« AnteriorContinua »
tion ; but it is essential to it. creature, and who has no opporThat person, who is duly con- tunity to make restitution, becerned for his soul, is brought cause it has been neglected, uninto that situation by having til the injured person is no more some just views of truth ; for among the living. we cannot conceive of an exer- But, those who have but lately cise of mind, whether painful or entered into the family state, pleasant, without an object. have opportunity to save themHence we see the importance of selves from the distressing pain gospel instruction. Those par- of having been unfaithful. Their ents, who withhold it from their children are yet under their care, children, will find themselves, in and they are looking to them, as the great day, guilty of the blood their instructors and guides. of their souls. In consequence How important that they imof their unfaithfulness, they may prove the price which is put ingo down to destruction, and draw to their hands; that they begin after them their children and early to instruct their children, their children's children.
and to make them acquainted To all parents this subject with eternal things. If they must be interesting, especially know the things, which belong to to those, who have lately entered their own peace, and to that of into the family state. For those, their children, they will suffer no who are in this case, it was more time to be lost.
H. especially designed.
Such parents, as have been unfaithful in their houses, until the characters of their children
PARTS are formed, and their influence over them nearly or quite at an end, are in a most unhappy case.
[The reader will take the trouble to
look over the chapter.] The opportunities they once enjoyed are past, and can never be
HAVING noted the blessings, recalled. Their children will which come to believers through no more be young. They are Jesus Christ ; free justification, gone, or are going, from under peace with God, a standing in their care ; and perhaps many of the grace of the everlasting corthem are in their graves. The
enant, and joy in the hope of parents, if their feelings are in glory, with several important any measure awake, must carry concomitants ; the apostle, from their burdens all their days ; the 12th verse, remarks a resem. knowing that it must be forever blance between the manner in said of them, that they have been
which sin and death pass upon unkind and unfaithful parents. the world of mankind, and the They may ardently wish they manner in which the justifica. had opportunity to call their chil
tion of life, with all its benefits, dren around them, and make passes upon all, who are in them acquainted with their Ma. Christ. “Wherefore, as by one ker; but, alas, it is too late. man sin entered into the world, Their case is similar to that of a and death by sin ; and so death person, who has robbed a fellow, passed upon all men, for that all
OF ROMANS V.
have sinned :" [So righteous- men, for that all have sinned." ness and life, through Christ Calvin's interpretation agrees alone, pass upon all the heirs of with that of our translators:mercy.]
Forasmuch as all have sinned. In some such manner as this, But if, with others, we choose to according to the connexion, the read, so death passed upon all men, ellipsis in ver. 12 ought to be sup- unto which all have sinned; the plied ; as may be seen by look- same ground of condemnation is ing forward to ver. 15.
implied ; and all having sinned The two intervening verses unto death, in one sense or other, appear to form a parenthesis, by is the declared reason why death which the apostle explains, as be passes upon all. goes along, what he had just Still the exact sense in which said. “Sin,” he observes, “is all are adjudicated sinners, by not imputed where there is no means of the first man's offence, law.” But, in fact, sin was in is variously explained. Wheththe world, and was imputed er that judgment implicates from Adam to the time of Mor them by imputation, in virtue of ses. If there was not a written their father's offence, and belaw to charge it, there was a law cause he acted as their federal of nature. And there, was the head ; and on that ground conoriginal command Adam was signs them to a contaminating under, and which he transgress: influence of the original sin, as ed. And death reigned all that part of the death incurred; Or time, even over them, who had whether the judgment, in thc not committed overt acts of sin. first instance, brings them in sinIn this respect, as in others, ners, upon the ground of contam, Adam the sinner was a figure of ination and inherent depravity, Adam the righteous, through and so dooms them to the reward whom the gift of life is convey- of sin : Or whether there be an ed to those by whom no act of explanation more perfect than virtue had been performed. either, and which more clearly
To return then to verse 12. “vindicates the ways of God to How sin came into the world by man,” I wish rather to leave with one man, and death by sin, will Him whose ways are surely unbe understood, if we can explain impeachable, than with any huthat judgnient unto condemnation man expositor ; and much rather mentioned in ver. 16. What is than decide myself in a peremptoit then, but a judgment conclud- ry manner. ing the whole race under sin ; In the mean time, how inter. and then passing sentence of esting in the most general view, death upon that ground, i. e. a is the parallel here introduced ? sentence to mortality, to the loss “ As by one man's disobedience of communion with God, and to many were made sinners ;" say whatever else was included in the generally, involved in depravity original threatening? I say upon and guilt, as the natural conse. that ground, passing sentence ; quence of such rebellion of their because this is the language of father, under a wise and holy the 12th verse, in the last part of constitution of God; so by perit: “ And so death passed upon all fect obedience of another Father, under a new constitution, shall livers : Especially considering many, (that is, as many as believe how momentary and transient on Him with a uniting faith) rise that death is, in the ultimately to a justification, founded upon redeemed (though without rehis merits, and not tleir own; demption it must have been eterwhich shall, however, be followed nal) and how endless is the life with a complete restoration of of holiness and glory to which original righteousness; and what they are raised up. is more, the complete image of In verse 16, another point of Jesus Christ, our head and father. difference is noted. The judg.
But the apostle hints that ment to condemnation i. e. the there are circumstances in which original sentence which involved the parallel does not hold ; and the world in death and wretchedsome of these he specifies; ness- s-passed upon the ground chiefly with a view to show, as a of a single offence of the first well known expositor observes, transgressor : (whether we say " that Adam could not propagate upon the demerit of it as his act; so strong a poison, but that Jesus whether we say in virtue of our Christ could propagate an anti- interest in it, as the act of our dote much stronger; and that the father and head ; or whether on stream of grace and righteous- the ground of the contamination, ness is deeper and broader than which by the law of nature it the stream of guilt."
must impress, unless that law V. 15.
« But not as the of, were suspended ;) but the free fence, so also is the free gift. gift prevails over the multipliFor if, through the offence of ed offences of millions of subone, iany be dead; much more, jects, unto their discharge from the grace of God, and the gift condemnation and their instateby grace”-i. e. the gift of righ- ment in divine favour. The arteousness and life" which is gument appears to intend this ; by Jesus Christ, hath abounded if one offence, by the just judgunto many.” The explanation ment of God, brought such a of this may be found in part, by death upon a whole world, how a little varying of the expres- great must be the GRĄCE which sion. If Divine Justice had can triumph over such a multia signal display in sending death tude of offences, of innumerable upon the world through the of- guilty subjects, and confer upon fence of the first transgressor ; them such immense positive the grace of God has a more sig- blessings. mal display in the recovery by In verse 17 there is another such a Bedeemer; by the amaz- comparison. “ If by one man's ing love that gave Him to the disobedience, death reigned by world in a way of such humilia- one ; much more, they who retion and sufiering ; by the ceive abundance of grace, and of foundation Inid in his important the gift of righteousness, shall obedience, for such blessings to reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." sinners; and by the grace The general intention seems to be, actually bestowed-which how greatly will that life, whichcounterrails the death and true believers shall possess by pretchedress from which it de- the abundant grace conferred on
them through the glorious right- faith : and faith, however defineousness of Christ their head, ed, will surely be acknowledged transcend and overbalance the to be not universal. wretchedness of that death According to the 5th verse through which they shall have our hope will make us ashamed, passed! And when it is compar- unless the love of God be shed ed in point of duration, what is the abroad in our hearts by his own short reign of death, which they Spirit given to us. But who have realized, to the endless will say, that this felicity is apblessed life in which they shall plicable to all men ? reign in heaven with Christ their Again. The Christian's hope, head!
as mentioned in verse 10, is, that In verse 18 the apostle re- being reconciled through Christ's turns to note another point of death, he shall be saved by his resemblance. “ Therefore, as
life. But he is not reconciled, by the offence of one, judgment who still has the heart of an encame upon all men to condem- emy. Other restrictive intimanation ;
even so by the right. tions might be found without goeousness of one the free gifting out of this chapter. But I came upon all men unto justifi- forbear ; only observing that cation of life.” The indebted- while we revolt at the universaness of all who are saved to the lian construction, as discordant righteousness of Jesus Christ to the whole tenor of Paul's alone, as the procuring cause, is discourses, it is of importance to commonly confessed. The ques- note what this large expression tion of chief difficulty here is, does intend ; for it has a meanhow the apostle came to speak ing, and of a most interesting of the descent of the free gift, in nature, viz. That there is in fact terms so extensive. The infer- a free gift of God made to all ence that all will be saved, has men, by proclamation ; a gift been drawn indeed, but with too of righteousness and abundant much precipitation. The com- grace through Jesus Christ; a ment of an ancient father is cer- gift extending in its import to tainly natural and rational ; justification of life through faith. . “ That is a gift common to all, How generally it is, or will be rewhich is held out to all, tendered ceived, is another question. And to all. Not as though it must how this same apostle came to in fact bless all, whether it be re- have such heaviness and soliciceived or rejected.” How in- tude for the salvation of his deed can a free gift, however lib- countrymen, as he expresses in erally made, be theirs to effect, the 9th chapter, is very hard to by whom it is always refused ? explain, if they were in no danior how be enjoyed, when it has ger of coming short by rejecting never become welcome ?
the heavenly gift. But indeed the restrictive If any still suppose that this clauses, interspersed through clause can only be explained by this discourse, might be suffi- actual justification, then the para cient to save it from the inter- allel, in order to agree with the pretation first mentioned. The analogy of scripture, must be justification of life is through carried out in this form : As by the offence of one Adam, all who both of the wisdom and knowl. were in his loins were involved in edge of God! how unsearchable condemnation ; so by the sole are his judgments, and his ways obedience of the second Adam, past finding out! For of Him, the justification of life comes up- and through Him, and to Him, on all who are in him by spiritual are all things : to whom be glounion, i. e. by living faith.
ry forever. Amen." In verse 20, the apostle tells
ZUINGLIUS. us that “ the law entered that the offence might abound.” That is, that men might be sen
TuL DOCTRINE OF THE TRINIsible how their sins of heart and
TY UNIVERSAL. life, of commission and omisson,
NO. 3. are multiplied; and what a mass
(Concluded from p. 493.) of guilt they make up. How necessary this was, and is, to Who by searching can find make way for a due reception of out the Almighty to perfection? the gospel, and to hide pride Secret things belong not to us; from man, is very obvious. but things revealed belong to us
But, says the apostle, “ Where and our children. As the knowl. sin abounded, grace did much edge of God is the foundation of more abound.” The illustration all religion ; as ignorance of God of this is found in the abundant is the source of fatal error and pardon and exaltation to favour, delusion, it becomes us not only which blesses every penitent sin- to contemplate the works of crener, and the chief of sinners a- ation, and to trace the footsteps mong the rest, whenever he re- of divine Providence ; but to turns to God. And it is found search the pages of inspiration, in the enlargement of the sys- that we may learn, who he is, tem of love to man, from what that giveth life, and reason, and the primitive constitution exhib- immortality to man. The unity ited ; and the occasion taken of God is so established in the from the fall, and multiplied sins public mind, that we now say of mankind, to open a constitu- nothing to confirm this doctrine, tion, by which grace should far but inquire whether the scripmore than countervail the tures of the Jews and Christians wretchedness and ruin introduc- do not explicitly declare a pluraled by sin ; and by which the ity of persons in the Godhead, human nature, in all the heirs of and whether the Persons are not mercy, should, by virtue of three. its union to Christ the second Our first inquiry is whether Adam, through living faith, be the scriptures teach a pluralty of exalted far above the height persons in God. from which it feil by transgres- In the following passages in sion. And thus, as sin hath the original, the name of God is reigned unto death, so grace plural, and connected with nouns, shall reign, through righteous- pronouns, and verbs plural." ness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Gen. i. 26. " And the Gods said, Christ our Lord.
“O the depth of the riches * See Parkhurst's Hebrew Lexicon.