their incensed brethren, vi. 16, "As many as walk according to this darkness," (Acts xxvi. 18. Pet. ii. 9. Eph. had they so understood it. But seeing they rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon iv. 18. v. 8.) "and translated us into the never gave the least intimation of this, it the Israel of God." Rev. vii. 3, 4, Speaking of kingdom of his dear Son." And thus, conshows they understood the affair as the un- the Christian church, the angel said, "Hurt sequentially, we are "delivered from the wrath believing Jears did, namely, that the Gentiles, not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, to come," 1 Thes. i. 10. without being circumcised, were taken into till we have sealed the servants of our God in the kingdom of God, in which they and their forefathers had so long stood.

but unto us which are saved it is the power 76. 1 Cor. 1. 18, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, them that were sealed, and there were sealed namely, that the believing Gentiles are taken the tribes of the children of Israel." Rev xxi. how knowest thou, O man, whether thou 70. Fourthly. It is upon this foundation. a hundred and forty and four thousand, of all of God." vil. 16, "What knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or into that church and kingdom in which the 10-13, "He showed me that great city, the Jews once stood, that the apostles drew paral- holy Jerusalem, (the Christian church,) having shalt save thy wife " that is, convert her to lels, for caution and instruction, between the the glory of God, and had a wall great and the Christian faith. x. 33, "Even as I please state of the ancient Jews, and that of the high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates all men in all things, not seeking mine own Christians. 1 Cor. x. 1-13. "Moreover, bre- twelve angels, and names written thereon, profit, but the profit of many, that they may thren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, which are the names of the twelve tribes of be saved." Eph. ii. 8, "For by grace are you how that all our fathers were under the cloud, Israel," as comprehending the whole church. saved through faith." 1 Thess, li. 16," The Jews and all passed through the sea, and were all Ver. 14, " And the wall of the city had twelve forbid us to speak to the Gentiles that they baptized into Moses, and did all eat of the foundations, and in them the names of the all men to be saved, and to come unto the same spiritual meat, and did all drink of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." Jers was an- knowledge of the truth. 2 Tim. 1. 9, "Who might be saved." 1 Tim. it. 4, "Who will have same spiritual drink; but with many of them other running title of the church in our SaGod was not well pleased: for they were over-viour's time, and this is also applied to Chris hath saved us, and called us with a holy callthrown in the wilderness. Now those things tians. Rev. ii. 8, 9, " And unto the angel of ing, not according to our works, but accordlust after evil things as theyalso lusted. Neither know thy works, and tribulation, and po- to both Jeres and Gentiles; particularly to the were our examples, to the intent we should not the (Christian) church in Smyrna, write, Iing to his own purpose and grace." In this general sense, saved is in other places applied verty; and 1 know the blasphemy of them Jews. Rom. ix. 27. x. 1. xi. 28. Hence God is

We render this passage thus, a stone of stumbling, and rock of offence, even to them *Σημερον εαν της φωνής αυτού ακούσητε. which stumble at the word, being disobedient EAN, if, should here have been rendered &c. as if it were one continued sentence. When; as it is rendered 1 John iii. 2 and as it But thus, violence is done to the text, and the should have been rendered John xii. 32 xiv. 3. apostle's sense is thrown into obscurity and xvi. 7. 2 Cor. v. 1. In like manner the particle disorder, which is restored by putting a period DN im, Psal xcv. 7. (whence the place is quoafter offence, and beginning a new sentence, ted,) should have been translated When or thus, they stumble at the word, &c. For ob- While. For it is translated When, 1 Sam. xv serve, the apostle runs a double antithesis be- 17. Prov. iii. 24. iv. 12. Job vii. 4. xvii. 16. Psa. tween the unbelieving Jews and believing 1. 18. and might have been so translated in Gentiles. other places. 010

that the kindness and love of Gol our Suvia towards man appeared, not by works of righ styled our Saviour. Tit. fif. 4. 5, "But after teousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us." 1 Tim. L. 1, Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the command ment of God our Saviour "il. a Tit. 1. 3. Rom. xi. 11, "Through their (the Jews') fall salva tion is come to the Gentiles" And as this salvation is by Jesus Christ, he also is frequently called our Saviour.

77. Acts xx. 28, "Feed the church of God

Of the honours and

ROMANS.

93. Hence also, from the notion of the Christian church being the spouse of God in Christ, her corruption and her idolatry come under the name of fornication and adultery.

privileges of Christians, which he has purchased with his own blood.""And now, brethren, I commend you to God, poused you to one husland, that I may pie 1 Cor. vi. 20, “And ye are not your own; for and to the word of his grace, which is able to sent you as a chaste virgin to Christ." ye are bought with a price." vil, 23, Ye are build you up, and to give you an inheritance 92. Hence the Christian church, or commubought with a price." 2 Pet. ii. 1," False pro-among all them which are sanctified." Col. ii.nity, is represented as a mother, and particu phets shall bring in damnable heresies, even 21," Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive lar members as her children. Gal. iv. 26, denying the Lord that bought them." Rev. the reward of the inheritance." Hebr. ix. 15," But Jerusalem, which is above, is free, v. 9, Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed" He is the mediator of the New Testament, which is the Mother of us all." Ver. 27, " For (hought) us to God by thy blood, out of every that they which are called might receive the it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest kindred, and tongue, and people, and ration." promise of eternal inheritance." 1 Pet. i. 4, not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest 78. Tit. iii. 14. Who gave himself for us, "God has begotten us again-to an inherit not; for the desolate hath many more chil that be might redeem us from all iniquity." ance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth dren than she which hath a husband." Ver. 1 Pet. 1. 18, Ye were not redeemed with cor- not away, reserved in heaven for us." Hence 28, "Now we, brethren, as Israel was, are the ruptible things, as silver and gold, from your we have the title of heirs. Titus iii. 7, "That children of promise." Ver. 31," So then brevain (heathenish) conversation, received by being justified by his grace, we should be thren, we are not children of the bond-woman tradition from your fathers; but with the made heirs according to the hope of eternal but of the free." precious blood of Christ." And at the same life." James ii. 5, "Hath not God chosen the tume he redeemed or bought us from death, or poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the curse of the law. Gal. iii. 13. And the Jews, the kingdom, which he has promised to them in particular, from the law, and the condem that love him?" See Rom. viii. 17. 1 Pet. iii. 7. nation to which it subjected them. Gal. iv. 5. 84. And as Canaan, was considered as the 91. X. As God, by Christ, exercises a parHence frequent mention is made of the re-rest of the Jews, so, in reference to our trials ticular providence over the Christian church, demption, which is in Jesus Christ, Rom. iii. and afflictions in this world, heaven is consi-in supplying them with all spiritual blessings, 24. 1 Cor. L 30. Ephes. i. 7. Col. i. 14. Hebr. ix.dered as the rest of Christians. 2 Thess. I. guiding them through all difficulties, and 21, 15. Hence also Christ is said to give him- 7, "And to you who are troubled, (he will guarding them in all spiritual dangers; he is seif a ransom for us. Matt. xx. 28. Mark x. 45. give) rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall their Shepherd, and they his flock, his sheen. 1 Tim. ii. 6, Who gave himself a ransom for be revealed from heaven." Hebr. iv. 1. "Let John x. 11, "I am the good shepherd." Ver all."-That is,that he might redeem them unto us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us 16, "And other sheep I have, which are not of God by the sacrificial shedding of his blood of entering into his rest, any of you should this fold; them also I must bring, and they 79. IL As God sent the Gospe! to bring Gen- seem to come short of it. For unto us hath the shall hear my voice; and there shall be one tiles, Christians, out of heathenism, and in- Gospel been preached, as well as to them;" flock and one shepherd." Acts xx. 28, 29. vited and made them welcome to the honours that is, we have the joyful promise of enter Heb. xii. 20. 1 Pet ii. 25, "For ye were as and privileges of his people, he is said to calling into rest, as well as the Jews of old. Ver. sheep going astray; but are now returned to them, and they are his called. Rom, i. 6, 7, 9, "There remains, therefore a rest for the the Shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of your "Among whom are ye also called of Jesus people of God;" that is, for Christians now in souls."-v. 2, 3, 4, "Feed the flock of God," &c. Christ." "To all that are at Rome called this world, as well as for the Jews formerly 95. XI Nearly on the same account, as God, sunts"-viii. 29. 1 Cor. i. 9, "God is faithful, in the wilderness. Which is the point the by Christ, has established the Christian by whom ye were called into the fellowship apostie is proving from ver. 3. to 10. church, and provided all means for our hapof his Son"-viii. 20. Gal. 1. 6, "I marvel that 85. VII. Thus Christians as well as the an-piness and improvement in knowledge and ye are so soon removed from him that called cient Jers, are the house or family of God, or virtue, we are compared to a vine, and a vineyou"-v. 13. Ephes. iv. i, "I beseech you that we may conceive the whole body of Christians yard, and God to the husbandman, who plantve walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye formed into a nation, having God at their fed and dresses it; and particular members are called," iv. 4. 1 Thess. ii. 12, That "ye head; who, on this account, is styled our God, of the community are compared to branches, walk worthy of God, who hath called you into Governor, Protector, or King, and we his John xv. 1, 2, "I am the true vine, and my his kingdom and glory"-iv. 7, "God hath people, subjects, or servants. Father is the husbandman. Every branch in not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holi- 86. VIII. And it is in reference to our being me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away; ness 2 Tim. i. 9, Who hath saved us, and a society peculiarly appropriated to God, and and every branch that beareth fruit he purcalled us with a holy calling; not according under his special protection and government, geth it," &c. Ver. 5, "I am the vine, ye are the to our works," &c. 1 Pet. I. 15, "But as he that we are called the city of God, the holy branches." Matt. xv. 13, "Every plant which which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in city. Hebr. vii. 22, "Ye are come unto-the my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be all manner of conversation."-fi. 9, "Ye,"city of the living God." Rev. xi. 2, "And the rooted up." Rom. vi. 5, "If we have been Gentile Christians, "are a chosen generation, holy city shall they tread under foot forty and planted together in the likeness of his death; -to show forth the praises of him who hath two months. This city is described in some we shall be also in the likeness of his resur called you out of darkness into his marvellous future happy state, Rev. 21st and 22d chapters. rection." Mat. xx. 1, The vineyard into which light" 57. Hence the whole Christian community labourers were hired is the Christian as well 8. Note-The Jews also were called. Rom. or church is denoted by the city Jerusalem, as the Jewish church and so chap. xxi. 33. Ix. 24, "Even us, whom he has called, not of and sometimes by Mount Zion. Gal, iv. 26, Mark xii, 1. Luke xx. 9. 1 Co.. ii. 9, " Ye are the Jers only, but also of the Gentiles." 1 Cor."But Jerusalem, which is above, is free which God's husbandry. Rom. xi. 17," And if some of 1 24. vii. 18, "Is any may called, being circum is the mother of us all." In her reformed or the branches, (Jews,) be broken off, and thou cise"-Hebr. ix. 15. But the calling of the future happy state, she is the New Jerusalem. being a wild olive-tree wert grafted in among Jews must be different from that of the Gen-Rev. tit. 12. xxi. 2. Hebr. xii 22, "Ye are them, and with them partakest of the root and ules. The Gentiles were called into the king- come unto Mount Zion." &c. Rev. xiv. 1. fatness of the olive tree,"&c.-See also ver. 24. dom of God as strangers and foreigners, who 88. Hence also we are said to be written, or 96. XII. As Christians are, by the will of had never been in it before. But the Jews enrolled in the Book of God, or which comes God, set apart and appropriated in a special were then subjects of God's kingdom under to the same thing, of the Lamb, the Son of manner to his honour, service, and obedience, the old form; and therefore could be called God. Rev. iii. 5, "He that overcometh, the and furnished with extraordinary means only to submit to it, as it was now modeled same shall be clothed in white raiment; and and motives to holiness, so they are said to be under the Messiah. Or they were called to I will not blot out his name out of the Book of sanctified. 1 Cor. 1. 2, "Unto the church of repentance, to the faith, alegiance, and obe-Life" xxii. 19, "And if any man take away God, which is at Corinth, to them that are dience of the Son of God, and to the hope of from the words of the book of this prophecy, sanctified in Christ Jesus." vi. 11, "And such eternal life through him; whom rejecting, God shall take away his part out of the Book were some of you but ye are washed, but ve they were cast out of God's peculiar kingdom. of Life, and out of the holy city," &c. which are sanctified; but ye are justified in the name 81. IV. And as we stand in the relation of shows, that the names of such as are in the of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our children to the God and Father of our Lord Book of Life may be blotted out; consequently, God." Hebr. ii.11," For both he that sanctifieth Jesus Christ; hence it is that we are his brethat to be enrolled there is the privilege of all andthey who are sanctified, are all one," x. 9. thren, and he is considered as the First-Born professed Christians. 97. XIII Farther; by the presence of God in among us. Matt. xxviii. 10. John xx. 17, " Je- 89. And whereas the believing Gentiles were the Christian church, and our being by prosus saith, Go to my brethren, and say unto once strangers, aliens, not a people, enemies;fession consecrated to him, we, as well as the them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Fa-"now" (Eph. ii. 19.) "they are no more stran ancient Jers, are made his house, or temple, ther, and to my God, and your God" Hebr.gers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with which God has built, and in which he dwells, 11, 17. Rom. viii. 29, That he might be the or walks. 1 Pet. i. 5, "Ye also, as lively first born among many brethren." stones, are built up a spiritual house," &c. 1 82 V. And the relation of God, as a father, Cor. iii. 9, "Ye are God's building." Ver. 16, to us Christians, who are his children, will 17, "Know ye not that ye, (Christians,) are lead our thought.. to a clear idea of our being, the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God as we are called, the house or family of God, darelleth in you; if any man defile the temple or Christ 1 Tim. iii. 15, “But if I tarry long. 90. On the other hand; the body of the Jew of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple that thou mayest know how to behave thyself ish nation, (having through unbelief rejected of God is holy, which temple ye are." 2 Cor. In the house of God, which is the church of the the Messiah, and the Gospel and being, there-vi. 16, " And what agreement hath the temple living God." Heb. i. 6, "But Christ, as a Son fore, cast out of the city and kingdom of God.) of God, the (Christian church,) with idols 7 over his own house; whose house are we, are in their turn, at present, represented un- For ye are the temple of the living God: as (Christians) if we hold fast the confidence and der the name and notion of enemies; Rom. God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." Hebr. xi. 28," As concerning the Gospel they are ene in them." Eph. 11. 20, 21, 22, "And are built x 21,"Ard having a great high-priest over mies for your sake." upon the foundation of the apostles," &c. the house of God," &c. 1 Pet. ix. 17, "For the 91. IX. The kind and particular regards of Christ Jesus being the chief corner-stone: time is come that judgment must begin at the God to the converted Gentiles, and their rela-in whom all the building fitly framed together, house of God:" (that is, when the Christian tion to Jesus Christ is also signified by that of groweth into a holy temple in the Lord; in church shall undergo sharp trials and suffer a husband and wife; and his taking them in-hom ye also are builded together, for a haings;) "and if it first begin at us" Christians, to his covenant, is represented by his espoubitation of God through the Spirit." 2 Thess. who are the house or family of God," what sing them. 2 Cor. xi. 2, "For I am jealous fi. 4, "So that he, as God, sitteth in the temple shall the end be of them that obey not the Gos-over you with godly jealously; for I have es- of God, showing himself that he is God." pel 7" that is, of the infidel world, who lie out 98. XIV. And not only does God, as our King, dwell in the Christian church, as in his house or temple; but he has also conferred death, as a sufficient atonement for his sin, on Christians the honours of kings; as he is freely justified from all things, from has redeemed us from the servitude of sin, which he could not be justified by the law of made us lords of ourselves, and raised us Moses and thus, being justified by faith, he above others, to sit on thrones, and to judge is reconciled to God by the death of his Son, and reign over them. And he has made us and has pecce with God, the Spirit initnessing priests too, as we are peculiarly consecrated with his spirit that he is a child of God be to Gol, and obliged to attend upon him from ing now really adopted into the heavenly fa-time to time continually, in the solemn offices mily. A. C. lof religion, which he has appointed. 1 Pet

the saints." 1 Pet. ii. 10, "Which in time past
were not a people, but are now the people of
God." Now we are at peace with God, Rom. v.
1. Noe we are reconciled and become the
servants of God, the subjects of his kingdom,
Rom. v. 10. 1 Thess. 1. 9. 2 Cor. v. 18, 19.

of the church. See Rom. i. 5. xv. 18. 1 Pet. 1. That is, every true penitent, who by faith
22 Eph. i, 19, "We are of the household (do-embraces the Lord Jesus in his sacrificial
mestics) of God." ill. 14, 15, "I bow my knees
un'o the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of
w.om the whole family in heaven and earth
is named," &c.

83 VL Further; as the land of Canaan was the estate, or inheritance, belonging to the Jewish family, or house; so the heavenly country is given to the Christian house, or family, for their inheritance. Acts xx. 32,

Observations on the foregoing

I. 4, "Ye also as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood." Ver. 9, But ye (Gentile Christians,) are a chosen generation, a royal (or kingly) priesthood" Rev. i. 5, 6, "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father," &c.

99. XV. Thus the whole body of the Christian church is separated unto God from the rest of the world. And, whereas before; the Gentile believers were afar off, lying out of the commonwealth of Israel; now, they are nigh, as they are joined to God in covenant, Dave full access to him in the ordinances of worship; and in virtue of his promise, a particular title to his regards and blessing. 2 Cor. vi. 17," Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you." Eph. ii. 13, "But now in Christ Jesus ye, who sometimes were afar off, are made nigh, by the blood of Christ."

100. XVI. And as God, in all these respects, has distinguished the Christian church, and sequestered them unto himself, they are styled his peculiar people. Tit. il 14, "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." 1 Pet. ii. 9, "But ye are a chosen generation,a royal priest hood, a holy nation, à peculiar people, &c."

101. XVIILAS Christians are a body of men, particularly related to God, instructed by him in the rules of wisdom, devoted to his service, and employed in his true worship; they are called his church or congregation. Acts xx. 28,"Feed the church of God.' 1 Cor. x. 32, "Giving r.one offence to the church of God," xv. 9. Gal. i. 13, and elsewhere, Eph. L. 22, "Head over all things to the church"-and particular societies are churches. Rom. xvi. 16, "The churches of Christ salute you"-and so in several other places.

ROMANS.

ceremonial part of the Jewish constitution is
likewise abolished, for we are taught the spi-
rit and duties of religion, not by figures and
symbols, as sacrifices, offerings, washings,
&c. but by express and clear precepts.-5. The
kingdom of God is now put under the special
government of the Son of God, who is the
Head and King of the church, to whom we
owe faith and allegiance."

Privileges of the Christian Church

107. III. That all the afore-mentioned privi. leges, honours, and advantages, are the effects of God's free grace, without regard to any prior righteousness, which deserved or procured the donation of them. It was not for any goodness or worthiness which God found in the heathen world, when the Gospel was first preached to them; not for any works of obedience or righteousness which we, in our 104. II. From the above recited particulars, Gentile state, had performed; whereby we it appears that the Christian church is happy, had rendered ourselves deserving of the bless and highly honoured with privileges of the ings of the Gospel, namely, to be taken into most excellent nature, of which the apostles, the family, kingdom, or church of God; by no who well understood this new constitution, means. It was not thus of ourselves that we were deeply sensible. Rom. i. 16, "I am not are saved, justified, &c. So far from that, that ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the the Gospel, when first preached to us Gentiles, power of God unto salvation to every one that found us sinners, dead in trespasses and sins, believes." v.1, 2, 3, &c.-"Therefore being jus-enemies through wicked works, disobedient, tified by faith, we have peacewith God through therefore, I say, all the forementioned privl our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we leges, blessings, honours, &c. are the effects have access, by faith, into this grace wherein of God's free grace or favour, without regard we stand, and rejoice [glory] in hope of the to any prior works, or righteousness in the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory Gentile world, which procured the donation in tribulation also," &c. Ver. 11, "And not of them. Accordingly, they are always in only so,but we also joy [glory] in God through Scripture, assigned to the love, grace, and our Lord Jesus Christ," &c. chap. viii. 31, &c. mercy of God, as the sole spring from whence "What shall we then say to these things? if they flow. John fil. 16, For God so loved the God be for us, who can be against us? He world, that he gave his only-begotton Son, that spared not his own Son, but delivered him that whosoever believeth on him should not up for us all, how should he not, with him, perish, but have everlasting life." Rom. v.8 also freely give him all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect 7 who is he that condemneth? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ 7" Chap. ix. 23, 24, "He has made known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, even on us whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles." 2 Cor. iii. 18, "But we all, with open face, beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to clory, as by the Spirit of the Lord." Eph. i. s. 4, &c." Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in hea venly places in Christ, according as he has chosen us in him," &c. &c.

But God commendeth his love to us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us" Eph. ii 4-9,10," But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love, wherewith he has loved us, even when we were dead in sing, hath quickened us together with Christ," (by grace ye are saved,) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. That in ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us, through Jesus Christ. For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that" (salvation is) "not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, so that no man," (nor Gentile, nor Jew,) "can boost. For we" (Christians converted from heatherism) "are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

108. It is on account of this general love that Christians are honoured with the title of de loved.-Rom. 1. 7, "To all that are in Rome, beloved of God, called saints," ix. 2, "I will call her," (the Gentile church,)" beloved, which was not beloved." Coloss. iii. 12, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and e loved, bowels of mercies," &c,

102. XVIII. For the same reason, they are considered as God's possession, or heritage. 1 Pet. v. 3, "Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." 105. And it is the duty of the whole body The reader cannot well avoid observing, that of Christians to rejoice in the goodness of God, the words and phrases, by which our Chris- to thank and praise him for all the benefits tian privileges are expressed in the New Tes- conferred upon them in the Gospel. Rom. xv. tament, are the very same with the words 10, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people." and phrases by which the privileges of the Phil. iii. 1," My brethren, rejoice in the Lord." Jewish church are expressed in the Old Tes- iv. 4, "Rejoice in the Lord alway; again I tament: which makes good what St. Paul say, rejoice." 1 Thess. v. 16, Rejoice ever says concerning the language in which the more." James 1. 9. 1 Pet. 1. 6, 8. Col. 1. 12, "Givapostles" declared the things that are freelying thanks unto the Father, which hath made given to us of God." 1 Cor. ii. 12, 13, " We," us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of apostles, "have received not the spirit of the the saints in light." ii. 7, "Rooted and built and come short of the glory of God; being world, but the spirit which is of God, that we up in him,and established in the faith abound-justified freely by his grace, through the re might know the things that are given to using therein with thanksgiving " 1 Thess. v.demption which is in Christ Jesus" v. 2 of God:" namely, the fore recited privileges 18. Heb. xiii. 15, "By him, therefore, let us 1 Cor. i. 4, "I thank my God for the grace of and blessings. Which things we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth," not in philosophic terms of human invention, "but which the Holy Spirit teacheth" in the writings of the Old Testament, the only Scriptures from which they took their ideas and arguments,"comparing spiritual things," under the Gospel.

109. Rom. iii. 23, 24, "For all have sinned,

God, which is given you by Jesus Christ." Eph. i. 6, 7, "To the praise of the glory of his grace, whereby he has made us accepted in the Beloved, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." Col i. 6. 2 Thess. i. 12 2 Tim. i. 9, Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was gi ven us in Jesus Christ, before the world be gan." Tit. iii, 11. Heb. xil. 15. Hence, grace, and the grace of God, are sometimes put for the whole Gospel, and all its blessings, as Acts xlii. 43, "Paul and Barnabas persuaded Cor.

offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name." Eph. i. 6, "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the Beloved." Ver. 12, 14. 106. Farther, it is to be observed, that all the foregoing privileges, benefits, relations, and honours, belong to all professed Christians Whence we may conclude:-1. That the without exception. God is the God, King, Holy Scriptures are admirably calculated to be Saviour, Father, Husband, Shepherd, &c. to understood in those things which we are most them all. He created,saved, bought, redeemed, of all concerned to understand. Seeing the he begot, he made, he planted, &c. them all. same language runs through the whole, and And they are all as created, redeemed, and be is set in such a variety of lights, that one part gotten, by him; his people, nation, heritage; is well adapted to illustrate another. An ad- his children, spouse, flock, vineyard, &c. We vantage I reckon peculiar to the Sacred Wri-are all enriched, with the blessings of the Gos-them to continue in the grace of God. tings above all others.-2 It follows, that to pel. Rom. xi. 12, 13, 14. all reconciled to God. vi. 1. 1 Pet. v. 12, "Testify that this is de understand the sense of the Spirit in the Nee, Ver. 15, all "the seed of Abraham, and heirs true grace of God in which we stand." 1 Cor. it is essentially necessary that we understand according to the promise;" Gal. iii. 29, all 1. 4. Rom. v. 2. 2 Cor. vi. 1. Tit. ii, 11. Jude Its sense in the Old Testament." partake of the root and fatness of the good 4. Rom. xii. 1, "I beseech you, therefore, Olive," the Jewish church; all the brethren of brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye preChrist, and members of his body, all are un-sent your bodies," &c. xv. 9, "And that the der grace, all have a right to the ordinances of Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.” 103. L That the believing Gentiles are taken worship,all are golden candlesticks in the teminto that kingdom and covenant in which the ple of God, Rev. i. 12, 13, 20.; even those who by society, that he is therefore a child of God,&c.: Jews once stood, and out of which they were reason of their misimprovement of their privi. he must be born of the Spirit, before he can cast for their unbelief, and rejection of the leges, are threatened with having the candle-be thus considered; or have any just title to Son of God; and that we Christians ought to stick removed out of its place, ii. 5.; either the kingdom of heaven. A. C. have the same general ideas of our present every professed Christian is not in the church, • Ίνα μη τις καυχήσηται, lest any man religious state, membership, privileges, hoor all the fore-mentioned privileges belong to should boast; so we render it; as if the Gos nours, and relations to God, as the Jews had, every professed Christian;t which will appel salvation' were appointed to be not of while they were in possession of the kingdom. pear more evidently if we consider, Only in some things the kingdom of God, un

§ VII. Reflections on the foregoing Honours and Privileges of the Christian Church. From what has been said it appears

A. C.

works, to prevent our boasting: which sup poses we might have boasted, had not God der the Gospel dispensation, differs much from Add to inis, that all the privileges under taken this method to preclude it-Whereas, in the kingdom of God, under the Mosaical- As, the Gospel are abundantly more spiritual than truth, we had nothing to boast of Netther, 1. For, that it is now so constituted, that it nd-they were under the law-THAT being the Jew nor Gentile could pretend to any prior mits, and is adapted to, men of all nations shadow. THIS the substance. Hence, while righteousness, which might make them wor upon the earth, who believe in Christ.-2 we consider these privileges the same in kind, thy to be taken into the house and kingdom That the law, as a ministration of condemna we must view them as differing widely in of God under his Son; therefore the apostle's tion, which was an appendage to the Jewish degree. meaning is," We are not saved from heathen dispensation, is removed and annulled under ↑ A professed Christian should be a real ism, and translated into the church and the Gospel, (but the moral law, as a rule of practical Christian: God provides no privi kingdom of Christ, for any prior goodness, life, is still in force.1-3. And so is the polity, eges for professors of Christianity, as distin- obedience, or righteousnesswe had performed. or civil state of the Jeans, which was inter-guished from genuine Christians. All the For which reason, no man can boast, as if he woven with their religion; but has no con-above enumerated blessings and privileges had merited the blessing," &c. This is the nexion with the Christian religion.-4. The belong to Christians; bu: a Christian is one apostle's sense; and the place should have who has the spirit of Christ. and lives ac-been translated, so that no man can boast cording to his Gospel. Let no man, therefore, For va signifies so that. See Rom. ii, 19. 1 suppose, because he professes Christianity, Cor. vii. 29. 2 Cor. 1. 17. vii. 9. Gal. v. 17. Heb and is enrolled with some Christian church or ii. 17. vi. 17. Mark iv. II.

The not attending to this has been the cause of errors and false doctrines of the most dangerous nature and tendency.-A. C.

All the blessings of the Gospel

1 Pet. 1:3," Biessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abund int mercy, hath begotten us again to lively hope," &c.

ROMANS.

our minds, the end proposed, our sanctifica-
tion, cannot be obtained."

are by and through Christ Jesus

earth fruitful; nor the fruitfulness of the earth tell me, what pre-eminence, in the purpose to supply food; nor food to sustain our life. of God, this world may possibly have, above He could do this by his own immediate pow- any other part of the universe? Or what re er: but He chooses to manifest his provi-lation it bears to the rest of the creation? We 110. In these texts, and others of the same dence, power, wisdom, and goodness, in a know that even angels have been ministering kind, it is evident that the love, grace, variety of ways and dispositions, and yet his spirits to some part, at least, of mankind. and mercy of God, hath respect not to parti power and goodness, are not only as much Who will determine how far the scheme of cular persons in the Christian church, but concerned and exercised in this way, as if he redemption may exceed any scheme of Di to the whole body or whole societies; and produced the end without the intervention of vine wisdom, in other parts of the universe? therefore are to be understood of that gene-means; but even much more, because his Or how far it may effect the improvement and ral love, grace, and mercy, whereby the power, wisdom, and goodness, are as much happiness of other beings, in the remotest rewhole body of Christians is separated unto exerted and illustrated in every single futer-gions. Eph. iii. 10, "To the intent that now God, to be his peculiar people, favoured with mediate step, as if he had done the thing at unto the principalities and powers in hea extraordinary blessings. And it is with re- once, without any intermediate step at all. venly places, might be known by the church, gard to this sentiment and mode of speech, There is as much power and wisdom exer- the manifold wisdom of God, according to the that the Gentiles, who before lay out of the cised in producing rain, or in making the eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ church, and had not obtained mercy, are earth fruitful, or in adapting food to the nou Jesus our Lord." 1 Peter 1. 12, "Which said now to have obtained mercy. Rom. rishment of our bodies; I say there is as much things that are reported by them that have power in any one of these steps, as there preached the Gospel, the angels desire to look 111. Hence also we may conclude that all would be in nourishing our bodies by one into." It is therefore the sense of Revelation, the privileges and blessings of the Gospel, immediate act without those intermediate that the heavenly principalities and powers even the whole of our redemption and sal means. Therefore in this method of pro-study the wisdom and grace of redemption; vation, are the effect of God's pure, free, ceture, the displays of the Divine Providence and even increase their stock of wisdom from original love and grace, to which he was in-and perfections are multiplied and beautifully the displays of the Divine love in the Gospel. clined of his own motion, without any other diversified, to arrest our attention, exercise Who can say how much our virtue is, more or motive, besides his own goodness, in mere our contemplation, and excite our admiration less, severely proved, than in other worlds? kindness and good will to a sinful, perish- and thankfulness; for thus we see God, in a Or, how far our virtue may excel that of other ing world. These are the things that are surprising variety of instances. Nor, indeed, beings, who are not subjected to our long and freely given to us of God," 1 Cor. ii. 12. can we turn our eyes, to any part of the visi heavy trials; may not a virtue, firm and Svit All the Grace of the Gospel is dis-ble creation, but we see His power, wisdom, steady under our present clogs, inconvenipensed to us, by, in, or through Christ Jesus.-and goodness, in perpetual exercise, every ences, discouragements, persecutions, trials, 112 Nevertheless, all the forementioned love, where. In like manner, in the moral world, and temptations, possibly surpass the virtue grace, and mercy, is dispensed, or conveyed he chooses to work by means, the mediation of the highest angel, whose state is not at to us in, by, or through the Son of God, Je-of his Son, the influences of his Spirit, the tended with such embarrassments? Do we sus Christ, our Lord. To quote all the places teachings of his word, the endeavours of know how far such, as shall have honourably to this purpose, would be to transcribe a apostles and ministers; not to supply any passed through the trials of this life, shall great part of the New Testament. But it defects of his power, wisdom, or goodness; hereafter be dispersed through the creation 7 may suffice, at present, to review the texts but to multiply the instances of them; to How much their capacities will be enlarged? under the numbers 107 and 109. From which show himself to us in a various display of How highly they shall be exalted? What texts it is evident, that, "the grace," or fahis glorious dispensations; to exercise the power and trusts will be put into their hands? vour, "of God is given unto us by Jesus moral powers and virtues of all the subor How far their influence shall extend, and Christ: that he has shown the exceeding dinate agents employed in carrying on his how much they shall contribute to the good riches of his grace in his kindness to us, great designs, and to set before our thoughts order and happiness of the universe? Posthrough Jesus Christ," that "he has sent the most engaging subjects of meditation, and sibly the faithful soul, when disengaged from his Son into the world that we might live the most powerful motives of action. And our present incumbrances, may blaze out inthrough him; to be the propitiation," (or this method, in the moral world, is still more to a degree of excellency equal to the highest mercy seat) "for our sins" that he died necessary; because without the attention of honours, the most important and extensive for us: that we who were afar off, are made services. Our Lord has made us kings and nigh by his blood" that "God has made us priests unto God and the Father, and we shall accepted in the Beloved."(in his beloved Son,) 114. But how is it agreeable to the infinite sit together in "heavenly places," and reign "in whom we have redemption through his distance there is between the Most High God, with him. "To him that overcomes" the blood, the forgiveness of sins" that "we and creatures so low and imperfect, who are trials of this present state, he will give "to sit are his workmanship created in Christ Je-of no consideration when compared to the with him in his throne." True, many from sus:"that" before the world began, the pur-immensity of his nature, that he should so among mankind shall perish among the vile pose and grace of God," relating to our call-greatly concern himself about our redemp. and worthless, for ever and so shall many of ing and salvation, "was given us in Christ tion? Answer-He who is all-present, all the angels. These considerations may satisfy Jesus before the foundation of the world, knowing, all powerful, attends to all the mi-us that possibly mankind are not so despicaGod chose us in Christ," Eph. i. 4. "We have nutest affairs, in the whole universe, without ble as to be below the interposition of the Son of peace with God through our Lord Jesus the least confusion or difficulty. And, if it God. Rather the surprising condescensions Christ, by whom also we have access into was not below his infinite greatness to make and sufferings of a Being so glorious, should this grace wherein we stand," Rom. v. 1, 2. mankind, it cannot be so to take care of them, be an argument that the scheme of redemp"God hath given to us eternal life, and this when created. For kind, he can produce no tion is of the utmost importance: and that, in life is in his Son," 1 John v. 11. Nothing is beings more excellent than the rational and the estimate of God, who alone confers digclearer from the whole current of Scripture, intelligent: consequently, those must be most nity, we are creatures of very great conse than that all the mercy and love of God, and worthy of his regard. And when they are quence. Lastly, God by Christ created the all the blessings of the Gospel, from first to corrupted, as thereby the end of their being world; and if it was not below his dignity to last, from the original purpose and grace of is frustrated, it must be as agreeable to his create, it is much less below his dignity to God, to our final salvation in the possession greatness to endeavour, (when he sees fit,) redeem the world; which of the two, is the of eternal life, is in, by, or through Christ; their reformation, or to restore them to the most honourable. and particularly by his blood, by the re- true ends for which they were created, as it demption which is in him," as "he is the was originally to create them. propitiation," or atonement," for the sins of 115. And as for mankind being a mean and the whole world," 1 John li. 2 This can inconsiderable part of the creation, it may bear no dispute among Christians. The only not be so easy to demonstrate as we may difference that can be must relate to the imagine. The sin that is, or hath been, in manner, how these blessings are conveyed the world, will not do it: for then the beings, to us, in, by, or through Christ. Doubtless which we know stand in a much higher, and, they are conveyed through his hands, as he perhaps, in a very high rank of natural per 18 the Minister or Agent appointed of God to fection, will be proved to be as mean and input us in possession of them. But his blood, considerable as ourselves; seeing they in death, cross, could be no ministering cause great numbers have sinned. Neither will our of blessings assigned to his blood, &c. before natural weakness and imperfection prove, we were put in possession of them.-See that we are a mean and inconsiderable part Rom. v. 6, 8, 10, 19. Eph. 11. 13, 16. Col. 1. 20, of God's creation: for the Son of God, when 21, 22 Nor truly can his blood be possibly clothed in our flesh, and encompassed with considered as a ministering or instrumental all our infirmities and temptations, lost no cause in any sense at all; for it is not an agent thing of the real excellency and worth he but an object, and therefore, though it may possessed, when in a state of glory with the be a moving cause, or a reason for bestow Father, before the world was. Still he was ing blessings, yet it can be no active or in the beloved Son of God, in whom he was well strumental cause in conferring them. His pleased. Besides, since God may bestow ho blood and death is indeed to us an assurance nours and privileges, as he pleases; who will of pardon; but it is evidently something more: for it is also considered as an offering and sacrifice to God, highly pleasing to him, to put away our sin, and to obtain eternal redemption. Heb. chap. ix. 12, 14, 26. Eph. chap. v. 2.

116. It is farther to be observed; that the whole scheme of the Gospel in Christ, and as it stands in relation to his blood, or obedience unto death, was formed in the council of God before the calling of Abraham, and even be fore the beginning of the world. Acts xv. 18, "Known unto God are all his works," (the dispensations which he intended to advance,)" from the beginning of the world." Eph. 1. 4, "According as he hath chosen us in him," (Christ,) "before the foundation of the world." (po Karaẞoλns Kоoμоν) 2 Tim. i. 9, "Who hath saved us and called us-according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began." 1 Pet. 1. 20, "Who" (Christ) "verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, (po kaтaßoλns kooμov,) but was manifest in these last times for you," (Gentiles.) Hence, it appears, that the whole plan of the Divine mercy in the Gospel, in relation to the method of communicating it, and the Person, through whose obedience it was to be dispensed, and by whose ministry it was to be executed, was formed in the mind This is beautiful on the whole, and gives and purpose of God, before this earth was a fine display of the wisdom and goodness of created. God, by his perfect and unerring God:-But it certainly was not merely to dis knowledge, foreknew the future state of play the various operations of Divine Provi- mankind; and so, before-appointed the means 113 But why should God choose to commu ence, and to multiply the displays of the Di-which he judged proper for their recovery; nicate his grace in this mediate way, by the vine perfections, that God required the sacri- which foreknowledge is fully confirmed by interposition, obedience, and agency of his fice and death of his Son; as he was a sacri- the promise to Abraham, and very copiously Son, who again employs subordinate agents fice for sin; and the true notion of sacrifice is by the repeated predictions of the prophets in and instruments under him? I answer; for redeeming the life of a guilty creature, by the relation to our Lord's work, and particularly the display of the glory of his nature and per-death of one that is innocent, therefore Christ to his death, with the end and design of it. fections. The sovereign disposer of all things died, the just for the unjust, that he might may communicate his blessings by what bring us to God. 1 Pet. iii. 18. Consequently means, and in any way, he thinks fit. But the justice and righteousness of God required whatever He effects by the interposition of this sacrifice and justice must have required means, and a train of intermediate causes, it; else such a sacrifice could not have taken He could produce by his own immediate place; for had not justice required it, no at power. He wants not clouds to distil rain; tribute of God could, without Injustice, have mor rain nor human industry to make the demanded it.-A. C

[ocr errors]

117. Again; it is to be noted, that all the forementioned mercy and love, privileges and blessings, are granted and confirmed to the Christian church, under the sanction of a covenant; which is a grant or donation of blessings confirmed by a proper authority. The Gospel covenant is established by the promise and oath of God, and ratified by the

« PrécédentContinuer »