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things which make it peculiarly unreasonable to understand it so here. It is true, the greater part of the church of Ephesus had been heathens, and therefore the apostle often has reference to their heathen state, in this epistle. But the words in this chap. ii. 3, plainly shew, that he means himself and other Jews in distinction from the Gentiles; for the distinction is fully expressed. After he had told the Ephesians, who had been generally heathen, that they had been dead in sin, and had walked according to the course of this world, &c. ver. 1 and 2, he makes a distinction, and says, “Among whom we also had our conversation, &c. and were by nature children of wrath, even as others.” Here first he changes the person; whereas, before he had spoken in the second person, “ Ye were dead.... Ye in time past walked,” &c. Now he changes stile, and uses the first person, in a most manifest distinction, “Among whom we also,” that is, we Jews, as well as ye Gentiles: Not only changing the person, but adding a particle of distinction, also ; which would be nonsense, if he meant the same without distinction. And besides all this, more fully to express the distinction, the apostle further adds a pronoun of distinction: “We also, even as others,” or, we as well as others : Most evidently having respect to the notions, so generally entertained by the Jews, of their being much better than the Gentiles, in being Jews by nature, children of Abraham, and children of God; when they supposed the Gentiles to be utterly cast off, as born aliens, and by nature children of wrath: In opposition to this, the apostle says, “We Jews, after all our glorying in our distinction, were by nature children of wrath, as well as the rest of the world.” And a yet further evidence, that the apostle here means to include the Jews, and even himself, is the universal term he uses, “Among whom also we all had our conversation,” &c. Though wickedness was supposed by the Jews to be the course of this world, as to the generality of mankind, yet they supposed themselves an exempt people, at least the Pharisees, and the devout observers of the law of Moses, and traditions of the elders; whatever might be thought of publicans and harlots. But in opposition to this, the apostle asserts, that they all were no better
by nature than others, but were to be reckoned among the children of disobedience, and children of wrath. And then besides, if the apostle chooses to put himself among the Gentiles, because he was the apostle of the Gentiles, I would ask, why does he not do so in the 11th verse of the same chapter, where he speaks of their Gentile state expressly Remember that ye being in time fast Gentiles in the flesh. Why does he here make a distinction between the Gentiles and himself? Why did he not say, Let us remember, that we being in times past Gentiles 2 And why does the same apostle, even universally, make the same distinction, speaking either in the second or third person, and never in the first, where he expressly speaks of the Gentilism of those that he wrote to ; or speaks of them with reference to their distinction from the Jews 2 So every where in this same epistle; as in chap. i. 12, 13, where the distinction is made just in the same manner as here, by the change of the person, and by the distinguishing particle, also. “That we should be to the praise of his glory who first trusted in Christ (the first believers in Christ being of the Jews, before the Gentiles were called) in whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.” And in all the following part of this second chapter, as ver, l 1, 17, 19, and 22, in which last verse the same distinguishing particle again is used : “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” See also the following chapters : Chap. iii. 6, and iv. 17. And not only in this epistle, but constantly in other epistles; as Rom. i. 12, 13 ; chap. xi. 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30, 31; chap. xv. 15, 16; 1 Cor. xii. 2; Gal. iv. 8 ; Col. i. 27; chap. ii. 13; 1 Thess. i. 5, 6, 9; chap. ii. 13, 14, 15, 16. Though I am far from thinking our author's exposition of the 7th chapter of Romans to be in any wise agreeable to the true sense of the apostle, yet it is needless here to stand particularly to examine it; because the doctrine of Original Sin may be argued not the less strongly, though we should allow the thing wherein he mainly differs from such as he opposes in his interpretation, viz. That the apostle does not
speak in his own name, or to represent the state of a true Christian, but as representing the state of the Jews under the law. For even on this supposition, the drift of the place will prove, that every one who is under the law, and with equal reason every one of mankind, is carnal, sold under sin, in his first state, and till delivered by Christ. For it is plain, that the apostle's design is to shew the insufficiency of the law to give life to any one whatsoever. This appears by what he says when he comes to draw his conclusion, in the continuation of this discourse; chap. viii. 3.” “ For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh ; God sending his own Son,” &c. Our author supposes this here spoken of, viz. “That the law cannot give life, because it is weak through the flesh,” is true with respect to every one of mankind.t And when the apostle gives this reason, In that it is weak through the flesh, it is plain, that by the flesh, which here he opposes to the Shirit, he means the same thing which, in the preceding part of the same discourse, in the foregoing chapter, he had called by the name flesh, ver. 5, 14, 18; and the law of the members, ver. 23 ; and the body of death, ver. 24. Which is the thing that through this chapter he insists on as the grand hindrance and reason why the law could not give life, just as he does in his conclusion, chap. viii. 3. Which in this last place, is given as a reason why the law cannot give life to any of mankind. And it being the same reason of the same thing, spoken of in the same discourse, in the former part of it; as appears, because this last place is the conclusion, of which that former part is the premises: And inasmuch as the reason there given is being in the flesh, and a being carnal, sold under sin : Therefore taking the whole of the apostle's discourse, this is justly understood to be a reason why the law cannot give life to any of mankind; and consequently, that all mankind are in the flesh, and are carnal, sold under sin, and so remain till delivered by Christ: And consequently, all mankind in their first or original state are very sinful; which was the thing to be proved. * Dr. Taylor himself reckons this a part of the same discourse or para
graph, in the division he makes of the epistle, in his paraphrase and notes upon it. t See Note on Rom. v. 25.
Containing Observations on Romans v. 12, to the End.
Remarks on Dr. Taylor's way of erhlaining this Text.
THE following things are worthy to be taken notice of, concerning our author's exposition of this remarkable passage of the Apostle Paul.
1. He greatly insists, that by death in this place no more is meant, than that death which we all die, when this present life is extinguished, and the body returns to the dust; that no more is meant in the 12th, 14th, 15th, and 17th verses. Page 27, he speaks of it as evidently, clearly, and infallibly so, because the apostle is still discoursing on the same subject; plainly implying, that it must most infallibly be so, that the apostle means no more by death, throughout this paragraph on the subject. But as infallible as this is, if we believe what Dr. Taylor elsewhere says, it must needs be otherwise. He, in p. 120, S. speaking of those words in the last verse of the next chapter, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord,” says, “Death in this place is widely different from the death we now die; as it stands there opposed to eternal life, which is the gift of God through Jesus Christ, it manifestly signifies eternal death, the second death, or that death which they shall hereafter die, who live after the flesh.” But death (in the conclusion of the paragraph we are upon in the 5th chapter, concerning the death that comes by Adam) and the life that comes by Christ, in the last verse of the chapter, is offiosed to eternal life just in the same manner as it is in the last verse of the next chapter: “That as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign, through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.” So that by our author's own argument, death in this place also is manifestly widely different from the death we now die, as it stands here offiosed to eternal life, through Jesus Christ ; and signifies eternal death, the second death. And yet this is a part of the same discourse or paragraph with that begun in the 12th verse, as reckoned by Dr. Taylor himself in his division of paragraphs, in his paraphrase and notes on the epistle. So that if we will follow him, and admit his reasonings in the various parts of his book, here is manifest proof against infallible evidence | So that it is true, the apostle throughout this whole passage on the same subject, by death, evidently, clearly, and infallibly means no more than that death we now die, when this life is ertinguished ; and yet by death, in some part of this passage, is meant something widely different from the death we now die, and is manifestly intended eternal death, the second death. But had our author been more consistent with himself in his laying of it down as so certain and infallible, that because the apostle has a special respect to temporal death, in the 14th verse, Death reigned from .4dam to Moses, therefore he means no more in the several consequent parts of this passage, yet he is doubtless too confident and positive in this matter. This is no more rident, clear, and infallible, than that Christ meant no more by fierishing, in Luke xiii. 5, when he says, “I tell you, Nay, but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish ;” than such a temporal death, as came on those that died by the fall of the tower of Siloam, spoken of in the preceding words of the same speech; and no more infallible, than that by life, Christ means no more than this