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SECT. VI. No. 2.
CHAP. V. 20, 21.
CONTENTS. St. Paul, pursuing his design in this epistle, of satisfying the gentiles, that there was no need of their submitting to the law, in order to their partaking of the benefits of the gospel, having, in the foregoing eight verses taught them, that Adam's one sin had brought death upon them all, from which they were all restored by Christ's death, with addition of eternal bliss and glory, to all those who believe in him; all which being the effect of God's free grace and favour, to those who were never under the law, excludes the law from having any part in it, and so fully makes out the title of the gentiles to God's favour, through Jesus Christ, under the gospel, without the intervention of the law. Here, for the farther satisfaction of the gentile converts, he shows them in these two verses, that the nation of the hebrews, who had the law, were not delivered from the state of death by it, but rather plunged deeper under it, by the law, and so stood more in need of favour, and indeed had a greater abundance of grace afforded them, for their recovery to life by Jesus Christ, than the gentiles themselves. Thus the jews themselves, not being saved by the law, but by an excess of grace, this is a farther proof of the point St. Paul was upon, viz. that the gentiles had no need of the law, for the obtaining of life, under the gospel.
TEXT. 20 Moreover, the law entered, that the offence might abound: but
where sin abounded, grace did much more abound;
PARAPHRASE. 20 This was the state of all * mankind, before the law,
* 20 * There can be nothing plainer, than that St. Paul here, in these two verses, makes a comparison between the state of the jew's, and the state of the
PARAPHRASE. they all died for the one zapán Twud, lapse, or offence, of one man which was the only irregularity, that had death annexed to it: but the law entered, and took place over a small part of mankind *, that this TT OP ÉTT Wud, lapse, or offence, to which death was
NOTES. gentiles, as it stands described in the eight preceding verses, to show wherein they differed, or agreed, so far as was necessary to his present purpose, of satisfying the convert romans, that, in reference to their interest in the gospel, the jews had no advantage over them, by, the law. With what reference to those eight versés, St. Paul writ these two, appears by the very choice of his words. He tells them, ver. 12, “ that death by sin sicñas entered into the “ world," and here he tells them that the law (for sin and death were entered already) Wapeichey, entered a little, a word that set, in opposition to sionage, gives a distinguishing idea of the extent of the law, such as it really was, little and narrow, as was the people of Israel (whom alone it reached) in respect of all the other nations of the earth, with whom it had nothing to do. For the law of Moses was given to Israel alone, and not to all mankind. The vulgate, therefore, translates this word right, subintravit, it entered, but not far, i, e, the death which followed, upon the account of the mosaical law, reigned over but a small part of mankind, viz. the children of Israel, who alone were under that law: whereas, by Adam's transgression of the positive law given hin in paradise, death passed upon all men.
* "Iya, “ that.” Some would have this signify barely the event, and not the intention of the law-giver, and so understand by these words, “ that the 66 offence might abound," the increase of sin, or the aggravations of it, as a consequence of the law. But it is to be remembered, that St. Paul here sets forth the difference, which God intended to put, by the law which he gave them, between the children of Israel and the gentile world, in respect of life and death; life and death being the subject St. Paul was upon. And, therefore, to mention barely accidental consequences of the law, that made the difference, had come short of St. Paul's purpose.
All mankind was in an irrecoverable state of death, by Adain's lapse. It was plainly the intention of God to remove the israelites out of this state, by the law: and so he says himself, that he gave " them statutes and judgments, " which if a man do, he shall live in thein,” Lev. xviii. 5. And so St. Paul tells us here, chap. vii. 10, that the law was ordained for life. Whence it necessarily follows, that if life were intended them for their obedience, death was intended them for their disobedience; and accordingly Moses tells them, Deut. xxx. 19, “ that he had set before them life and death.” Thus, by the law, the children of Israel were put into a new state: and by the covenant God made with them, their remaining under death, or their recovery of life, was to be the consequence, not of what another had done, but of what they theinselves did. They were thenceforth put to stand or fall, by their own actions, and the death they suffered was for their transgressions. Every oftence, they committed against the law, did, by this covenant, bind death upon them. It is not easy to conceive, that God should give them a law, to the end sin and guilt should abound amongst them, but yet he might, and did give them a law, that the offence, which had death annexed, should abound, i. e. that death, which before was the declared penalty of but one offence, should to the jews be made the penalty of every breach by the sanction of this new law, which was not a hardship, but a privilege to them. For in their former state, common to them, with the rest of maukind, death, was unavoidable to them.
TEXT. 21 That, as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign
PARAPHRASE. annexed, might abound, i.e. the multiplied transgressions of many men, viz. all that were under the law of Moses, might have death annexed to them, by the positive sanction of that law, whereby the offence *, to which death was annexed, did abound, i. e. sins that had death for their punishment, were increased. But; by the goodness of God, where
sin t, with death annexed to it, did abound, grace 21 did much more abound f. That as sin had reigned,
or showed its mastery, in the death of the israelites,
NOTES. But, by the law, they had a trial for life: accordingly our Saviour to the young man, who asked “ what he should do to obtain eternal life,” answers, “ keep “ the commandments." The law, increasing the offence in this sense, had also another benefit, viz. that the jews, perceiving they incurred death by the law, which was ordained for life, might tliereby, as by a schoolmaster, be led to Christ, lo seek life by him. This St. Paul takes notice of, Gal. iii. 24.
* ITæpórtwjia is another word, showing St. Paul's having an eye, in what he says here, to what he said in the foregoing verses. Our bibles translate it " offence:" it properly signifies “ fall,” and is used in the foregoing verses, for that transgression, which, by the positive law of God, had death annexed to it, and in that sense the apostle continues to use it here also. There was but one such sin, before the law, given by Moses, viz. Adam's eating the for. bidden fruit. But the positive law of God, given to the israelites, made all their sins such, by annexing the pegalty of death to each transgression, and thus the offence abounded, or was increased by the law.
+ “ Sin.” That by “ sin,” St. Paul here means such failure, as, by the sanction of a positive law, had death annexed to it, the beginning of ihe next verse shows, where it is declared to be such sin, as reigned in, or hy death, which all sin doth not, all sin is not laxed at that rate, as appears by ver. 13, see the note. The article joined here both to wapdie twua and apoptla, for it is tò napártwo, and Ý dpi dptía, the offence and the sin, limiting the general signification of those words to some particular sort, seems to point out this sense. And that this is not a mere groundless criticism, may appear from ver. 12 and 13, where St. Paul uses duaptía, in these two different verses, with the distinction of the article and no article.
I “ Grace might much more abound.” The rest of mankind were in a state of death, only for one sin of one man. This the apostle is express in, not only in the foregoing verses, but elsewhere. But those who were under the law (which made each transgression they were guilty of mortal) were under the condemnation of death, not only for that one sin of another, but also for every one of their own sins. Now to make any one righteous to life, from many, and those his own sins, besides that one, that lay on him before, is greater grace, than to bestow on him justification to life, only from one sin, and that of another man. To forgive the penalty of many sins, is a greater grace, than to rerait the penalty of one.
TEXT. through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ, our Lord.
PARAPHRASE. who were under the law ; so grace, in its turn, might reign, or show its mastery, by justifying them, from all those many sins, which they had committed, each whereof, by the law, brought death with it; and so bestowing on them the righteousness of faith, instate them in eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
SECT. VI. No. 5.
CHAP. VI. 1–23.
CONTENTS. · St. Paul having, in the foregoing chapter, very much magnified free grace, by showing that all men, having lost their lives by Adam's sin, were, by grace, through Christ, restored to life again ; and also, as many of them as believed in Christ, were re-established in immortality by grace; and that even the jews, who, by their own trespasses against the law, had forfeited their lives, over and over again, were also, by grace, restored to life, grace super-abounding, where sin abounded; he here obviates a wrong inference, which might be apt to mislead the convert gentiles, viz. “ therefore, let us con“ tinue in sin, that grace may abound.” The contrary whereof he shows their very taking upon them the profession of christianity required of them, by the very initiating ceremony of baptism, wherein they were typically buried with Christ, to teach them that they, as he did, ought to die to sin ; and, as he rose to live to God, they should rise to a new life of obedience to God, and be no more slaves to sin, in an obedience and resignation of themselves to its commands. For, if their obedience
were to sin, they were vassals of sin, and would certainly receive the wages of that master, which was nothing but death: but, if they obeyed righteousness, i. e. sincerely endeavoured after righteousness, though they did not attain it, sin should not have dominion over them, by death, i.e. should not bring death upon them. Because they were not under the law, which condemned them to death for every transgression; but under grace, which, by faith in Jesus Christ, justified them to eternal life, from their many transgressions. And thus he shows the gentiles not only the no necessity, but the advantage of their not being under the law.
TEXT. 1 What shall we say then? shall we continue in sin, that grace
may abound? ? God forbid : low shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein ?
PARAPHRASE. 1 WHAT shall we say then ? Shall we continue in sin, 2 that grace may abound? God forbid : how can it be
that we *, who, by our embracing christianity, have renounced our former sinful courses, and have professed a death to sin, should live any longer in it?
NOTE. 2 *«. We,” i.e. I and all converts to christianity.' St. Paul, in this chapter, shows it to be the profession and obligation of all christians, even by their baptism, and the typical signification of it, to be “ dead to sin, and alive “ 1o God," i. e, as he explains it, not to be any longer vassals to sin, in obeying our lusts, but to be servan! s to God, in a sincere purpose and endeavour of obeying him. For, whether under the law, or under grace, whoever is a vassal to sin, i.e. indulges himself in a compliance with his sinful lusts, will receive the wages which sin pays, i.e. death. This he strongly represents here, to the gentile converts of Rome (for it is to them he speaks in this chapter) that they Inight not mistake the state they were in, by being, not under the law, but under grace, of which, and the freedom and largeness of it, he had spoken so much, and so highly in the foregoing chapter, to let them see, that to be under grace, was not a state of licence, but of exact obedience, in the intention and endeavour of every one under grace, though in the performance they came short of it. This strict obedience, to the utmost reach of every one's aim and endeavours, be urges as necessary, because obedience to sin unavoidably produces death, and he urges as reasonable, for this very reason, that they were not under the law, but under grace. For as much as all the endeavours after righteousness, of those who were under the law, were lost labour, since any one slip forfeited life: but the sincere endeavours after righteousness of those, who were ander grace, were sure to succeed, to the attaining the gift of eternal life. .