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NOTE. word rectitude, in imitation of St. Paul, who uses exård uale here for all those precepts of the law, which contain in them any part of the natural and eterual rule of rectitude, which is made known to men, by the light of reason. This rule of their actions all mankind, uncircumcised as well as circumcised, had, and is that which St. Paul calls Ornalwa Toữ @rov, ch. i. 32. Because it came from God, and was made by him; the moral rule to all mankind being laid within the discovery of their reason, which if they kept to, it was dixaiwua, righteousness to them, or they were justified. And this rule of morality St. Paul says the Gentile world did acknowledge. So that fix siwo TOű Oroũ, ch. i. 32, signifies that rule of right, taken in general; and Sinarumala Toũ nó jou here siguifies the particular branches of it, contained in the law of Moses. For no other part of the law of Moses could an beathen be supposed to observe, or be concerned in : and, therefore, those only can be the sixasuala tol cóuou here meant. If we consider the various senses that translators and expositors have given to this term &exalway in the several places of St. Paul's epistles where it occurs, we shall have occasion to think that the apostle used this word with great latitude and variety of significations; whereas I imagine, that, if we carefully read those passages, we shall find that he used it every where in the same sense, i. e, for that rule, which, if complied with, justified, or reudered perfect, the person or thing it referred to. For example :
Rom. i. 32. Arxalwa @toũ, translated “the judgment of God," is that rule of right, which, if the heathen world had kept and perfectly obeyed, they had been righteous before God.
Rom. ii. 26. Arxandata TÜ 6uou, “the righteousness of the law," are those precepts of the law of Moses, which, if the uncircumcised, whom he there speaks of, had kept, they had been righteous before God.
Rom. v. 16. Eis orxanma, “ to justification," is to the obtaining of righte
Rom. v. 18. At syds Soxal MATOS, “ by one righteousness," is by one act, whereby he was justified or coinpletely perfected, to be what he had undertaken to be, viz. the Redeemer and Saviour of the world. For it was soà mashuatwy, or, as some copies read it, &à wabhpatos, by his suffering, viz. death on the cross, that he was perfected, Heb. ii. 9, 10, and 14, 15, and v. 7-9. Rom. v. 10. Phil. ii. 8. Col. i. 21, 22.
Rom. viii. 4. ad SixalwuQ TOű vómov, “ the righteousness of the law." Here, as Rom. ii. 20, it is that rule of right, contained in the law, which, if a man exactly performed, he was righteous and perfect before God.
Heb. ix. 1. Arxauupata halpaías, “ Ordinances of divine service," are those rules or precepts, concerning the outward worship of God, which, when conformed to, render it perfect, and such as was right and unblamable before God.
Heb. ix. 10. Aixar para capxòs, “ carnal ordinances,” are such rules, concerving ritual performances, as, when observed, justified the flesh. By these observances, according as they were prescribed, the flesh, or natural outward man, obtained a legal outward boliness, or righteousness; there was no exception against him, but he was freely admitted into the congregation, and into the sanctuary.
In the same sense 8ixasubuata is also used in the Apocalypse.
Rev. xv. 4, Tà Boxarumata gou i Parecuonoar, “thy judgments are made manifest," i. e. those terms whereupon men are to be justified before God, were clearly and fully made known, under the Gospel. Here, as Rom. i. they are called 8sxasuuata toū, the terns which God had prescribed to men, for their justification. And,
Rev. xix. 8. Tà Bexasumata sūv áyiwy, “ the righteousness of the saiuts," i, e. the performances, whereby the saints stand justified before God.
TEXT. 27 And shall not upcircumcision, which is by nature, if it fulfil the law,
judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the
law ? 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that cir
cumcision, which is outward in the flesh :
PARAPHRASE. law, shall he not be reckoned and accounted of as if he were 27 circumcised, and every way a Jew? And shall not a Gentile,
who, in his natural state of uncircumcision, fulfils the law,
condemn thee, who, notwithstanding the advantage of having 28 the law and circumcision , art a transgressor of the law ? For
NOTES. So that, if we will observe it, &ixaiwus is the rule of right; as having God for its author, it is doxalwux Otoő; as contained in the precepts of the law, it is Sexoscópata tcử rómov; as it concerns the external, instituted rites of the Levi. tical worship of God, it is sixasdpata happsíos; as it concerns the outward, legal, or ritual holiness of the Jews, it is soxalcóata orfxòs; as it is in holy men niade perfect, it is Exarcuata kylwr.
It may not be amiss to take a little notice also of St. Paul's use of the other term here, róuos, “law," which he commonly puts for a positive rule given to meo, with the sanction of a penalty annexed; and in particular, frequently (sometimes with, sometimes without, the particle) for the law of Moses, with out naming what law he means, as if there had been no other law in the world, as indeed there was not any other in St. Paul's notion of a law, from the fall to our Saviour's time, but only the law given by God to the Israelites, by the hand of Moses. Under the Gospel the law of Moses was abrogated: but yet tlie δικαιώματα του νόμου were not abrogated. The δικαιώμα του Θεού not only stood firm, but was, by the divine authority, promulgated anew, by Jesus Christ, the King and Saviour of the world. For it is of this that he says, “ that he is not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it," i.e. to give it positively and plaiuly, in its full latitude and extent, and set these arxasupata TGŪ rouoü in their due light and full force ; and accordingly we see all the branches of it more expressly commanded, and with penalties more rigorously enforced, on all his subjects, by our Saviour and his apostles, than they were in the law of Moses.
Thus we see that, by the doctrine of St. Paul and the New Testament, there is one and the same rule of rectitude set to the actions of all mankind, Jews, Gentiles, and Christians; and that failing of a complete obedience to it in every tittle makes a man unrighteous, the consequence whereof is death. For the Gentiles, that have siuned without a law, shall perish without a law; the Jews, that have siuned, having a law, shall be judged by that law; but that both Jews and Gentiles shall be saved from death, if they believe in Jesus Christ, and sincerely endeavour after righteousness, though they do not attain unto it; their
faith being accounted to them for righteousness, Rom. iii. 19—24. 27 : “ Judge thee." This he saith, prosecuting the design he began with, ver. 1,
of showing the folly and unreasonableness of the Jews, in judging the Gentiles, and denying them admittance and fellowship with themselves, in the kingdom of the Messias. * It is plain that “by nature," and “ by the letter and circumcision,” are there opposed to one another, and mean the one, a man, in his natural state, wholly a stranger to the law of God revealed by Moses ; and the other a Jew, observing the external rites contained in the letter of the law.
TEXT. 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that
of the heart, in the spirit, and not in tlie letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.
PARAPHRASE. he is not a Jew, who is one in outward appearance and con
formity", nor is that the circumcision which renders a man 29 acceptable to God, which is outwardly in the flesh: But he is
a Jew, and one of the people of God, who is one in an inward conformity to the law: and that is the circumcision which avails a man which is of the heart W, according to the spiritual sense of the law, which is the purging our hearts from iniquity, by faith in Jesus Christ, and not in an external observance of the letter*, by which a man cannot attain life, such true Israelites as these, though they are judged, condemned, and rejected by men of the Jewish nation, are nevertheless honoured and accepted by God.
"Letter,' vid. ch. vii. 6. 2 Cor. iii. 6, 7, compared with 17.
CHAPTER III. 1-31.
In this third chapter, St. Paul goes on to show, that the national privileges the Jews had over the Gentiles, in being the people of God, gave them no peculiar right, or better title
to the kingdom of the Messias, than what the Gentiles had. Because they, as well as the Gentiles, all sinned, and, not being able to attain righteousness by the deeds of the law, more than the Gentiles, justification was to be had only by the free grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ; so that, upon their believing, God, who is the God not of the Jews alone, but also of the Gentiles, accepted the Gentiles, as well as the Jews; and now admits all, who profess faith in Jesus Christ, to be equally his people.
To clear his way to this, he begins with removing an objection of the Jews, ready to say : “if it be so, as you have told us in the foregoing section, that it is the circumcision of the heart alone that availeth, what advantage have the Jews, who keep to the circumcision of the flesh, and the other observances of the law, by being the people of God?" To which he answers, that the Jews had many advantages above the Gentiles; but yet that, in respect of their acceptance with God under the Gospel, they had none at all. He declares that both Jews and Gentiles are sinners, both equally uncapable of being justified by their own performances : that God was equally the God both of Jews and Gentiles, and out of his free grace justified those, and only those, who believed, whether Jews or Gentiles.
TEXT. 1 What adrantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of cir
cumcision ? 2 Much erery way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed
the oracles of God. 3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith
of God without effect ?
PARAPHRASE. 1 If it be thus, that circumcision, by a failure of obedience to
the law, becomes uncircumcision; and that the Gentiles, who keep the righteousness, or moral part of the law, shall judge the Jews, that transgress the law, what advantage have
the Jews? or what profit is there of circumcision ? I answer, 2 Much every way a; chiefly, that God, particularly present
amongst them, revealed his mind and will, and engaged himself in promises to them, by Moses and other his prophets, which oracles they had, and kept amongst them, whilst the rest of mankind had no such communication with the Deity, had
no revelation of his purposes of mercy to mankind, but were, 3 as it were, without God in the world. For, though some of
the Jews, who had the promises of the Messias, did not believe in him, when he came, and so did not receive the righteousness, which is by faith in Jesus Christ; yet their unbelief cannot render the faithfulness and truth of God of no effect, who had promised to be a God to Abraham and his seed after
NOTE. 2 • A list of the advantages, the Jews had over the Gentiles, he gives, chap.
ix. 4, 5, hot here mentions only one of them, that was the thost proper to his present purpose.
TEXT. 4 God forbid ! yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is
written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest
overcome, when thou art judged. 5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what
shall we say? Is God unrighteous, who taketh vengeance (I speak
as a man) 6 God forbid ! for then how shall God judge the world? 7 For, if the truth of God hath more abounded, through my lie, unto
his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
PARAPHRASE. 4 him, and bless them to all generations b. No, by no means.
God forbid, that any one should entertain such a thought ! Yea, let God be acknowledged to be true, and every man a liar, as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy
sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. 5 But you will say farther, if it be so, that our sinfulness commendeth the righteousness of God, shown in keeping his word
given to our forefathers, what shall I say, is it not injustice in God to punish us for it, and cast us off? (I must be under
stood to say this, in the person of a carnal man, pleading for 6 himself) God forbid ! For if God be unrighteous, how shall a he judge the world d ? For, if the truth and veracity of God
NOTES. 3 How this was made good, St. Paul explains more at large in the following
chapter, and chap. ix. 6—13. 5 • That, by “the righteousness of God," St. Paul here intends God's faith
fuluess, in keeping his promise of saring believers, Gentiles as well as Jews, by righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, is plain, ver. 4, 7, 26. St. Paul's great design here, and all through the eleven first chapters of this epistle, being to convince the Romans, that God purposed, and in the Old Testament declared, that he would receive and save the Gentiles, by faith in the Messias, which was the only way, whereby Jews or Gentiles (they being all sinners, and equally destitute of righteousness by works) were to be saved.
This was a doctrine, which the Jews could not bear, and therefore the apostle here, in the person of a Jew, urges, and, in his own person, answers their objections against it, confirming to the Romans the veracity and faithfulness of God, on whom they might, with all assurance, depeud, for the performance of
whatever he said. 6 a This, which is an argument in the mouth of Abraham, Gen. xviii. 25, St. Paul
very appositely makes use of, to stop the mouths of the blasphemous Jews. 7° “For.” This particle plainly joins what follows, iu this and the next
verse, to “ vengeance” in the 5th verse, and shows it to be, as it is, a continuation of the objection begun in that verse; why St. Paul broke it into pieces, by intrudivg the 6th verse into the middle of it, there is a very plain reason. In the objection there were two things to be corrected ; first, the charging God with uprighteousness, which as soon as mentioned, it was a becoming interruption of St. Paul, to quash immediately, and to stop the Jews' mouths, with the