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13 For I speak to you Gentiles, as I am the apostle of the
14 Gentiles: I magnify my office: If by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh, and save
15 some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what will the receiving of them
16 be, but life from the dead? For if the first-fruits be holy, so ti the lump: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and thou being a wild olive-tree wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive
18 tree, Boast not against the branches, but if thou boast, thou
19 bearest not the root, but the root thee. Wilt thou say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in?
20 Well; they were broken off for unbelief, and thou stand
21 est by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also
22 spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God! Toward them that fell severity; but toward thee goodness, if thou continue in his goodness:
23 else thou shalt also be cut off. And they, if they do not continue in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able
24 to graft them in again. For if thou wert cut off from the natural wild olive-tree, and grafted contrary to nature
swiftly propagating the gospel among Mahometans and Pagans: who would probably have received it long ago, had they conversed only with real Christians.
V. 13. / magnify my office—Far from being ashamed of ministering to the Gentiles, I glory therein: the rather, as it may be a means of provoking my brethren to jealousy.
V. 14. fify flesh.—My kinsmen.
V. I5. Life from the dead—Overflowing life to the world, which was dead. V. 16. And this will surely come to pass. For if the first-fruits be holy, .?# is the lump—The consecration of them was esteemed the consecration of all. And so the conversion of a few Jews is an earnest of all the rest. And if the root be holy—The patriarchs from whom they spring, surely God will at length make their descendants also holy.
V. 17. Thou—0 Gentile, being a wild olive-tree—Had the graft been nobler than the stock, yet its dependence on it for life and nourishment would leave it no room to boast against it. How much less, when contrary to what is practised among men, the wild olive-tree is ingrafted on the good!
V. 18. Boast not against the branches—Do not they do this, who despise the Jews t Or deny their future conversion?
V. 20. They were broken off for unbelief, and thou standest by faith—Both conditionally, not absolutely; if absolutely, there might have been room to boast, by faith—The free gift of God, which therefore ought to humble thee.
V. 21. Be not high-minded, but /ear—We may observe, this fear is not opposed to trust, but to pride and security.
V. 22. Else shalt thou—Also, who now standest by faith, be both totally anal
, 94. Contrary to nature—For according to nature, we graft the fruitful into a good olive-tree; how much more shall these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive-tree?
25 Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (lest ye should be wise in your own conceits,) that hardness is in part happened to Israel, till the fulness
27 of the Gentiles be come in: And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written, * The deliverer shall come out of
27 Sion, and shall turn away iniquity from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them, when I shall take away their
28 sins. With regard to the gospel, they are enemies for your sake; but as for the election, they are beloved, for
29 the sake of their fathers. For the gifts and the calling of
30 God are without repentance. As then ye were once disobedient to God, but have now obtained mercy through
31 their disobedience: So these also have now been disobedient, that through your mercy they may likewise find
32 mercy. For God hath shut up all together in disobedi
33 ence, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches, and wisdom, and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing
* Isa. lix. 20.
branch into the wild stock; but here the wild branch is ingrafted into the fruitful stock.
V. 25. St. Paul calls any truth known but to a few a mystery. Such had been the calling of the Gentiles. Such was now the conversion of the Jews. Lest ye should be wise in your own conceits—Puffed up with your present advantages: dreaming that ye are the only church; or that the church of Rome cannot fail. Hardness in part is happened to Israel, tilt—Israel therefore is neither totally nor finally rejected: the fulness of the Gentiles be come in— —Till there be a vast harvest among the heathens.
V. 26. And so all Israel shall be saved—Being convinced by the coming of the Gentiles. But there will be a still larger harvest among the Gentiles, when all Israel is come in. The Deliverer shall come—Yea, the Deliverer i« come; but not the full fruit of his coming.
V. 28. They are now enemies—To the gospel, to God, and to themselves, which God permits for your sake: but as for the election—That part of them who believe, they are beloved.
V. 29. For the gifts and the calling nf God are without repentance—God does not repent of his gifts to the Jews, or his calling of the Gentiles.
V. 32. For God hath shut up all together in disobedience—Suffering each in their turn lo revolt from him. First, God suffered the Gentiles in the early age to revolt, and took the family of Abraham as a peculiar seed to himself. Afterwards he permitted them to fall through unbelief, and took in the believing Gentiles. And he did even this to provoke the Jews to jealousy, and so bring them also in the end to faith. This was truly a mystery in the Divine conduct, which the apostle adores with such holy astonishment.
V. 33. 0 the depth of the riches, and wisdom, and knowledge of God—In the ninth chapter St. Paul had sailed but in a narrow sea i now he is in the ocean. The depth of the riches is described ver. 35, the depth of wisdom, ver. 34. The depth of knowledge in the latter part of this verse. Wisdom directs all things to the best end: Knowledge sees that end. How unsearchable are his
34 out! For * who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or
35 who hath been his counsellor? Who hath first given to
36 him, and it shall be repaid him again? For of him, and through him, and to him are all things: to him be glory for ever! Amen.
CHAP. XII. It I exhort you therefore, brethren, by the tender mercies of God, to present' your bodies unto God, a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable, which is your
2 reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and aceptable, and per
3 feet will of God. And I say, through the grace which is given to me, to every one that is among you, not to think
* lsa. zl. 13.
judgments —With regard to unbelievers, his ways—With regard to believers! His ways are upon level, his judgments a great deep. But even his ways we cannot trace.
V. 34. Who hath known the mind of the Lord—Before or any farther than he has revealed it. V. 35. Given to him—Either wisdom or power?
V. 36. Of him, as the Creator; through him, as the Preserver; to him, as the ultimate end, are all things. To him be the glory of his riches, wisdom, knowledge. Amen! A concluding word, in which the affection of the apostle, when it is come to the height, shuts up alU
CHAP. XII. Ver. 1. I exhort you—St. Paul uses to suit his exhortations to the doctrines he has been delivering. So here the general use from the whole is contained in the first and second verses. The particular uses follow, from the third verse to the end of the epistle. By the tender mercies of God— The whole sentiment is derived from chapters i—v. The expression itself is particularly opposed to the wrath of God, ch. i. 18. It has a reference here to the entire gospel, to the whole economy of grace or mercy, delivering us from the wrath of God, and exciting as to all duty. To present—-(So ch. vi. 13, xvi. 19.) Now actually to exhibit before God, your bodies—That is, yourselves; a part is put for the whole; the rather, as in the ancient sacrifices of beasts, the body was the whole. These also are particularly named, in opposition to that vile abuse of their bodies, mentioned ch. i. 34. Several expressions follow, which have likewise a direct reference to other expressions in the same chapter; a sacrifice—Dead to sin, and living—By that life, which is mentioned ch. i. 17. ch.vi. 4,&c. Holy—Such as the holy law requires, ch. vii. «s. Acceptable, ch. viii. 8, which is your reasonable service—The worship of the heathens was utterly uureasonable; (ch. i. 18, &c.;) so was the glorying of the Jews, (ch. ii. 3, &c.) But a Christian acts in all things by the highest reason, from the mercy of God inferring his own duty.
V. 2. And be not conformed—Neither in judgment, spirit, nor behaviour; to this world—Which neglecting the will of God, entirely follows its own; that ye may prove—Know by sure trial; which is easily done by him who has thus presented himself to God. What is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God—The will of God is here to be understood of all the preceptive part of Christianity, which is in itself so excellently good, so acceptable to God, and to perfective of our natures.
V. 3. And I say—He now proceeds to shew, what that will of God is: through the grace which is given to me—He modestly adds this, lest he should of himself above what he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath distributed to every one
4 the measure of faith. For as in one body we have many
5 members, and all members have not the same office, So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one
6 members of each other. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given us, whether it be prophecy,
7 let us prophesy according to the analogy of faith: Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhortetli, on exhortation.
8 He that imparteth, let him do it with simplicity; he that presideth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which
10 is evil, cleave to that which is good. In brotherly love be full of tender affection toward each other, in honour
11 preferring one another: Not slothful in business, fervent
seem to forget his own direction; to every one that is among you—Believers at Rome. Happy, had they always remembered this! The measure of faith— (Treated of in the first and following chapters) from which all other gifts and graces flow.
y. 5. So we—All believers, are one body—Closely connected together in Christ, and consequently ought to be helpful to each other. ,
V. 6. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given us— Gifts are various: grace is one: whether it be prophecy—This considered at an extraordinary gift, is that whereby heavenly mysteries are declared to men, or things to come foretold. But it seems here to mean the ordinary gift of expounding Scripture: Let us prophesy according to the analogy of faith— St. Peter expresses it, As the oracles of God; according to the general tenor of them; according to that grand scheme of doctrine which is delivered therein, touching original sin, justification by faith, and present, inward salvation. There is a wonderful analogy between all these; and a close and intimate connexion, between the chief heads of that faith, which was once delivered to
the saints. Every article therefore concerning which there is any question,
should be determined by this rule: every doubtful scripture interpreted,
according to the grand truths which run through the whole. V. 7. Ministering— As deacons. He that teacheth catechumens, for whom
particular instructers were appointed. He that exhorteth—Whose peculiar
business it was, to urge Christians to duty, and to comfort them in trials. V. 8. He that presideth—That hath the care of a flock. He that sheaeth
mercy—In any instance, with cheerfulness—Rejoicing that he hath such an
V. 9. Having spoken of faith and its fruit, (ver. 3, &c.) he comes now to lore. The gth, 10th, and 11th verses refer to chapter the seventh; the 12th verse to chapter the eighth; the 15th verse, of communicating to the saintly whether Jews or Gentiles, to chapter the ninth, &e. Part of the 16th verse is repeated from ch. xi. 25. Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that wAtcA t* good—Both inwardly and outwardly, whatever ill-will or danger may follow.
V. 10. In honour preferring one another—Which you will do, if yon hahitually consider what is good in others, and what is evil in yourselves. fr*
V. 11. Whatsoever ye do, do it with your might: In every busiruss, diligently and fervently swing a, Lord; doing all to Qgd, not tu matt.
VOL. II. D
12 in spirit, serving the Lord: Rejoice in hope, be patient
13 in tribulation, continue instant in prayer. Communicate
14 to the necessities of the saints, pursue hospitality. Bless
15 them who persecute you; bless and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Agree in the same affection toward each other. Mind not high, but condescend to low things. Be not wise in
17 your own conceit. Render to no man evil for evil. Pro
18 vide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all
19 men. Dearly beloved, revenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, * Vengeance is
20 mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if t thy enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for
21 in so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.
CHAP. XIII. 1. Let every soul be subject to the supreme powers, for there is no power but from God; the
* Dent. xxxii. 35. f Prov. xxv~2l, &c.
V. 12. Rejoicing in hope—Of perfect holiness and everlasting happiness. Hitherto the apostle had been treating of faith and love: now of hope also. (See the 5th and 8th chapters.) Afterward, of duties toward others: saints, yer. is; persecutors, ver. 14; friends, stranger*, enemies, ver. 15, &c.
V. 13. Communicate to the necessities of the saints—Relieve all Christians that are in want. It is remarkable, that the p.postle, treating expressly of the duties flowing from the communion of saints, yet never says one word about the dead. Pursue hospitality—Not only embracing those that offer, but seeking opportunities to exercise it.
V. 14. Curse not—No, not in your heart.,
V. 15. Rejoice—The direct opposite to ,weeping is langhter: but this does not so well suit a Christian.
V. 16. Mind not high things—Desire not riches, honour, or the company of the great.
V. 17. Provide—Thiak before hand; contrive to give- a« little offence as may be to any.
V. 19. Dearly beloved—So he soften'i the rugged spirit, revenge not yourselves, but leave that to God. Perhaps it might more properly be rendered, Leave room for wrath—That is, the wratVi of God, to whom vengeance properly belongs.
V. 20. Feed him—With your own hand: if it be needful, even put bread into his mouth. Heap coals of firn upon his head—That part which is most sensible.
"80 artists melt tlae sullen ore of lead, '*
By heaping coals of fire upon its head r In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow, And pure from dross, the silver runs below." V. 21. And if you see no present fruit, yet persevere. Re not overcome tofM mil—As all are who avenge themselves. But overcome evil with good—Conquer your enemies by kindness and patience.
CHAP. XIII. Ver. 1. St. Panl writing to the Roroans, whose city was the •eat of the empire, speaks largely of obedience to magistrates. And this was ale*