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the preceding universal words of his own proposition : And yet it will follow from the things which Dr. Taylor supposes, that the universality of the terms in the last words, There is none righteous ; no, not one, hath no relation at all to that universality he speaks of in the preceding clause, to which they are joined, all are under sin ; and is no more a confirmation of it, than if the words were thus : “There are some, or there are many in Israel, that are not righteous.” 2. To suppose the apostle's design in citing these passages, was only to prove to the Jews, that of old there was a considerable number of their nation that were wicked men, is to suppose him to have gone about to prove what none of the Jews denied, or made the least doubt of. Even the Pharisees, the most selflightcous sect of them, who went furthest in glorying in the distinction of their nation from other nations, as a holy people, knew it and owned it : They openly confessed that their forefathers killed the firofthets, Matth. xxiii. 29....31. And if the apostle’s design had been only to refresh their memories, to put them in mind of the ancient wickedness of their nation, to lead to reflection on themselves as guilty of the like wickedness, (as Stephen does, Acts vii) what need had the apostle to go so far about to prove this ; gathering up many sentences here and there, which prove that their scriptures did speak of some as wicked men, and then, in the next place, to prove that the wicked men spoken of must be of the nation of the Jews, by this argument, “That what things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law,” or that whatsoever the books of the Old Testament said, it must be understood of that people that had the Old Testament : What need had the apostle of such an ambages or fetch as this, to prove to the Jews, that there had been many of their nation in some of the ancient ages, which were wicked men ; when the Old Testament was full of passages that asserted this expressly, not only of a strong party, but of the nation in general : How much more would it have been to such a purpose, to have put them in mind of the wickedness of the people in general, in worshipping the golden cait, and the unbe
VoI. VI. 2 S
lief, murmuring, and perverseness of the whole congregation in the wilderness, for forty years, as Stephen does : Which things he had no need to prove to be spoken of their nation, by any such indirect argument, as that, “Whatsoever things the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law.” 3. It would have been impertinent to the apostle's purpose, even as our author understands his purpose, for him to have gone about to convince the Jews that there had been a strong party of bad men in David's, Solomon's, and the prophet's times. For Dr. Taylor supposes, the apostle's aim is to prove the great corruption of both Jews and Gentiles at that day, when Christ came into the world.” In order the more fully to evade the clear and abundant testimonies to the doctrine of Original Sin, contained in this part of the holy scripture, our author says, “The apostle is here speaking of bodies of people, of Jews and Gentiles in a collective sense, as two great bodies into which mankind are divided ; speaking of them in their collective capacity, and not with respect to particular persons; that the apostle's design is to prove, neither of these two great collective bodies, in their collective sense, can be justified by law, because both were corrupt; and so that no more is implied, than that the generality of both were wicked.”t On this I observe, (1.) That this supposed sense disagrees extremely with the terms and language which the apostle here makes use of. For according to this, we must understand, either, First, That the apostle means no universality at all, but only the far greater part. But if the words which the apostle uses, do not most fully and determinately signify an universality, no words ever used in the Bible are sufficient to do it. I might challenge any man to produce any one paragraph in the scripture, from the beginning to the end, where there is such a repetition and accumulation of terms, so strongly and
* See Key, $ 367, 310. Page 1 oz, ici, 117, 119, 125, and Note on Rom, iii. 10.... 19.
emphatically and carefully, to express the most perfect and absolute universality, or any place to be compared to it. What instance is there in the scripture, or indeed any other writing, when the meaning is only the much greater part, where this meaning is signified in such a manner, by repeating such expressions, “They are all....they are all....they are all....together....every one....all the world,” joined to multiplied negative terms, to shew the universality to be without exception, saying, “ There is no flesh....there is none....there is none.... there is none....there is none, four times over; besides the addition of “No, not one....no, not one,” once and again : Or, secondly, if any universality at all be allowed, it is only of the collective bodies spoken of ; and these collective bodies but two, as Dr. Taylor reckons them, viz. the Jewish nation, and the Gentile world; supposing the apostle is here representing each of these parts of mankind as being wicked. But is this the way of men's using language, when speaking of but two things, to express themselves in universal terms of such a sort, and in such a manner, and when they mean no more than that the thing affirmed is predicated of both of them : If a man, speaking of his two feet as both lame, should say, “All my feet are lame, they are all lame, all together are become weak : None of my feet are strong, none of them are sound, no, not one ;” would not he be thought to be lame in his understanding, as well as his feet? When the apostle says, that every mouth may be stoffted, must We suppose, that he speaks only of these two great collective bodies, figuratively ascribing to each of them a mouth, and means that these two mouths are stopped And besides, according to our author's own interpretation, the universal terms used in these texts cited from the Old Testament, have no respect to those two great collective bodies, nor indeed to either of them, but to some in Israel, a particular disaffected party in that one nation, which was made up of wicked men. So that his interpretation is every way absurd and inconsistent. (2.) If the apostle is speaking only of the wickedness or guilt of great collective bodies, then it will follow, that al
so the justification he here treats of, is no other than the justification of such collective bodies. For they are the same he speaks of as guilty and wicked, that he argues cannot be justified by the works of the law, by reason of their being wicked. Otherwise his argument is wholly disannulled. If the guilt he speaks of be only of collective bodies, then what he argues from that guilt, must be only that collective bodiès cannot be justified by the works of the law, having no respect to the justification of particular persons. And indeed, this is Dr. Taylor's declared opinion. He supposes the apostle here, and in other parts of this epistle, is speaking of men's justification considered only as in their collective capacity.” But the contrary is most manifest. The 26th and 28th verses of this third chapter cannot, without the utmost violence, be understood otherwise than of the justification of particular persons. “That he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law.” So chap. iv. 5. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” And what the apostle cites in the 6th, 7th and 8th verses from the Book of Psalms, evidently shews that he is speaking of the justification of particular persons. “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” David says these things in the 32d Psalm, with a special respect to his own particular case; there expressing the great distress he was in, while under a sense of the guilt of his personal sin, and the great joy he had when God forgave him. And then, it is very plain in that paragraph of the 3d chapter, which we have been upon, that it is the justification of particular persons that the apostle speaks of by that place in the Old Testament, which he refers to in ver. 20. “Therefore by thc decds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified
* Sct Note on Rom, iii. 10.... 19, chap. v., 11, and ix. 30, 31.
in his sight.” He refers to that in Psal. cxliii. 2. “Enter not into judgment with thy servant; for in thy sight shall no man tiving be justified.” Here the Psalmist is not speaking of the justification of a nation, as a collective body, or of one of the two parts of the world, but of a particular man. And it is further manifest, that the apostle is here speaking of personal justification, inasmuch as this place is evidently parallel with that, Gal. iii. 10, 11. “ For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse : For it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the works of the law, is evident; for the just shall live by faith.” It is plain, that this place is parallel with that in the Sd of Romans, not only as the thing asserted is the same, and the argument by which it is proved here, is the same as there, viz. that all are guilty, and exposed to be condemned by the law : But the same saying of the Old Testament is cited here in the beginning of this discourse in Galatians, chap. ii. i5. And many other things demonstrate, that the apostle is speaking of the same justification in both places, which I omit for brevity's sake. * And besides all these things, our author's interpretation makes the apostle's argument wholly void another way. The apostle is speaking of a certain subject, which cannot be justified by the works of the law ; and his argument is, that that same subject is guilty, and is condemned by the law. If he means, that one subject, suppose a collective body or bodies, cannot be justified by the law, because another subject, another collective body, is condemned by the law, it is plain, the argument would be quite vain and impertinent. Yet thus the argument must stand according to Dr. Taylor's interpretation. The collective bodies, which he supposes are spoken of as wicked, and condemned by the law, considered as in their collective capacity, are those two, the Jewish nation, and the Heathen world : But the collective body which he supposes the apostle speaks of as justified without the deeds of the law, is neither of these, but the Christian church, or body of believers; which is a new collective body, a new