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NOTE. the kingdoms of the earth had taken other lords, and given themselves up to false gods, to serve and worship them, and so were in a state of war with the true God, the God of Israel. But now we being reconciled by Jesus Christ, whom we have received, and own for our Lord, and thereby being returned into his kingdom, and to our ancient allegiance, we can truly glory in God, as our God, which the Jews cannot do, who have refused to receive Jesus for their Lord, whom God hath appointed Lord over all things.
CHAPTER V. 12-VII. 25.
The apostle here goes on with his design, of showing that the Gentiles, under the Gospel, have as good a title to the favour of God as the Jews; there being no other way, for either Jew or Gentile to find acceptance with God, but by faith in Jesus Christ. In the foregoing section he reckoned up several subjects of glorying, which the convert Gentiles had without the law, and concludes them with this chief and principal matter of glorying, even God himself, whom, now that they were, by Jesus Christ their Lord, reconciled to him, they could glory in as their God.
To give them a more full and satisfactory comprehension of this, he leads them back to the times before the giving of the law, and the very being of the Jewish nation; and lays before them, in short, the whole scene of God's economy, and his dealing with mankind from the beginning, in reference to life and death.
1. He teaches them that by Adam's lapse all men were brought into a state of death, and by Christ's death all are restored to life. By Christ also as many as believe are instated in eternal life.
2. That the law, when it came, laid the Israelites faster under death, by enlarging the offence which had death annexed to it. For by the law, every transgression that any one under the law committed had death for its punishment, notwithstanding which, by Christ, those under the law who believe receive life.
3. That though the Gentiles, who believe, come not under the rigour of the law, yet the covenant of grace which they are under requires that they should not be servants and vassals to sin, to obey it in the lusts of it, but sincerely endeavour after righteousness, the end whereof would be everlasting life.
4. That the Jews also who receive the Gospel are delivered from the law; not that the law is sin, but because, though the law forbid the obeying of sin, as well as the Gospel, yet not enabling them to resist their sinful lusts, but making each compliance with any sinful lust deadly, it settles upon them the dominion of sin, by death, from which they are delivered by the grace of God alone, which frees them from the condemnation of the law for every actual transgression, and requires no more but that they should, with the whole bent of their mind, serve the law of God, and not their carnal lusts. In all which cases the salvation of the Gentiles is wholly by grace, without their being at all under the law. And the salvation of the Jews is wholly by grace also, without any aid or help from the law: from which also, by Christ, they are delivered.
T'hus lies the thread of St. Paul's argument, wherein we may see how he pursues his design, of satisfying of Gentile converts at Rome, that they were not required to submit to the law of Moses: and of fortifying them against the Jews, who troubled them about it.
For the more distinct and easy apprehension of St. Paul's discoursing on these four heads, I shall divide this section into the four following numbers, taking them up, as they lie in the order of the text.
SECTION VI. No, 1.
CHAPTER V: 12-19.
HERE he instructs them in the state of mankind in general, before the law, and before the separation that was made thereby of the Israelites from all the other nations of the earth. And here he shows that Adam, transgressing the law, which forbade him the eating of the tree of knowledge upon pain of death, forfeited immortality, and becoming thereby-mortal, all his posterity, descending from the loins of a mortal man, were mortal too, and all died, though none of them broke that law but Adam himself: but by Christ they are all restored to life again. And God justifying those who believe in Christ, they are restored to their primitive state of righteousness and immortality; so that the Gentiles, being the descendants of Adam as well as the Jews, stand as fair
for all the advantages, that accrue to the posterity of Adam, by Christ, as the Jews themselves, it being all wholly and solely from grace.
TEXT. 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by
sin; and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned: 13 For until the law sin was in the world : but sin is not imputed when
there is no law.
PARAPHRASE. 12 Wherefore, to give you a state of the whole matter from the
beginning, you must know, that as by the act of one man, Adam, the father of us all, sin entered into the world, and death, which was the punishment annexed to the offence of
eating the forbidden fruit, entered by that sin, for that all 13 Adam's posterity thereby became mortal. It is true indeed
sin was universally committed in the world by all men, all the time before the positive law of God delivered by Moses: but it is as true that there is no certain determined punishment
NOTES. 12 a « Having sinned,” I have rendered became mortal, following the rule I thiuk
very necessary for the understanding St. Paul's epistles, viz. the making him, as much as is possible, his own interpreter, 1 Cor. xv. 22, cannot be denied to be parallel to this place. This and the following verses here being, as one may say, a comment on that verse in the Corinthians, St. Paul treating here of the same matter, but more at large. There he says, as in Adam all die,” which words cannot be taken literally, but thus, that in Adam all became mortal. The same he says here, but in other words, putting, by a no very unusual metonymy, the cause for the effect, viz. the sin of eating the forbidden fruit, for the effect of it on Adam, viz. mortality, and, in him, on all his posterity: a mortal father, infected now with death, being able to produce no better than a mortal race. Why St. Paul differs in his phrase here from that which we find he used to the Corinthians, and prefers here that which is harder and more figurative, may perhaps be easily accounted for, if we consider his style and usual way of writing, wherein is shown a great liking of the beauty and force of antithesis, as serving much to illustration and impression. In the fifteenth chapter of 1 Cor. he is speaking of life restored by Jesus Christ, and, to illustrate and fix that in their minds, the death of mankind best served : here to the Romans he is discoursing of righteousness restored to men by Christ, and therefore, here, the term sin is the most patural and properest to set that off. But that neither actual, nor im. puted sin is meant here, or ver. 19, where the same way of expression is used, he that has need of it may see proved in Dr. Whitby upon the place. If there can be any need of any other proof, when it is evidently contrary to St. Paul's desigu here, which is to show that men, from Adam to Moses, died solely in
consequence of Adam's transgression, see ver. 17. 13 b Oix émhoyeitan, " is not imputed,” so our translation, but possibly not exactly
to the sense of the apostle ; 'Exnoyeī signifies to reckon, but cannot be interpreted reckon to, which is the meaning of inspute, without a person assigned, to whom
TEXT. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them
PARAPHRASE. 14 affixed to sin, without a positive lawo declaring it. Never
theless, we see that, in all that space of time, which was
NOTES. it is imputed. And so we see, when the word is used in that sense, the dative case of the person is subjoined. And therefore it is well translated, Philem. 18, If he owes thee any thing, éuct fanóyer, put it to my account, reckon or impute it to me. Besides St. Paul here tells us, the sin, here spoken of, as not reckoned, was in the world, and had actual existence, during the time between Adam and Moses; but the sin, which is supposed to be imputed, is Adam's sin, which he committed in paradise, and was not in the world during the time from Adam till Moses, and therefore in noycītau cannot here signify imputed. Sips in sacred Scripture are called debts; but nothing can be brought to account, as a debt, till a value be set upon it. Now sips cau no way be taxed, or a rate set upon them, but by the positive declaration and sanction of the lawmaker. Mankind, without the positive law of God, kuew, by the light of nature, that they transgressed the rule of their nature, reason, which dictated to them what they ought to do. But, without a positive declaration of God, their sovereigo, they could not tell at what rate God taxed their trespasses against this rule ; till he pronounced that life should be the price of sin, that could not be ascertained, and consequently sin could not be brought to account: and, therefore, we see that where there was no positive law, affixing death to sin, men did not look on death as the wages or retribution for their sin ; they did not account, that they paid their lives as a debt and forfeit for their transgression. This is the more to be considered, because St. Paul, in this epistle, treats of sin, punishment, and for. giveness, by way of an account, as it were, of debtor and creditor.
He will be farther confirmed in this sense of these words, who will be at the pains to compare chap. iv. 15, and v. 13, 20, and vii. 8, 9, together. St. Paul, chap. iv. 15, says, the law worketh wrath, i. e. carrieth punishment with it. For where there is no law, there is no transgression. Whereby is not meant, that there is no sin, where there is no positive law, (the contrary whereof he says in this verse, viz. that sin was in the world all the time, before the law) but that there is no transgression, with a penalty annexed to it, with. out a positive law. And hence he tells the Romaus, chap. i. 32, that they knew not that those things deserved death, [vid. note, chap. i. 32,] but it was by the positive law of God only, that men knew that death was certainly annexed to sin, as its certain and unavoidable punishment, and so St. Paul argues, chap. vii. 8, 9.
Nóuou, “ law." Whether St. Paul by xóuos here means law in general, as for the most part he does, where he omits the article ; or whether he means the law of Moses in particular, in which sense he commonly joins the article to róuns; this is plain, that St. Paul's notion of a law was conformable to that given by Moses, and so he uses the word, bos, in English, law, for the positive command of God, with a sanction of a penalty annexed to it; of which kind there never having been any one given to any people, but that by Moses to the children of Israel, till the revelation of the will of God by Jesus Christ to all mankind, which, for several reasons, is always called the Gospel, in contradistinction to the law of Moses ; when St. Paul speaks of law, in general, it reduces itself, in matter of fact, to the law of Moses.
TEXT. that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression,
who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the
grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man Jesus Christ, hath abounded
unto many: 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judga
PARAPHRASE. before the positive law of God by Moses, men from the beginning of the world died, all as well as their father Adam; though none of them, but he alone, had eaten of the forbidden fruit d: and thereby, as he had committed that sin, to which sin alone the punishment of death was annexed, by the
positive sanction of God, denounced to Adam, who was the 15 figure and type of Christ, who was to come. But yet though
he were the type of Christ, yet the gift, or benefit, received by Christ, is not exactly conformed and confined to the dimensions of the damage received by Adam's fall. For if, by the lapse of one man, the multitude, i.e. all men died, much more did the favour of God, and the free gift, by the
bounty or good-will which is in Jesus Christ, exceed to the 16 multitude , i. e, to all men. Furthermore, neither is the
NOTES. 14 : In this verse St. Paul proves that all men became mortal, by Adam's eating the
forbidden fruit, and by that alone, because no man can incur a penalty, without the sanction of a positive law, declaring and establishing that penalty; but death was annexed, by no positive law, to any sin, but the eating the forbidden fruit; and therefore men's dying, before the law of Moses, was purely in consequence of Adam's sin, in eating the forbidden fruit; and the positive sanction of death
annexed to it an evident proof of man's mortality coming from thence. 15 • οι πολλοί, and τους πολλούς, I suppose may be understood to stand here
for the multitude, or collective body of mankind. For the apostle, in express words, assures us, 1 Cor. xv. 22, “That in Adam all died, and in Christ all “ are made alive" and so here, ver. 18, All men fell under the condemnation of death, and all men were restored unto justification of life, which all men, in the very next words, ver. 19, are called oi word.), the many. So that the many in the former part of this verse, and the many at the end of it, comprehending all mankind, must be equal. The comparison therefore, and the inequality of the things compared, lies not, here, between the numbers of those that died, and the numbers of those that sball be restored to life; but the comparison lies between the persons by whom this general death, and this general restoration to life came, Adam the type, and Jesus Christ the antitype ; and it seems to lie in this, that Adam's lapse came barely for the satisfaction of his own appetite, and desire of good to biniself; but the restoration was from the exuberant bounty and good-will of Christ towards men, who, at the cost of his own painful death, purchased life for them. The want of taking the comparison here right, and the placing it amiss, in a greater number restored to life