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may imagine a world of gospel confolation, and love his appearing, inconveniencies, to foster their unbelief; when all the saints Thall wear crowns, yet all these foolish mists and cogitations 2 Tim.iv. 8. may evanilh at the serious confideration VII, So little ashamed should the mini. of this, that they shall not have mere man Iters of the gospel be of it, Rom. i. 16. to be their judge at that day, but God, in that they should glory and think much of whose light there is no creature but is ma- that employment, Rom. xi. 13. such af. mifejl, and unto whose eyes all things are fećtion Thould they carry toward it, that naked and open, Heb. iv. 13. for it is God it should be dear to them as their own ; that will judge at that day, and his stile is and they should never hear of it but their the searcher of hearts, Jer. xvii. 10. affections should warm towards it : and as
V. As all power is given unto Christ they ought to be faithful in discharging both in heaven and in earth, Matth. xxviii. their duty, fo the Lord will honour them 18. so in particular hath the Father com- so far as to have the glad news of the gomitted all judgment unto his Son, even as spel ftiled by them, as if it were theirs, , God-man, that all men should honour the when a difpenfation of it is only commit: Son, even as they honour the Father, Johned to them, 1 Cor. ix. 17. and they are but V. 22. 23. that that day may be the more rewards, 1 Cor. iv. I. and allowed of God joyful unto believers, when they see their to be put in trust with it, i Theff
. ii. best friend fitting on the bench, and the Hence upon these grounds, or the like, inore terrible unto the wicked who are doth the apostle call it my gospel : Sec his sworn enemies; for the judgment shall Rom. xvi. 25. be managed by Jesus Christ, Acts x. 42. And he commanded us to preach unto the VERSES 17. 18. 19. 20. Behold, thou art people, and to testify that it is he which called a Jew, and restest in the low, and was ordained of God to be the judge of quick makejl thy boast of God; and dead. See Acts xvii. 31. Rom xiv. And knowelt bis will, and approvest the 10. 2 Cor. v. 10.
things that are more excellent, being in VI. Albeit this day of judgment be structed out of the law dreadful and terrible unto the wicked, Ånd art confident that thou thyself art a who then shall be shiftless, Rev. vi. 15. a guide of the blind, a light of them which 16. 17. yet it is a most glad and joyful are in darkness, day unto the godly, and sweet news in An instructer of the foolis, a teacher of itself, and a piece of the gospel and glad babes, which hast the form of knowledge tidings; for then all the children shall be and of the truth in the law. fully victorious over all their enemies, even death which is the last; and then shall the HE apoftle having at large shown believer's husband be exalted highly as
how the Gentiles could not expect King in his kingly office; and then shall to be justified by works, but rather was to be the fulness and completement of the expect God's just judgment, because of sweet promises; and then shall the times of their wickedness ; he cometh now, in this refreshing come from the presence of the Lord, second part of the chapter, and proveth and the time come of resitution of all the same of the Jews: and having spoken things, which God hath spoken by the mouth something of them, as it were by the bye, of all his holy prophets, Acts il. 19. 21. from verse yth, and put them in one cate. therefore is it here said, according to the gory with the Gentiles, and withal folved gospel ; and believers ought to look upon some of their objections, verse 13th, he it as a gospel truth, full of sweetness and cometh now and dealeth with them by
themselves, and followeth forth the same they, having the law among their hands, way he began, and sheweth, That they attained to a more clear and distinct knowhould be to far from being justified by ledge of God's mind. their works, that because of them they The fifth is, and approvest the things should certainly expect condemnation, and that are more excellent, &c. They being that notwithstanding of all their privileges, instructed out of this law, were able to diswhereof he reckoneth up seven in these cern betwixt right and wrong, and to pass verses, and cleareth this his aflertion to sentence in matters controverted, and put verse 25th; and then particularly answer things externally in a good order ; and eth an objection which they might make knew what things were best, for they from circumcision, unto the end of the were catechised out of the law from their chapter.
infancy. The first privilege which he nameth, The
fixth is, and art confident that thou and whereof they boasted, was, that they thyself art a guide of the blind, a light to were called Jews, probably from the tribe them which are in darkness, an instructor of Judah, (which, with Benjamin, did not of the foolish, a teacher of babes. They make defeètion, when all the rest did, un- had not only so much knowledge as was der Jeroboam, and both went under one useful for themselves, but they had to imname, and were called the kingdom of Ju. part to others, and did obtrude these things dah) which, as more constant than the reft,
on others, making profelytes, Matth. xxiii. fo more privileged, in that the promised 15. and hence Christ calleth them leaders Messias was to come out of it, and that of the blind, Matth. xv. 14. They conceivmost likely when dispersed, and knew not ed themselves able enough to instruct owell what tribe they were of; however thers. . the name signifieih one that hath devoted The last is, which hast the form of knowhimself to the true religion, who acknow. ledge and of the truth in the law : They ledgeth and professeth the true God, and had such an idea and express image of all his worship, and of this they boasted ; as these truths that did ly up and down the also because they were come of that tribe, law; they had a most conspicuous appearof whom the Messias, the only Mediator ance of knowledge, so as they were able berwixt God and man, was promised to to instruct others; they had the external
vizor or mask of knowledge of the truth. The next is, they rested in the law; they had the law of Moses among their hands, From Verses 17. 18. OBSERVE, the oracles of God belonging unto them, I. When men grow secure because of which was a great privilege, Deut. iv. 8. privileges wherewith they are blessed of Psal. cxlvii. 19. 20. and they thought they God, it is a hard matter to get such rouzwere so sure, thinking that was enough, ed up and awakened, and brought to fome that they were secure, and lived in it se- thorough conviction of their case and concurely, and sleeped upon it, as if no more dition; therefore doth the apostle prefix were required.
this word behold. co stir them up the more The third is, they made their boast of to a serious consideration of themselves. God; they had God confederate with them, II. As it is a matter worthy of comand their God in a peculiar manner by way mendation to submit unto God externally, of covenant, and they became his peculiar and make confession with the mouth, Rom. x. people, Exod. xix. 5. Lev. xx 26. Deut. 9. fo carnal men are realy to rest therexxvi. 17. 18. and this puffed them up. upon, as thinking it fufficient unto salvaThe fourth is, and knowest bis will; tion, as these did here, in that they were
called Jezus, and had taken on a profession. I will prove an aggravation of their guilt, JII. Though it be a great privilege to
and make their punishment the greater, have any relation, even external, to Christ, Luke xii. 47. for this, that they knew his Rom. ix. 5. yet that will not be suficient will, is one of the privileges, notwithto carry fouls to heaven; for even this, standing whereof they might expect conthat they were Jews, and so naturally re demnation because of their fins. lated to Chrift, is caften, and will not prove VIII. Men may have much insight in lufficient io keep them from wrath. the law of God, even so much as that they
IV. Such is the corruption of men in may be able to dive deep into, and search nature, that when the law should be used out truth from falsehood, and to know by them to discover their need of Christ, what is most agreeable unto the will of and so drive them in to him, they turn it God, and may prefer that, and yet be but into a resting-bed to sleep upon, supposing naughty when all this is done; for these no more to be requisite for attaining life: 1 here could, after search, approve things for these Jews rested on the law; they made that are more excellent, and on this they it a bed to sleep upon, and went no far-rested, supposing it abundance. ther.
IX. Catechising, as it is an ancient and : V. Tho' we ought to value the privi- divine way of instructing the ignorant, leges of God very highly, and account and hath been still made use of for that ourselves much obliged to God because of end, Deut. vi. 7. so it is yet useful and them, and in particular because of his necessary for atraining unto the right becoming a God to us, and taking us in knowledge of the law, so as to be able to covenant with himself; yet we should to take up God's mind distin&tly, and apnot be puifed up by them, so as to think prove of the best and more excellent there is none like us, and to undervalue things; for the way how they attained to all others, in comparison of ourselves, be- this knowledge of his will was thro' being cause of these our enjoyments : for thus instructed, or catechised, out of the law. did they make their boast of God, and gloried vauntingly of their being God's pe
From Verses 19. 20. OBSERVE, culiar people.
I. Woful and miserable is the state and conVI. Folks may be externally in cove dition of poor unconverted souls; they are nant with God, and so admited to a high- blind, not seeing nor discerning their daner dignity than others, and may think ger, nor a way to escape God's wrath and much of their being in such a state, and eternal vengeance; and they are living in yet be far from justification, and freedom grofs darkness, and in the region and shafrom the wrath and curle of God; for the dow of death, Isa. ix. 2. they are foolish apo le fheweth, that this privilege, a and witless, not hearkening unto the counmong the rest
, would not secure them, viz. fel of the Lord, ror seeking for a way of that they boasted of God, or of their being recovery, but as filly children carelessly in covenant with God.
lying still in their condition ; for such, of VII. Tho' it be a special privilege whom those whom the apostle is now taxwhich God confereth upon the children ing were teachers, are here called blind, of men, to be in any measure admited to and dwellers in darkness. foolish, and babes. know his will, and to be acquainted with II. This lamentable and deplorable case his mind, yet the particular and punctual of poor finners, holdeth forih a ncceffity knowledge thereof will not be enough to of instructors; and the stile that such ge fave men from the wrath of God, when here and elsewhere, theweth, of what con obedience is not yielded thereunto, but cerament che being of luch officers in the
church are to the church; and the necessi- | are puffed up with a vain conceit of their tus case of poor souls calleth for their being the only able qualified men for the help, and what a doleful case they place: for thus were these Jews perfuadwould be in without them; for folks na ing themselves that they were leaders, and turally are blind, and so have need of lights, &c. when yet they had not good guides; they are in darkness, and so have ground to walk on. need of light; they are foolish, and fu have VI. It is ordinary for such as have atreed of fome to instruct them; and are tained unto fo:ne measure of knowledge, children, and have need of schoolmasters ; but not unto the fanctified use thereof, and fo are those stated here.
to be puffed up thereby, so as to think LII. As these stiles given to such as are meanly of all others in comparison of in place in the church, do hold forth a themselves; therefore these teachers, here, diitiact office peculiar to some, and not are said to think so much of themselves as common to every one, (leeing some are to account others but babes and infanis, instructed, and some to be instructed) fo yea, fools in knowledge, in comparison of as none but they may lawfully exerce the themselves; for the apostle supposeth and fame ; so do they point out obedience and granteth them to be teachers, &c. and willing subjection unto, due reverence and useth their own language, whereby they respect to, such as are in place, to be given vilified others, and faith, they were instrucby such are under them, as the blind will tors of the foolish, and teachers of babes; do unto their leaders, and scholars to their or of such as they accounted fo. mafters, and instructed to their instructors. VII. It is a hard and a difficult matter for
IV. As the work of the ministry is a men and women to attain unto fome more work of great weight and moment; so it than an ordinary measure of knowledge in becometh all who undertake it, to be well the ways of God, and not to rest and settle qualified and fitted for the fame, and to thereupon, as tho' no more were necessary have endowments, whereby they may be for the saving them from the curse of a azacitated to discharge that weighty em- fin-revenging God; for this proved a restFoyment aright: hence they are called ing-stone to these Jews with whom the zides
, who must have eyes to see, and apostle is contending now, viz. that they 2.il to lead the blind; lights, who must were persuaded they were teachers of others, Line forth in doctrine and conversation in a light to such as were in darkness, &c. the midft of a crooked generation, as burn VIII. So strait is the way to heaven, and i and hining lights, John v. 35. instruc- lo hard a matter is it to enter in, that ma12 ", who must know the truth, and be ny may take upon them to be guides to 20.e to teach it to others; and skilful others, and instructors of the ignorant,
hoslmasters, able to educate and train up and to hold forth the way unto them, and Jing ones by doctrine and discipline. yet miss it themselves, and never be able
V. Tho’this einployment be weighty in to enter in: all that enter in there must ef, and of dangerous consequence unto thake off themselves all conceit of the cas are in it, when they prove negli knowledge they have, (how eminent sokrat, or unfit for the discharge thereof, ever they be in it) and resolve to disclaim it, tiano lets than the blood of fouls, Ezek as to any trusting to it, or of expecting of
18. yet there are many who run under freedom from wrath and guilt from it: for Sload, and have not shoulders fit for these teachers here, who were confident ba stress; many who take this office they were light to such as were in dark"I them and are not fitied por qualified ness, &c. were but graceless for all that, stefore; and not only fo, but who also' and far from being justified by faith in
Christ, and never would have been jufti- | not but join with him against them.) fied so long as they relied upon their fu- t/t, In general ; Thou therefore which perlative (in their own account) know- teachest another, dost thou not teach thyledge.
self? As if he had said, If you be such as IX. Tho' men may conceive an idea, you would let the world know you are, and an express image of truths manifest- how comes it to pass that you
about ed to them, so as they may be able to hold those duties you press upon others? How forih truth unto others clearly, yet as all comes it, that when you advise others lo that will not avail in the day of reckoning, well, you in the mean time neglect yourfo it may be but a fair out-lide frame and selves? Why do you not make your lives fashion, and such as never yet fank down examples to those upon whom you press into their hearts, and made a change there, holiness? Then, 2dly, he instanceth in but still abode in the brain, and was only three particulars: The first is theft; wherea vizor of knowledge and of truth, all not by is meant, all subtile and finister ways being gold that glistereth; for all the fair and practices tending to the damnifying of fhew and flourish which they had was but others in their outward estate; of this they a form of knowledge, and of the truth of the were guilty, howbeit they pressed the conlaw,
trary on others. The second is adultery;
whereby is meant, all wronging of the VERSES 21. 22. 23. 24. Thou therefore chastity of others, in heart, expressions,
which teachejt another, teachest thou not or outward actions. The third is, they thyself? thou that preachest a man fhould did commit facrilege, either in robbing not steal, dost thou steal?
God of his glory, and taking from him Thou that sayst å man hould not commit a
what is his, or in wronging or taking away dultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou any thing dedicated and given away to a that abhorest idols, dost thou commit fa- pious use, for the promoting of God's fercrilege?
vice; and this is aggravated particularly Thou that makest thy boast of the law, from this
, that they would seem so zealous through breaking the law dishoncurest of God's glory, and so devout, as not to thou God.
regard idols, but to abhor them, and yet For the name of God is blasphemed among they made no scruple to commit facrilege :
the Gentiles, through you, as it is writ-All which the apostle aggravateth farther, ten.
verse 23d, in that, ist, They went over
all bonds and marches, notwithstanding of Fter the apostle hath reckoned up the great profession they made, and respect
their privileges, now he cometh to they seemed to have had to the law; they Thew, how, notwithstanding of these, they made their boast of the law, and yet that could not expect to be justified by their would not keep them from breaking it. works; and he giveth this ground and rea. 2dly, Their fins did strike directly against fon for it: Because they were transgressors God and his honour, and by their tranfof the law, and thereby dilhonourers of gressions they laboured to disgrace him, God. And this he makes good several whose name be blessed for ever. And ways : (and withal aggravatech it by shew- this he farther maketh out, by shewing, ing how they did reach others otherways, moreover, how they gave occasion by and so their own mouths condemned them. ' their wicked deeds to Heathens to speak And, the more to win in upon them, and evil of God, as their forefathers did be to waken them, he proposeih all to them- fore them in the like cases, which are selves, as if their own consciences could mentioned in fcripture, viz. Isa. lii. 5