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are killed all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for

37 the slsughter.) Nay, in all these things we more than

38 conquer, through him who hath loved us. For I ant persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things

39 to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall'be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

CHAP. IX. 1. I eay the truth in Christ, I lie not;

V. 37. We more than conquer—We are not only no losers, but abundant gainers by all these trials. This period seems to describe the full assurance of hope.

V. 38. I am persuaded—This is inferred from- the 34th verse, in an admirable order,

Neither death shall hurt us: For Christ is dead:

Nor life: is risen:

Nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers: J' is at the right hand

nor things present, nor things to come: ) of God:

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other crea- } maketh intercession

ture: S for **,

Neither death—Terrible as it is to natural men: a violent death in particular, ver. 36: nor life—With all the affliction and distress it can bring, ver. 35; or a long, easy life; or all living men: nor angels—Whether good (if it were possible they should attempt it,) or had, with all their wisdom and strength: nor principalities, nor powers—Not even those of the highest raak, or the most eminent power: nor things present—Which may befal us during our pilgrimage* or the whole world tilfit passeth away: nor things to come—Which may occur, either when our time on earth is past, or when time itself is at an end, as the final jndgment, the general conflagration, the everlasting fire: nor height, nor depth—The former sentence respected the differences of times, this, the differences of places. How many great and various things are contained in these words, we do not, need not, caunot know yet. The height, in St. Panl'* sublime style, is put for heaven; the depth, for the great abyss: that is, neither the heights, I will not say of walls, mountains, seas, but of heaven itself, can move us; nor the abyss itself, the very thought of which might astonish the boldest creature. Nor any creature—Nothing beneath the Almighty; visible enemies he does not even deign to name: shall be able—Either by force, ver. 35, or by any legal claim, ver. 33, &c. to separate us from the love of God in Christ—Which will surely save, protect, deliver us who believe, in, and through, and from them all.

CRAP. IX. In this chapter, St. Panl, after strongly declaring his love and esteem for them, sets himself to answer the grand objection of his countrymen, namely, that the rejection of the Jews, and reception of the Gentiles, was contrary to the word of God. That he had not here the least thought of personal election or reprohation, is manifest, 1. Becanse it lay quite wide of his design, which was this, To shew that God's rejecting the Jews, and receiving the Gentiles, was consistent with his word: g. Becanse such a doctrine would not only have had no tendency to convince, but would have evidently tended to harden the Jews: 3. Becanse, when he sums up hia argument in the close of the chapter, he has not one word, or the least intimation about it;

Ver. 1. In Christ—This seems to imply an appeal to him. In the Holy Gktst—Through his grace..

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my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, * That I have great sorrow and continual anguish in my

s heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ, for my brethren, my kinsmen after the flesh:

4 Who are Israelites, whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the

5 worship of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ

6 came, who is over all, God, blessed for ever. Not as if the word of God had fallen to the ground: for all are

V. 2. I have great sorrow—A high degree of spiritual sorro%ind of spiritual joy may consist together, chap. viii. 3g. By declaring his sorrow for the unbelieving Jews, who excluded themselves from all the blessings he had enumerated, he shews, that what he was now about to speak, he did not speak from any prejudice to them.

V. 3. I could wish—Human words cannot fully describe the motions of souls that are full of God. As if he had said, I could wish to suffer in their stead; yea, to be an anathema from Christ in their place. In how high a sense he wished this, who can tell, unless himself had been asked, and had resolved the ,question? Certainly fie did not then consider himself at all, but only others and the glory of God. The thing could not be: yet the wish was pious and solid; though with a tacit condition, if it were right and possible.

V. 4. Whose is the adoption, &c.—He enumerates six prerogatives, of which the first pair respect God the Father, the second Christ, the third the Holy Ghost. The adoption and the glory—That is, Israel is the first-born child of God, and the God of glory is their God, Dent. iv. 7, Ps. cvi. 20. These are relative to each other. At once, God is the Father of Israel, and Israel are the people of God. he speaks not here of the ark, or any corporeal thing. God himself is the glory of his people Israel. And the covenants, and the giving of the law—The covenant was given long before the law. It is termed covenants, (in the plural,) because it was so often and so variously repeated; and because there were two dispositions of it, Gal. iv. 24, frequently called two covenants: the one, promising; the other, exhibiting the promise. And the worship and the promises—The true way of worshipping God; and all the promises made to the fathers.

V. s. To the preceding, St. Paul now adds two more prerogatives: theirs are the fathers—The patriarchs and holy men of old, yea, the Messiah himself. Who is over all, God, blessed for ever—The original words imply, the selfexistent, independent Being, who was, is, and is to come; over all, the supreme; as being God, and, consequently, blessed for ever. No words can more clearly express his divine,supreme majesty, and his gracious sovereignty both over Jews and Gentiles.

V. 6. Not as {/'—The Jews imagined, that the word of God must fail, if all their nation were not saved. This St. Paul now refutes, and proves, that the word itself had foretold their falling away. The word of God—The promises of God to Israel, had fallen to the ground—This could not be. Even now, says the apostle, some enjoy the promises; and hereafter all Israel shall be saved. This is the sum of the 9th, loth, and llth chapters. For—Here he enters upon the proof of it, all are not Israel, who are of Israel—The Jews vehemently maintained the contrary; namely, that all who were born Israelites, and they only, were the people of God. The former part of this assertion is refuted here, the lit er, ver. 24, &c. The sum is, God accepts all believers, and them only; anix. this is no way contrary to his word. Nay, he hath declared in his word, both by types and by express testimonies, that believers •re accepted as the children of the promise, while unbelievers are rejected,

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7 not Israel, who are of Israel. Neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children, but * in Isaac

8 shall thy seed be called: That is, not the children of the flesh are the children of God, but the children of promise

9 are counted for the seed. For this is the word of the promise, t At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have

10 a son. And not only this, but when Rebecca also had

11 conceived by one man, our father Isaac, The children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, (that the purpose of God according to election might

12 stand, not of works, but of him that called,) It was said

13 to her, £.The elder shall serve the younger. As it is

14 written, jl have loved Jacob and hated Esau. What

* Gen. xxi. 12. + Gen. xviii. 10. % Gen. xxv. 23. || Mai. i. 2, 3.

though they are children after the flesh. All are not Israel—Not in the favour of God, who are—Lineally descended of Israel.

V. 7. Neither because they are lineally the seed of Abraham, will it follow, that they are all children of God. This did not hold, even in Abraham's own family; and much less in his remote descendants. But, God then said, In Isaac shall thy seed be called—That is, Isaac, not Ishmael, shall be called thy seed; that seed to which the promise is made.

V. 8. That is, not the children, &c.—As if he had said, This is a clear type of things to come; shewing us, that in all succeeding generations, not the children of the flesh, the lineal descendants of Abraham, but the children of the promise—They to whom the promise is made, that is, believers, are the children of God.

V. 9. For this is the word of promise—By the power of which Isaac was conceived, and not by the power of nature. Not, Whosoever is born of thee shall be blessed; but, At this time—Which I now appoint, I will come, and Sarah shall have a son—And he shall inherit the blessing.

V. 10. And that God's blessing does not belong to all the descendants of Abraham, appears not only by this instance, but by that of Esau and Jacob, who was chosen to inherit the blessing, before either of them had done good or evil, The apostle mentions this to shew, that neither were their ancestors accepted through any merit of their own. That the purpose of God according to election might stand—Whose purpose was, to elect, or choose, the promised seed, not of works—Not for any preceding merit in him he chose; but of him that called—Of his own good pleasure; who called to that privilege whom he saw good.

V. 12. The elder—Esau, shall serve the younger—Not in person, for he never did: but in his posterity. Accordingly, the Edomites were often brought into subjection by the Israelites.

V. 13. As it is written—With which word in Genesis, spoken so long before, that of Malachi agrees, I have loved Jacob with a peculiar love; that is, the Israelites, the posterity of Jacob: and I have comparatively hated Esau; that is, the Edomites, the posterity of Esau. But, observe, 1. This does not relate to the person of Jacob or Esau ; 2. Nor does it relate to the eternal state either of them or their posterity. Thus far the apostle has been proving his proposition, namely, That the exclusion of a great part of the seed of Abraham, yea, and of Isaac, from the special promisejuof God, was so far from being impossible, that, according to the Scriptures themselves, it had actually happened. He now introduces and refutes an objection.

V. 14. Is there injustice with God—Is it unjust in God to give Jacob the blessing rather than Esau? Or to accept believers, and them only? God shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? God

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15 forbid. For he saith to Moses, * I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on

16 whom I will hare compassion. It is not therefore of him that willeth, nor of him that runaeth, but of God

17 that sheweth mercy. Moreover the Scripture saith to Pharaoh, For t this very thing have I raised thee up, that I may shew my power in thee, and that my name may be

18 declared through all the earth. So then he hath mercy on whom he willeth, and whom he willeth he hardeneth.

* Exod. xxxiii. 1'J. + Exod. ix. 16.

forbid —In nowise: this is well consistent with justice. For he has a right to fix the terms on which he will shew mercy; according to his declaration to Moses, petitioning for all the people, after they had committed idolatry with the golden calf, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy—According to the terms I myself have fixed; and I will have compassion on whom I will hat e compassion—Namely, on those only who submit to my terms, who accept of it in the way that I have appointed.

V. 16. —The blessing, therefore is not of him that willeth, nor of him that ruuneth—It is not the effect either of the will or the works of man, but of the grace and power of God. The will of man is here opposed to the grace of God, and man's running, to the Divine operation. And this general declaration respects not only Isaac and Jacob, and the Israelites in the time of Moses, but likewise all the spiritual children of Abraham, even to the end of the world.

V. 17. Moreover—God has an indisputable right to reject those who will not accept the blessings on his own terms. And this he exercised in the case of Pharaoh: to whom, after many instances of stubboruness and rebellion, he said, (as it is recorded in Scripture,) For this very thing have I raised thee up—That is, unless thou repent, this will surely be the consequence of my raising thee up, making thee a great and glorious king, that my power will be shewn upon thee, (as, indeed, it was, by overwhelming him and his army in the sea,) and my name declared through all the earth—As it is at this day. Perhaps this may have a still farther meaning. It seems that God was resolved to thew his power, over the river, the insects, other animals, (with the natural causes of their health, diseases, life, and death,) over meteors, the air, the »un, (all of which were worshipped by the Egyptians, from whom other nations learned their idolatry,) and, at once, over all their gods, by that terrible stroke, of slaying all their priests and their choicest victims, the firstborn of man and beast: and all this with a design, not only to deliver hi* people Israel, (for which a single act of omnipotence would have sufficed,) but to convince the Egyptians, that the objects of their worship were but the creatures of Jehovah, and entirely in his power, and to draw them, and the neighbouring nations, who should hear of all these wonders, from their idolatry, to worship the one God. For the execution of this design, (in order to the display of the divine power, over the various objects of their worship, in a variety of wonderful acts, which were, at the same time, just punishments for their cruel oppression of the Israelites,) God was pleased to raise to the throne of an absolute monarchy, a man, not whom he had made wicked on purpose, but whom he found so, the proudest, the most daring and obstinate of all the Egyptian princes; and who, being incorrigible, well deserved to be set up in that situation, where the divine judgments fell the heaviest.

V. 18. So then—That is, accordingly he does shew mercy on his own terms, namely, on them that believe: and whom he willeth—Namely, them that

believe not, he hardeneth— Leaves to the hardness of their hearts.

19 But thou wilt say to me, Why doth he still find fault?

20 For who hath resisted his will? Nay, but who art thou, O man, that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 'Hath not the potter power over the clay, out of the same mass to make one vessel to honour, and another to

22 dishonour? What if God, being willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, yet endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted for de

23 struction? And that he might make known the riches of

* Jer. xviii. 6, 7.

V. 19. Why doth he still find fault— The particle Hill, is strongly expressive of the objector's sour, morose murmuring. For who hath resisted his will— The word his, likewise expresses his surliness and aversion to God, whom he does not even deign to name.

V. 20. Nay, but who art thou, O man—Little, impotent, ignorant man, that repliest against God—That accuse God of injustice, for himself fixing the terms on which he will shew mercy? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus—Why hast thou made me capable of honour and immortality, only by believing?

V. s1. Hath not the potter power over the clay—And much more hath not God power over his creatures, to appoint one vessel, namely, the believer, to honour, and another, the unbeliever, to dishonour?

If we survey the right which God has over us in a more general way, with regard to his intelligent creatures, 'God may be considered in two different views, as Creator, Proprietor, and Lord of all, or as their moral Governor and Judge.

God, as sovereign Lord and Proprietor of all, dispenses his gifts or favours to Iris creatures, with perfect wisdom, but by no rules or methods of proceeding that we are acquainted with. The time when we shall exist, the country where we shall live, our parents, our constitution of body and turn of mind: these, and numberless other circumstances, arc, doubtless, ordered with perfect wisdom, but by rules that lie quite out of our sight.

But God's methods of dealing with us, as our Governor and Judge, are clearly revealed and perfectly known; namely, That he will finally reward every man according to his works; he that believeth shall be saved, and he that falieveth not shall be damned.

Therefore, though he hath mercy on whom he willeth, and whom he willeth he hardeneth, (that is, suffers to be hardened, in consequence of their obstinate wickedness,) yet his is not the will of an arhitrary, -capricious, or tyraunical being. He wills nothing but what is infinitely wise and good; and therefore his will is a most proper rule of judgment. He will shew mercy, as he hath assured us, to none but true believers, nor harden any but such as obstinately refuse his mercy.

V. 32. What if God, being willing—(Referring to ver. 18, 19,) That is, although it was now his will, because ot their obstinate unbelief, to shew hi* wrath, (which necessarily presupposes sin,) and to make his power known, (this is repeated from the 17th verse,) yet endured—As he did Pharaoh, with much long-suffering—Which should have led them to repentance: the vessels of wrath—Those who had moved his wrath, by still rejecting his mercy; fitted for destruction—By their own wilful and final impenitence: is there any injustice in this? i

V, 23. That he might make known—What if by shewing such long-suffering «Ken to the vessels of wrath, he did the more abundantly shew the greatness of

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