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TEXT. 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his
blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
made righteous gratis by the favour of God, through the 25 redemption' which is by Jesus Christ; Whom God hath set
forth to be the propitiatory or mercy-seat s in his own blood',
NOTES. called Soxolwjec Orci, chap. 1. 32. That this is the glory here meant, vid. chap. ii.
7,10. In the same sense the glory of God is used, chap. v. 2. 24 Redemption signifies deliverance, but not deliverance from every thing, but
deliverance from that, to which a man is in subjection or bondage. Nor does redemption by Jesus Christ import, there was any compensation made to God, by paying what was of equal value, in consideration whereof they were delivered; for that is inconsistent with what St. Paul expressly says here, viz. that singers are justified by God gratis, and of his free bounty. What this redemption is, St. Paul tells us, Eph. i. 7. Col. i. 14, even the forgiveness of sins. But if St. Paul had not been so express in defining what he means by redemption, they yet would be thought to lay too much stress upon the criticism of a word, in the translation, who would thereby force from the word, in the original, a necessary sepse, which it is plain it hath not. That redeeming, in the sacred Scripture language, signifies not precisely paying an equivalent, is so clear, that nothing can be more. I shall refer my reader to three or four places amongst a great number, Exod. vi. 6. Deut. vii. 8, and xv. 12, and xxiv. 18. But if any one will, from the literal signification of the word in English, persist in it, against St. Paul's declarations, that it necessarily implies an equiralent price paid, I desire him to consider to whom : and that, if we will strictly adhere to the metaphor, it must be to those whom the redeemed are in bondage to, and from whom we are redeemed, riz. sin and Satan. If he will not believe his own system for this, let him believe St. Paul's words, Tit. ii. 14, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity." Nor could the price be paid to God, in strictness of justice (for that is made the argument here;) unless the same person ought, by that strict justice, to have both the thing redeemed, and the price paid for its redemptioo. For it is to God we are redeemed, by the death of Christ, Rev. v. 9, “ Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us
to God by thy blood. 25 ''rashpior, signifies propitiatory, or mercy-seat, and not propitiation, as Mr.
Mede bas rightly observed upon this place, in his Discourse on God's House, $ 1. • The Alexandrine copy omits the words 8à alçıws, by faith :" which seems conformable to the sense of the apostle here: he says, that God hath set forth Christ to be the propitiatory in his blood. The atonement, under the law, was made by blood, sprinkled on the propitiatory or mercy-seat, Lev. xvi. 14. Christ, says St. Paul here, is now set out, and shown by God, to be the real propitiatory, or mercy-seat, in his own blood ; see Heb. ix. 25, 26, where the sacrifice of himself is opposed to the blood of others. God hath set him out to be so, to declare his righteousness; the mercy-seat being the place wherein God spake and declared his pleasure, Exod. xxv. 22. Numb. xvii. 8, 9. And it was there where God always appeared, Lev. xvi. 2. It was the place of his presence, and therefore he is said to dwell between the cherubims, Psal. Ixxx. 1. 2 Kings xix. 15. For between the cherubims was the mercy-seat. In all which respects our Saviour, who was the antitype, is properly called the propitiatory.
TEXT. 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be
just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
for the manifestation of his [God's] righteousness", by passing over w their transgressions, formerly committed, which he hath
borne with hitherto, so as to withhold his hand from casting off 26 the nation of the Jews, as their past sins deserved. For the
manifesting of his righteousness * at this time y, that he might be just, in keeping his promise, and be the justifier of every one, not who is of the Jewish nation or extraction, but of the
NOTES. * Aixrocúm, “righteousness," seems to be used here, in the same sense it is ver. 5, for “the righteousness of God," in keeping his word with the nation of the Jews, notwithstanding their provocations. And indeed, with the following words of this verse, contains in it a farther answer to the Jews' insipnation, of God's being hard to their nation, by showing that God had been very favourable to them, in not casting them off, as they had deserved, till, according to his promise, he had sent them the Messias, and they had rejected him.
And thy tápeon, “ by passing over.” I do not remeinber any place where sáperis signifies remission, or forgiveness, but passing by, or passing over, as our translation has it in the margin, i. e. overlooking, or, as it were, not minding ; in which sense it cannot be applied to the past sins of private persons, for God neither remits, nor passes them by, so as not to take notice of them. But this odprois tav payeyorótwr & papiruátwy, passing over past sins, is spoken nationally, in respect of the people of the Jews; who, though they were a very sinful nation, as appears by the places here brought against them by St. Paul, yet God passed by all that, and would not be hindered by their past sinfulness from being just, in keeping his promise, in exhibiting to them Christ, the propitiatory. But, though he would not be provoked by their past sins, so as to cast them off from being his people, before he had sent them the promised Messias, to be their Saviour ; yet, after that, when, at the due time, he had manifested his righteousness to them, “ that he might be just, and the justifier of those who believe in Jesus,” he no longer bore with their sinful obstinacy ; but, when they rejected the Saviour (whom he bad sent, according to his promise) from being their King, God rejected them from being his people, and took the Gentiles into his church, and made them his people, jointly and equally with the few believing Jews. This is plainly the sense of the apostle here, where he is discoursing of the nation of the Jews and their state, in comparison with the Geutiles ; not of the state of private persons. Let any one without prepossession attentively read the
context, and he will find it to be so. 26 * Aixalosumns aŭtoū, “ his righteousness," is here to be understood in both
senses in which St. Paul had used it before in this chapter, viz. ver. 5 and 22, as it is manifested by St. Paul's explaining of it himself, in these words immediately following : “that he might be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus," which are the two senses wherein the righteousness of God is used. y " At this time," viz. The fulness of time, according to his promise.
TEXT. 27 Where is boasting then? it is excluded. By what law? of works?
Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith, without the
deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles ?
Yes, of the Gentiles also. 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith,
and uncircumcision through faith.
PARAPHRASE. 27 faith in Jesus Christ. What reason, then, have you Jews to
glory, and set yourselves so much above the Gentiles, in judging them, as you do? None at all : boasting is totally
excluded. By what law? By the law of works? No, but 28 by the law of faith. I conclude, therefore b, that a man is 29 justified by faith, and not by the works of the law. Is
God the God of the Jews only, and not of the Gentiles 30 also ? Yea, certainly of the Gentiles also. Since the time is
come that God is no longer one to the Jews, and another to the Gentiles, but he is now become one and the samed God to them all, and will justify the Jews by faith, and the Gentiles
NOTES. 3 Tor ix wiçews, 'inoo, if this phrase had been translated, him that is of the faith of Jesus, as it is chap. iv. 16, and Gal. iii.7, rather than him which believeth in Jesus, it would better have expressed the apostle's meaning here, which was to distinguish oi éx wiçews, those who are of faith, from ol éx wspilopañs, or oi én vójov, those who are of the circumcision, or those who are of the law, speaking of them as of two sorts, or races of men, of two different extractions. To understand this place fully, let any one read chap. iv. 12-16. Gal. iii. 7—10, where he will
find the apostle's sense more at large. 27 • The glorying here spoken of, is that of the Jews, i.e. their judging of the Gen
tiles, and their contempt of them, which St. Paul had before in several places taken notice of. And here, to take down their pride and vanity, he tells them it is wholly excluded by the Gospel, wherein God, who is the God of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews, justifieth by faith alone the Jews as well as the Gentiles, since no man could be justified by the deeds of the law. This seems to be said to the converted Jews, to stop their thinking that they had any advantage over the Gentiles under the Gospel. No, says he, the Gospel, which is the law of faith, lays you equal with the Gentiles, and you have no ground to assume any thing to yourselves, or set yourselves above them, now under the Messias. This, and all the rest to this purpose in this epistle, is said to establish the converted Romans in their title to the favour of God, equally with the Jews, in the Gospel, and to fortify them against any disturbance that might be given them by the pretending Jews, which is the principal desigu of this epistle, as we have already
observed. 28 t " Therefore.” This inference is drawn from what he had taught, ver. 23.
c Vid. Acts siji. 39, chap. viii. 3. Gal. ii. 16. 30 d 'En síreg eis o elds, “ since God is one.” He that will see the force of St. Paul's
reasoning here, must look to Zachary xiv. 9, from whence these words are taken,
TEXT. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea,
we establish the law.
PARAPHRASE. also through faith, who, by the law of Moses, were heretofore 31 shut out e from being the people of God. Do we then make
the law' insignificant, or useless, by our doctrine of faith ? By no means : but, on the contrary, we establish 8 and confirm the law.
NOTES. where the prophet, speaking of the time when the Lord shall be King over all the earth, and not barely over the little people shut up in the land of Canaan, he says, “in that day there shall be one Lord,” é. e. God shall not be, as he is now, the God of the Jews alone, whom only he hath known, of all the people of the earth : but he shall be the God of the Gentiles also, the same merciful, reconciled God to the people of all nations. This prophecy the Jews understood of the times of the Messias, and St. Paul here presses them with it. e it was impossible for remote nations to keep the law of Moses, a great part of
the worship required by it being local, and confined to the temple at Jerusalem. 31 Nómov, “ law,” is here repeated twice, without the article ; and it is plain that
by it St. Paul does not mean precisely the Mosaical law, but so much of it as is
CHAPTER IV. 1-25.
St. Paul having, in the foregoing section, cut off all glorying from the Jews, upon the account of their having the law, and shown, that that gave them no manner of title or pretence to be
the people of God, more than the Gentiles under the Messias, and so they had no reason to judge or exclude the Gentiles, as they did; he comes here to prove that their lineal extraction from their father Abraham gave them no better a pretence of glorying, or of setting themselves upon that account above the Gentiles, now, in the time of the Gospel.
1. Because Abraham himself was justified by faith, and so had not whereof to glory; forasmuch as he that receiveth righteousness, as a boon, has no reason to glory, but he that attains it by works.
2. Because neither they, who had circumcision derived down to them, as the posterity of Abraham, nor they who had the law; but they only, who had faith, were the seed of Abraham, to whom the promise was made. And therefore the blessing of justification was intended for the Gentiles, and bestowed on them as well as on the Jews, and upon the same ground.
TEXT. 1 What shall we then say, that Abraham, our father as pertaining to
the flesh, hath found ? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory,
but not before God.
PARAPHRASE. 1 What then shall we say of Abraham, our father according
to the flesha, what has he obtained ? has not he found matter 2 of glorying? Yes; if he were justified by works, he had
matter of glorying, he might then have gloried over the
NOTES. “Our father according to the flesh.” St. Paul speaks here, as lineally descended from Abraham, and joins himself therein, with the rest of his nation, of whom he calls Abraham the father, according to the flesh, to distinguish the Jews by birth, from those who were Abraham's seed according to the promise, viz. those, who were of the faith of Abraham, whether Jews or Gentiles, a
distinction which he insists on all through this chapter. 2 • Káuxenua, translated here, “ glorying," I take to signify the same with
xarxãoai, translated “boasting," chap. ii. 17, 23, in which places it is used to signify the Jews valuing themselves, upon somne national privileges, above the rest of the world, as if they had thereby some peculiar right to the favour of God, above other inen. This the Jewish nation, thinking themselves alone to have a title to be the people of God, expressed, in their judging the Gentiles, whom they despised, and looked on as unworthy and uncapable to be received into the kingdom of the Messias, and admitted into fellowship with their nation, under the Gospel. This conceit of theirs St. Paul opposes here, and makes it his business to show the falsehood and groundlessness of it, all through the eleven first chapters of this epistle. I ask, whether it would not help the English reader the better to find and pursue the sense of St. Paul, if the Greek term were every where rendered by the same English word? whether “boasting," or “ glorying," I think of no great consequence, so one of them be kept to.