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phosa, and Persis, all of whom were active in spreading

the gospel ; others were persons of station, such as the Sect. I-Of the time when the Christian Religion was

members of the family of Narcissus, if, as is commonly introduced at Rome.

supposed, he was the emperor's favourite of that name. Tae Scriptures do not inform us at what time, or by But although this should not be admitted, the saints in whom, the gospel was first preached in Rome. But from Cæsar's household,' whose salutation, some years after the following circumstances it is probable that the church this, the apostle sent to the Philippians, may have been there was one of the first planted Gentile churches, and persons of considerable note. that it soon became very numerous. When St. Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans, a. 1).

Sect. II.-Of the state of the Christian Church at the 57. 'their faith was spoken of throughout the whole world,'

time St. Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans. Rom. i. 8. and many of them possessed spiritual gifts, Rom. xi. 6. and their obedience was known to all men,' The gospel being offered to the world as a revelation Rom. xvi. 19. Farther, the fame of the church at Rome from God, the Jews justly expected that it would agrec had reached the apostle long before he wrote this letter. in all things with the former revelations, of which they For he told them, he had a desire for many years to were the keepers. And therefore, when they perceived come to them,' Rom. xv. 23. The gospel therefore was that many of the doctrines taught by the apostles were introduced in Rome very early, perhaps by some of the contrary to the received tenets, which the scribes pretenddisciples who were scattered abroad after Stephen's death, ed to derive from the writings of Moses and the prophets, in the end of the reign of Tiberius. Or the founding the bulk of the nation rejected the gospel, and argued of the Roman church may have happened even before against it with the greatest vehemence of passion, in the that period; for among the persons who heard - Peter persuasion that it was an impious heresy, inconsistent prcach on the day of Pentecost, and who were converted with the ancient revelations, and destructive of piety. liy him, strangers of Rome are mentioned, Acts ii. 10. To remove this specious cavil, the apostles, besides 41. These Roman Jews, on their return home, no preaching the doctrines of the gospel as matters revealed doubt preached Christ to their countrymen in the city, to themselves, were at pains to show that these doctrines and probably converted some of them : so that the church were contained in the writings of Moses and the prophets, at Romc, like most of the Gentile churches, began in the and that none of the tenets contrary to the gospel, which Jews. But it was soon enlarged by converts from among the Jewish doctors pretended to deduce from their own the religious proselytes ;' and in process of time was in- sacred writings, had any foundation there. Of these creased by the flowing in of the idolatrous Gentiles, who - tenets, the most pernicious was their misinterpretation gave themselves to Christ in such numbers, that, at the of the promise to Abraham, that in his seed all the time St. Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans, their con nations of the earth should be blessed. For the Jews version was much spoken of.

considering the moral precepts of the law of Moses as a These facts merit attention ; because the opposers of perfect rule of duty, and its sacrifices and purifications our religion represent the first Christians as below the as real atonements for sin, and believing that no man notice of the heathen magistrates, on account of the pau- could be saved out of their church, affirmed that the city of their numbers, and the obscurity with which they blessing of the nations in Abraham's seed consisted in practised their religious rites. But if the faith of the the conversion of the nations to Judaism by the Jews. Roman brethren was spoken of throughout the whole Hence the Jewish-believers, strongly impressed with these empire at the time this letter was written, the disciples notions, taught the Gentiles, • Except ye be circumcised of Christ in Rome must have been numerous, and niust after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved,' Acts xv. have professed their religion openly; for the turning of 1. But this doctrine, though obstinately maintained, a few obscure individuals in the city from the worship of was a gross error. The law of Moses was no rule of idols, and their worshipping the true God clandestinely, justification. It was a political institution, established could not be the subject of discourse in the provinces. for governing the Jews as the subjects of God's temporal Farther, that there were many Christians in Rome when kingdom in Canaan. And therefore the apostles, elders, St. Paul wrote this epistle, may be inferred from the tu- and brethren assembled in the council of Jerusalem, mults occasioned by the contests which the Jews had with justly decreed, that the yoke of the law was not to be them about the law, and which gave rise to Claudius's imposed on the Gentiles, as necessary to their salvation. decree, banishing the whole of them from Rome, Acts A decision, so deliberately and solemnly pronounced, by xviii. 2. See sect. 3. page 50. at the beginning. The such an assembly, ought, among the disciples of Christ, to salutations, likewise, in the end of this epistle, show how have silenced all Jisputations on the subject. Neverthenumerous the brethren in Rome were at that time, some less, the converted Jews, having been accustomed to glory of whom were of long standing in the faith, as Androni- in their relation to God as his people, and in the privileges cus and Junias, who were converted before Paul him- which they had so long enjoyed, were extremely offended, self; others of them were teachers, as Urbanus; others when, according to the new doctrine, they found the Genwere deacons and deaconesses, as Mary, Tryphena, Try- tiles under the gospel raised to an equality with them in

all religious privileges. Wherefore, disregarding the de- churches effectually opposed the errors of the Judaizers : crees which were ordained of the apostles and elders, they by all which Judaism hath at length been banished from exhorted the Gentiles everywhere to become Jews, if they the Christian church, in which for a while it had taken wished to be saved. And this exhortation made the root, through the misguided zeal of the Jewish converts ; stronger impression on the Gentiles, that the Jewish and the gospel now remains the only revealed religion worship by sacrifices, purifications, and holidays, was, in authorized by God, and óbligatory on men. many respects, similar to their former worship. Besides,

Sect. III.- Of the Occasion of writing the Epistle as the Jews were the only people wbo, before the intro

to the Romans. duction of the gospel, enjoyed the knowledge of the true God and a revelation of his will, and as the Christian The controversy concerning the law of Moses, depreachers themselves appealed to that revelation in proof scribed in the foregoing section, was agitated very early of their doctrine, the Gentiles naturally paid a great re at Rome, where the Jews, being rich and factious, disgard to the opinion of the Jews in matters of religion, and puted the matter with greater violence than in other especially to their interpretations of the ancient oracles. churches. And the unbelieving part taking a share in Hence some of the Gentile converts, especially in the the controversy, they occasioned such tumults

, that the churches of Galatia and Phrygia, who before their con emperor Claudius, in the eleventh year of his reign, baversion were extremely ignorant in religious matters, nished the contending parties from the city. So the hcarkening to the Judaizing teachers, received circum- Roman historian, Suetonius, informs us, who, confoundcision, and thereby bound themselves to obey the law of ing the Christians with the Jews, calls the whole body by Moses, in the persuasion that it was the only way to se the general name of Jews, and affirms that they were cure the favour of the Deity.

excited to these tumults by Christ (Christo impulsore, According to this view of the matter, the controversy Claud. c. 25.), because he had heard, I suppose, that which in the first age disturbed the Christian church, Christ was the subject of their quarrels. was not, as Locke supposes, whether the Gentiles, in Among the banished from Rome was Aquila, a Jew, their uncircumcised state, should be admitted into the born in Pontus, and his wife Priscilla, both of them church, and enjoy equal privileges with the Jews; and Christians. These came to Corinth about the time St. whether it was lawful for the Jews to hold religious com- Paul first visited that city; and being of the same occumunion with them, while they remained uncircumcised; Pation with him, they received him into their house, embut plainly, whether there was any church but the Jew- ployed him in their business, and gave him wages for his ish, in which men could be saved. For when the Ju- work, with which he maintained himself all the time he daizers taught the Gentile brethren, except ye be cir- preached the gospel to the Corinthians. During his cumcised after the manner of Moses ye cannot be saved,' abode with them, Aquila and Priscilla, no doubt, gave they certainly meant that salvation could be obtained no- the apostle a full account of the state of the church at where but in the Jewish church.

Rome, before its dispersion; and, among other things, In this controversy the unbelieving Jews and all the told him, that the unbelieving Romans, following the Judaizing Christians ranged themselves on the one side, Greeks, affirmed the light of natural reason to have been strongly and with united voices affirming that Judaism from the beginning a sufficient guide to mankind in matwas the only religion in which men could be saved; that ters of religion : That, being great admirers of the Greeks, there was no gospel church different from the Jewish, they considered their philosophy as the perfection of hunor any revealed law of God but the law of Moses ; and man reason, and extolled it as preferable to the gospel, that the gospel was nothing but an explication of that which they scrupled not to pronounce mere foolishness : law, of the same kind with the explications given of it That, on the other hand, the unbelieving Jews, no less by the prophets. On the other side, in this great con. prejudiced in favour of the law of Moses, affirmed, it was troversy, stood the apostles and elders, and all the well the only religion in which men could be saved, and coninformed brethren, who, knowing that the Jewish church demned the gospel as a detestable heresy, because it did was at an end, and that the law of Moses was abrogated, not adopt the sacrifices, purifications, and other rites enstrenuously maintained that a new church of God was joined by Moses. They farther told the apostle that erected, in which all mankind might obtain salvation by many, even of the converted Jews, extolled the institufaith without circumcision ; and that the gospel was the tions of Moses as more effectual for the salvation of sinonly law of this new church. They therefore maintained ners than the gospel, and, in that persuasion, pressed the the freedom of the Gentiles from the law of Moses in all Gentiles to join the law with the gospel, that, by its sacriits parts, and boldly asserted, that the gospel alone was fices and purifications, the gospel might be rendered a sufficient for the salvation of the Gentiles; consequently, complete form of religion : That the Gentile converts, that they were under no obligation to have recourse to who knew their freedom from the law of Moses, despised the Levitical sacrifices and purifications, for procuring their Judaizing brethren as superstitious bigots, while the the pardon of their sins.

others regarded them as profane, for neglecting instituThe controversy concerning the obligation of the law tions which they esteemed sacred : That those who posof Moses, viewed in the light wherein I have placed it, sessed spiritual gifts had occasioned great disturbance in was a matter of no small importance, since on its deter- the church, each extolling his own gifts, and striving to mination depended, whether the law of Moses or the gos- exercise them in the public assemblies, without giving pel of Christ should be the religion of the world. No place to others : Lastly, That some, both of the Jewish wonder, therefore, that St. Paul introduced this contro. and Gentile believers, reckoning it disgraceful to obey versy in so many of his epistles; and that he wrote three constitutions made by idolaters, had, in several instances, of them, in particular, for the express purpose of confu- contemned the wholesome laws of the state, and were in ting an error so plausible and so pernicious: I mean his danger of being punished as evil doers, to the great scanepistles to the Romans, to the Galatians, and to the He- dal of the Christian name. brews. These learned epistles, in process of time, pro As the apostle had not been in Rome when he wrote duced the desired effect. By the strength of the argu- this epistle, some persons, well acquainted with the affairs ments set forth in them, and by representing the same of the church there, must have made him acquainted with things everywhere in his preaching and conversation, the all the particulars above mentioned. For his letter to apostle enlightened many of the Jewish converts; and the Romans was evidently framed with a view to these these well instructed Jewish brethren in their several things. If so, who more likely to give the information

than Aquila and Priscilla, with whom the apostle lodged abode there more than eighteen months before he set out so long? And though the Roman brethren were then for Syria (Acts xviii. 18.), he must have left Corinth in dispersed, consequently the apostle had no opportunity of the spring of a. D. 53. In his voyage to Syria, the aposwriting to them as a church, yet the disorders which pre- tle touched at Ephesus, then sailed straight to Cesarea. vailed among them having made a deep impression on From Cesarea he went to Jerusalem, and after that to his spirit, we may suppose he resolved to embrace the Antioch. And having spent some time there, he defirst opportunity of remedying them. Accordingly, dur- parted, and went over all the country of Galatia and ing his second visit to the Corinthians, having heard that Phrygia in order, strengthening the disciples,' Acts xviii. the church was re-established at Rome, St. Paul wrote to 21, 22, 23. Then passing through the upper coasts, the Romans this excellent and learned letter, which bears he came to Ephesus, Acts xix. 1. His voyage from their name ; wherein, at great length, he discoursed of Corinth to Cesarea, and his journey through the counthe justification of sinners; answered the objections made tries just now mentioned, may have been performed in a to the gospel doctrine of justification; proved from year and ten months. Wherefore, if he sailed from Moses and the prophets the calling of the Gentiles, the Corinth in February, 53, he may have come to Ephesus rejection of the Jews, and their future restoration; and in the end of the year 54. And seeing he abode at gave the Roman brethren many precepts and exhorta- Ephesus about three years (Acts xx. 31.), before le Lions, suited to their character and circumstances.

went into Macedonia, his arrival in Macedonia (Acts From the pains which the apostle took in this letter, to xx. 1.) must have happened in the year 57. At this prove that no Gentile can be justified by the law of na time the apostle went over all these parts, and gave them iure, nor Jew by the law of Moses, and from his explain- much exhortation before he went into Greece. (Acts xx. ing in it all the divine dispensations respecting religion, 2.) Probably this was the time he preached the gospel as well as from what he says, chap. i. 7, 13, 14, 15, it is in the borders of Illyricum, Rom. xv. 19.

And as reasonable to think it was designed for the unbelieving these transactions would take up the summer of the year Jews and Gentiles at Rome, as well as for the brethren; 57, we cannot suppose he came into Greece sooner ihan who therefore would show the copies which they took of in the autumn of that year. The purpose of his journey it to their unbelieving acquaintance. And inasmuch as into Greece was to receive the collections which the the apostle professed to derive his views of the matters churches of Achaia had made for the saints in Judea, contained in this letter from the former revelations, and 2 Cor. ix. 3–5. Having therefore abode three months from inspiration, it certainly merited the attention of in Greece (Acts xx. 3.), he departed with the collections every unbeliever to whom it was shown, whether he were early in the year 58.— The time of the apostle's depara Jewish scribe, or a heathen philosopher, or a Roman "ture from Greece with the collections being thus fixed, magistrate, or one of the people ; some of whom, I make there can be no doubt concerning the date of his epistle no doubt, read it. And though, by reading it, they may to the Romans; for he told them he was going to Jerunot have been persuaded to embrace the gospel immedi- salem when he wrote it, Rom. xv. 25. • But now I go ately, the candid and intelligent, by seriously weighing to Jerusalem, ministering to the saints.' Wherefore the the things written in it, must have received such instruc- epistle to the Romans was written at Corinth, as we tion in the principles and duties of natural religion, as shall see immediately, in the end of a. D. 57, or in the could hardly fail to lead them to see the absurdity of the beginning of a. D. 58, full seven years after the Jews commonly received idolatry;

which was one good step and Christians were banished from Rome by Claudius, towards their conversion.—To conclude: As in this and about three years after their return. For Claudius learned letter the principal objections by which Jews dying in the year 54, his edict terminated with his life ; and Deists have all along impugned the gospel are in- and not being renewed by his successor, the Jews and troduced and answered, it is a writing which the adver- Christians came back to Rome in such numbers, that, in saries of revelation, who pretend to oppose it on rational the third year of the emperor Nero, when the apostle principles, ought to peruse with attention and candour. wrote this letter, the Roman church had acquired its

The commentators observe, that although the apostle, former celebrity.–To conclude: The circumstances by in the inscription of this letter, hath asserted his aposto- which the date of the epistle to the Romans is fixed, are lical authority, to make the Romans sensible that the 50 well ascertained, that learned men are nearly agreed things written in it were dictated to him by the Spirit; in their opinion upon the point—some, with Pearson, yet, as he was personally unknown to the greatest part of dating it ai Corinth, in the year 57 ; others, with Lardthem, he does not teach, exhort, and rebuke them with ner, in the beginning of 58; and others, with Mill, in that authority which he uses in his letters to the churches 58, without determining the time of the year. of his own planting, but he writes to them in a mild and The salutations from Gaius or Caius, the apostle's condescending manner, in order to gain their affection. host, and from Erastus, the chamberlain of the city Sect. IV.Of the Time and Place of writing the Epistle (Rom. xvi. 23.), are additional proofs that this epistle

was written at Corinth. For that Gaius lived there, to the Romans.

seems plain from 1 Cor. i. 14., as did Erastus likewise, The first time Paul visited Corinth, he found Aquila 2 Tim. ii. 14. Besides, Phæbe, a deaconess of the and Priscilla, lately come from Italy in consequence of church at Cenchrea, the eastern part of Corinth, having Claudius's edict (Acts xviii. 2.), which was published in been the bearer of this letter, Corinth, by that circumthe eleventh year of his reign, answering to A. D. 51. stance also is so plainly pointed out as the place where (See Pref. 1 Cor. sect. 1.) Probably the apostle arrived it was written, that there was no occasion for the apostle at Corinth in the summer of that year. And as he to be more particular.


View and Illustration of the Matters contained in this Chapter. The unbelieving Jews having violently opposed the apostle, in the inscription of this epistle, affirmed that the gospel, because it was preached to the uncircumcised gospel was preached to the Gentiles, in fulfilment of Gentiles, and because Jesus, whom the Christians called God's promise made by the prophets in the Scriptures, The Christ, was not such an one as they expected, the ver. 1, 2.—And that Jesus, whom the apostles called

The Christ, was, as to his flesh, sprung of the seed of Da to the highest pitch, their philosophy might be considered vid, ver. 3.-But as to his divine nature, he was, with the as the perfection both of the light and of the law of nagreatest power of evidence, declared to be the Son of

ture; consequently, among them, if anywhere, all the God, by his resurrection, ver. 4.-And because Paul knowledge of God, and of the method of salvation, diswas personally unknown to most of the Christians in coverable by the light of nature, and all the purity of Rome, he assured them that he was made an apostle by manners which men can attain by their own powers, Christ himself, for the purpose of preaching the gospel ought to have been found. Nevertheless, that people, so to the Gentiles, ver. 5. ;-of which class of men most of intelligent in other matters, were in religion foolish to the the inhabitants of Rome were, ver. 6.—He was therefore last degree, and in morals debauched beyond belief. For, authorized to write this letter to the whole inhabitants of notwithstanding the knowledge of the being and perfecRome. So many particulars crowded into the inscrip- tions of the one true God subsisted among them in the tion hath made it uncommonly long. But they are most early ages, ver. 19.-being understood by the works placed with great judgment in the very entrance, because of creation, ver. 20.-their legislators, philosophers, and they are the foundations on which the whole scheme of priests unrighteously holding the truth concerning God doctrine contained in the epistle is built.

in confinement, did not glorify him as God, by discoverBecause it might seem strange that Paul, the apostle ing him to the common people, and making him the obof the Gentiles, had not hitherto visited Rome, the most ject of their worship ; but, through their own foolish reanoted Gentile city in the world, he assured the Romans sonings, fancying polytheism and idolatry more proper he haul often purposed to come to them, but had hitherto for the vulgar than the worship of the one true God, they been hindered, ver. 13, 14.—However, he was still will. themselves at length lost the knowledge of God to such ing to preach the gospel in Rome, ver. 15. ; being neither a degree that their own heart was darkened, ver. 21.afraid nor ashamed to preach it in that great and learned Thus the wise men among the Greeks became fools in city; because it reveals the powerful method which God matters of religion, and were guilty of the greatest injushath devised for bestowing salvation on every one who tice, both towards God and men, ver. 22.- For, by their believeth; on the Jew first, to whom it was to be first public institutions, they changed the glory of the incorpreached, and also on the Greek, ver. 16.—In this ac- ruptible:God into an image of corruptible man, and of count of the gospel the apostle insinuated that no Jew birds, &c. which they held up to the people as objects of could be saved by the law of Moses, nor any Gentile by worship. And by their own example, as well as by the the law of nature. For, if the Jews could have been laws which they enacted, they led the people to worship saved by the one law, and the Greeks by the other, the these idols with the most impure and detestable rites, ver. gospel, instead of being the power of God for salvation 23.-For which crime God permitted those pretended to every one who believeth,' would have been a needless wise men, who had so exceedingly dishonoured him, to dispensation; and the apostle ought to have been ashamed dishonour themselves with the most brutish carnality ; of of it , as altogether superfluous.

which the apostle gives a particular description, ver. 24To prove that the gospel is the power of God for sal. 26.; and observes, that those proud legislators and phivation to every one who believeth,' the apostle first of all losophers, who thought they had discovered the highest observes, that “therein the righteousness of God by faith wisdom in their religious and political institutions, thus is revealed ;'-in the gospel, the righteousness which God received in themselves the recompense of their error that will accept and reward is revealed to be a righteousness was meet, ver. 27.-So that the abominable uncleanness, not of works, but of faith. And this being the only which was avowedly practised by the Greeks, and which righteousness of which sinners are capable, the gospel was authorized by their public institutions, as well as by which discovers its acceptableness 10 God and the me. the example of their great men, was both the natural ei. thod in which it may be attained, is, without doubt, the fect, and the just punishment, of that idolatry which, in power of God for salvation to all who believe, ver. 17. cvery state, was established as the national religion.Here an essential defect, both in the law of Moscs and Farther, because the Grecian legislators did not approve in the law of nature, is tacitly insinuated. Neither the of the true knowledge of God as fit for the people, the one law nor the other reveals God's intention of accept- great men, as well as the vulgar, whom they deceived, lost ing and rewarding any righteousness but that of a per. all sense of right and wrong, in their behaviour towards fect obedience. Secondly, To prove that the gospel alone one another, ver. 28.-most of them being filled with all is “the power of God for salvation,' the apostle observes, manner of injustice, fornication, wickedness, &c. ver. 29that both in the law of nature and the law of Moses, 'the 31. Nay, although by the law of God written on their wrath of God is revealed from heaven,' &c. That is, hearts, they knew that those who commit such crimes are these laws, instead of granting pardon to sinners, subject worthy of death, to such a degree did they carry their prothem to punishment, however penitent they may be; fligacy, that they not only committed these sins themselves, consequently, these laws are not the power of God for but encouraged the common people to commit them, by salvation to any ones But the gospel, which promises the pleasure with which they beheld their debaucheries in pardon and eternal life, is the effectual means of saving the temples, and their revellings on the festivals of their sinners. In short, any hope of mercy sinners entertain gods, ver. 32. must be derived from revelation alone, ver. 18. And in Such is the apostle Paul's account of the manners of regard the apostle wrote this epistle to the Romans for the Greeks; from which it appears that their boasted phithe purpose of explaining and proving these important losophy, notwithstanding it enabled them to form exceltruths, the declaration of them, contained in verses 16, lent plans of civil government, whereby the people were 17, 18. may be considered as the proposition of the sub- inspired with the love of their country, and good laws for jects to be handled in this epistle.

maintaining the peace of society, it proved utterly inefAccordingly, to show that no person, living under the fectual for giving the legislators the knowledge of salvalaw of nature, has any hope of salvation given him by tion, and for leading them to establish a right public rethat law, the apostle begins with proving, that, instead of ligion : defects which entirely destroyed any influence possessing that perfect holiness which is required by the which their political institutions might otherwise havo law of nature in order to salvation, all are guilty before had, in aiding the people to maintain a proper moral conGod, and doomed by that law to punishment. To illus. duct. In short, the vicious characters of the false gods, trate this proposition, St. Paul took the Greeks for an whom the legislators held up to the people as objects of example; because, having carried the powers of reason their worship, and the impure rites with which they ap

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pointed them to be worshipped, corrupted the morals of ened by God, behaved in such a manner as to be accept-
ihe people to such a degree, that the Greeks became the able to him.
most debauched of mankind, and thereby lost all claim to 2. My second remark is, That although the revelation
the favour of God. But if this was the case with the of the wrath of God from heaven, against all ungodliness
most intelligent, most civilized, and most accomplished and unrighteousness of men, mentioned by the apostle,
heathen nations, under the tuition of their boasted phi- Rom. i. 18. certainly implies that no sinner can have
losophy, it will easily be admitted, that the light of na any hope of salvation from the law of nature, it does not
ture, among the barbarous nations, could have no greater follow, that the pious heathens had no hope of salvation.
efficacy in leading them to the worship of the true God, The heathens in general believed their deities placable,
and in giving them the knowledge of the method of sal- and, in that persuasion offered to them propitiatory sacri.
vation. The most civilized heathen nations, therefore, fices, and expected to be pardoned and blessed by them
equally with the most barbarous, having, under the guid- even in a future state, (See Guardian, No. 27.) ; nay,
ance of the light of nature, lost the knowledge of God, many of them believed they were to reanimate their
and become utterly corrupted in their morals, it is evi. bodies. But these hopes they did not derive from the
dent, that none of them could have any hope of a future law or light of nature, but from the promise which God
life from the law of nature, which condemns all to death made to the first parents of mankind. For that promise
without mercy, who do not give a sinless obedience to being handed down by tradition to Noah and his sons,
its precepts. Wherefore, both for the nowledge of the they communicated the knowledge thereof, together with
method of salvation, and for salvation itself, the Greeks the use of sacrifice, to all their descendants. So that the
were obliged to have recourse to the gospel, which teaches, hope of pardon and immortality which the pious heathens
that because all have sinned, and are incapable of perfect entertained, was the very hope which the gospel hath
obedience, God hath appointed for their salvation .a more clearly brought to light, and was derived from the
righteousness without law;' that is a righteousness which same source, namely, froin divine revelation. Withal,
does not consist in perfect obedience to any law whatever, being agreeable to the natural wishes of mankind, and the
even the righteousness of faith,' that being the only only remedy for their greatest fears, these circumstances
righteousness attainable by sinners; and at the same time contributed to preserve it in the world.—Since, then,
declares, that God will accept and reward that kind of the hope of pardon and of a future state, which the hea-
righteousness through Christ, as if it were a perfect right thens entertained, was derived, not from the light of na-
eousness. These inferences, indeed, the apostle hath not lure, but from the primitive revelations, the apostle's rea-
drawn in this part of his letter, because he intended to soning in this chapter is perfectly just, and his conclusion
produce them (chap. iji. 20. 23. 28) as general conclu- stands firm ; namely, that the light and law of nature
sions concerning all mankind, after having proved the hold out no method in which a sinner can be saved, and
insufficiency of the law of Moses for justifying the Jews. that it is the gospel alone which hath brought the impor-
Yet it was fit to mention them here, that the reader might tant secret to light, by explaining and enlarging the pri-
have a complete view of the apostle's argument.

mitive revelations, and by teaching, in the clearest man. I shall finish this illustration with the following re ner, that God will accept men's faith for righteousness and, marks .

at the judgment, reward it as if it were a perfect right1. The picture which the apostle hath drawn of the eousness, on account of the obedience of Jesus Christ. manners of the Greeks, is by no means aggravated. The 3. My third remark is, That the description which the intercourse which he bad with the philosophers, and more apostle hath given of the national manners of the Greeks, especially with his own disciple, Dionysius the Areo- however disgraceful to human nature, being perfectly pagite, enabled him to form a just judgment of the learn- true, merits attention; because it is a complete confutaing and religion of that celebrated people ; as his long tion of those who contend, that natural reason hath always residence in Athens, Corinth, and other Greek cities, been sufficient to lead mankind to just notions in religion, made him perfectly acquainted with their manners. But and to a proper moral conduct. For after the weakness though his description is not exaggerated, we must re of human reason, in matters of religion and morality, member that it does not extend to every individual. It hath been so clearly demonstrated by experience in the is an image of the manners of the Greek nations in ge case of the Greeks, who, of all mankind, were the most neral, or rather of such of them as were in the higher distinguished for their intellectual endowments, the futile ranks of life. I call the reader's attention to this remark, pretence of the sufficiency of the light of nature, set up because the apostle himself supposes, in the second chap- by modern infidels, for the purpose of rendering revelater, that the Gentiles, who have not the benefit of reve- tion needless, should be rejected with the contempt due lation, may attain that faith and holiness which is neces to so gross a falsehood. And all who are acquainted sary to justification : in which case he assures us, that with the actual state of the world under the guidance of they shall be rewarded with glory and peace. Besides, the light of nature, ought thankfully to embrace the init is well known, that in every Gentile nation there were struction contained in the gospel, as the most effectual always many who believed in the one true God, and who, means of training ignorant sinful creatures to virtue ; in the persuasion that he is, and that he is the rewarder and should humbly submit to the method of salvation by of them who diligently scek him, were anxious to know Christ, therein revealed, as of divine appointment, and as and do his will ; and who, being instructed and strength- the only method in which sinners can be saved.

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SOME perhaps may be of opinion, that to have done sort of little moment, and not attending to those which justice to the following translation of the Apostolical are of greater magnitude, are apt to conclude, that the Epistles, the author, as often as it differs from the common translation now submitted to the public differs so little version, should have shown the import and propriety of from the one in common use, that it might have been these differences, with the reasons on which they are spared. But nothing can be worse founded than such a founded, especially when they are of the minute kind; conclusion. Persons who are judges of language, know because negligent readers, fancying differences of that that the alteration of a single word in a sentence, and

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