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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE

TO

THE ROMANS.

Year of the Constantinopoiitan aera of the world, 5566—Year of the Alexandrian aera of the world, 5560—Year of the Antiochian aera of the world, 5550—Year of the Julian Period, 4768—Year of the Ussherian aera of the world, 4062— Year of the two hundred and ninth Olympiad, 1—Year from the building of Rome, according to the Roman account, 811—Year of the aera of the Seleucidae, 370—Year of the Cesarean aera of Antioch, 106—Year of the Julian aera, 103—Year of the Spanish aera, 96—Year from the Birth of Christ, 62—Year of the vulgar a;ra of Christ's nativity, 58—Year of the Dionysian Period, or Easter Cycle, 59—Year of the Grecian Cycle of nineteen years, 2, or the first embolismic—Year of the Jewish Cycle of nineteen years, 18—Year of the Solar Cycle, 11—Dominical Letter A—Epact, or the Moon's age at the commencement of the year, 11—Jewish Pass-over, Saturday, March 25—Easter Sunday, March 26—Year after Bissextile, or Leap-year, 2—Year of the reign of the Emperor Nero Caesar, 5—Year of Claudius Felix, the Jewish Governor, 6—Year of the reign of Vologesus, King of the Parthians, 9—Year of Caius Numidius Quadratus, Governor of Syria, 8—High Priest of the Jews, Joseph—Consuls, Nero Augustus the third time, and Valerius Messala.

CHAPTER I.

St. Paul shews the Romans his divine call to the apostleship, and for what end he was thus called, 1—6. His salutation to the Church at Rome, and his commendation of their faith, 7—8 His earnest desire to see them, that he might impart to them some spiritual gifts, 9—15. His description of the Gospel of Christ, 16—17. The crimes and profligacy of the Gentile world, which called aloud for the judgments of God, 18—32.

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PAUL, a servant of Jesus Christ,
•called" to be an apostle, bsepar-

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■Acu 22.21. 1 Cor. 1.1. Gal. 1.1. 1 Tim. 1.11. 4 2, 7. 2 Tim. 1-. 11. » Acts 9.15. & 13. 2. Gal. 1. 15.

PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS.

Different Interpreters have divided this Epistle into certain parts or divisions, by which they suppose its subject and matter may be the better understood. Some of these divisions have been mentioned in the preceding preface.

The Epistle contains three grand divisions.

I. The Preface, chap. i. 1—,17. ,

II. The Tractation, or setting forth of the main subject, including two sections, 1. Dogmatic, or what relates to Doctrine. 2. Paranetic, or what relates to the necessity, and

•Sceon Acts 26, 6. Tit.1.2. *ch. 3. 21. & 16.26. Gal. 3. 8.

importance of the virtues and duties of the Christian life. The Dogmatic part is included in the first eleven chapters, the grand object of which is to shew, that eternal salvation cannot be procured by any observation of the Jewish law, and can be hoped for, only on the Christian scheme; for by the works of the law no man can be justified; but what the law could not do, in that it was tceak through the fiesh, God has accomplished by sending his Son into the world, who becoming an offering for sin, condemned sin in the fiesh. The Para:netic part commences with chap. xii. 1 / beseech

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you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service, c]'c. and extends to chap.

XT. 14.

III. The Peroration or Epilogue, which contains the Author's apology for writing; his commendation of liis apostolical office; his promise to visit them; his request of an interest in their prayers; his commendations of certain persons, and his salutations to others, These points are contained in the succeeding parts of the Epistle, from chap, xv. 14. to chap. xvi. 24. The 25th, 26th, and 27th verse* of this chapter evidently belong to another part of the Epistle, aud should come in as they do in a vast majority of the best MSS. after the 23rd verse of the xiv. chapter.

For every thing necessary to a general knowledge of the Epistle itself, see the preceding Preface.

The inscriptions to this Epistle are various in the different MSS. and Versions. The. following are the principal:— To the RomansThe Epistle of Paul to the RomansThe Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the RomansThe Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Romans. The word ayiof holy, we have translated saint; and thus, instead of saying the holy Paul, &c. we say Saint Paul, &c. and this is now brought | into general use. The older the MSS. are, the more simple i the appellatives given to Apostles and Apostolic men.

NOTES ON CHAP. I.

Vers* 1. Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ] The word j oeutof which we translate servant, properly means a slave, one who is the entire property of his master; and is used here by the Apostle with great propriety. He felt he was not h'is ozun, and that his life and powers belonged to his hea- j venly owner, and that he had no right to dispose of, or employ them but in the strictest subserviency to the will of his Lord. In this sense, and in this spirit, he is the willing slave of Jesus Christ: and this is, perhaps, the highest character which any soul of man can attain on this side eternity. "T am wholly'the Lord's; and wholly devoted in the spirit of* sacrificial obedience to the constant, complete and energetic performance of the Divine will." A friend of God is High; a son of God'is higher; but the servant, or, in the above sens*, the slave of God is higher than all; in a word, h*is a person who feels he has no property in himself, and tttat Gnd is all, and in all.

Ca!(ed to b? an apostle] The word Airtrs*oj Apostle,

! 4 And declared Ho be the Son of Ad.'cs God with power, according eto the cA^CcIl?nE spirit of holiness, by the resurrection A-U-C.cir.8ii. from the dead:

Gal. 4. 4 'Gr, delermined.

1 Acts 13. 33. « Heb. 9.14.

from AirorsXXwy to send, signifies simply a messenger or e/j. \voy; one sent on a confidential errand: but here it means an extraordinary messenger; one sent by God himself, to deliver the most important message on behalf of his Maker: in a word, one sent by the divine authority to preach the Gospel to the nations. The word x\rtro; called, signifies here the same as constituted, and should be joined with Airos-o\os as it is in the Greek, and translated thus, Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, constituted an Apostle, &c. This sense the word called has in many places of the Sacred Writings; e. g. Behold what manner of hve the Father hath bestowed on us that we should be called KKr^uijiev, cojvsr/Tvted,. or made the sons of God. As it is likely that no Apostle had been employed in founding the church of Rome, and there was need of much authority to settle the matters' that were there in dispute; it was necessary that he should shew them, that he derived his authority from God; and was immediately delegated by him to preach and write as he was now doing.

Separated unto the gospel] Set apart and appointed to this work, aud to this only; as the Israelites were separate from all the people of the earth, to be the servants of God, see Levit. xx. 26. St. Paul may here refer to his former state as a Pharisee, which literally signifies a separatist, or one separated. Before, he was separated unto the service of his own sect; now, he is separated unto the gospel of God. On the word Gospel, and its meaning, see the Preface to the notes on St. Matthew; and for the meaning of the word Pharisee, see the same Gospel, chap. iii. at-the end.

Verse 2. Which he had promised afore] Both in the law and in the prophets, God shewed his purpose to introduce into the world a more perfect and glorious state of things: which state was to take place by and under the influence of the Messiah; who should bring life and immortality to light by his gospel.

Verse 3. Concerning his Son] That is, the gospel relates every thing concerning the Conception, Birth, Preaching, Miracles, Passion, Beath, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed royal, being, as far as his humanity was considered, the Son of David; and then, the only rightful heir to the Israelitish throne.

Verse 4. And declared to be the Son of God] See the ■note on Acts chap. xiii. 33i where this subject is considered at large. The word ipurbsvros, which we render dc dared, comes from dpifru to bound, define, determine, w

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limit, and hence our -word horizon, the line that determines the farthest risible part of the earth, in reference to the heaTens. In this place, the word signifies such a manifest and complete exhibition of the subject, as to render it indubitable. The. resurrection of Christ from the dead, was such a manifest proof of our Lord's innocence, the truth of his doctrine, and the fulfilment of all that the Prophets had spoken, as to leave no doubt on any considerate and candid mind.

With power] Ev Suvaitei, with a miraculous display of divine energy ; for, how could his body be raised again, but by the miraculous energy of God? Some apply the word here to the proof of Christ's Sonship; as if it were said, that he was most manifestly declared to be the Son of God, with such powerful evidence and argument, as to render the truth irresistible.

According to the spirit of holiness"] There are many differences of sentiment relative to the meaning of this phrase in this place; gome supposing, that the spirit of holiness implies the divine nature of Jesus Christ; others his immaculate sanctity, &c. To me it seems that the apostle simply means that the person called Jesus, lately crucified at Jerusalem, and in whose name salvation was preached to the world, was the Son of God, the very Messiah promised before in the Holy Scriptures; and that he was this Messiah, was amply demonstrated. 1st, By his resurrection from the dead, the irrefragable proof of his purity, innocence, and the divine approbation; for, had he been a malefactor as the Jews pretended, the miraculous power of God would not have been exerted in raising his body from the dead. 2nd, He was proved to be the Son of God, the promised Messiah, by the Holy Spirit, (called here the Spirit of holiness,) which he sent down upon his apostles, and not on them only, but on all mat believed on his name; by whose influence multitudes were convinced of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and multitudes sanctified unto God; and it was by the peculiar unction of this Spirit of holiness, that the apostles gave witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, Acts iv. 33. Thus then, Christ was proved to be the true Messiah, the son of David, according to the flesh, haviug the sole right to the throne of Israel; and God recognized this character, and this right, by his resurrection from the dead, and sending forth the various gifts and graces of the Spirit of holiness in his name.

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• Ch. 9.24. 1 Cor. 1. 2.

1 Tlics. 4.7.Gal. 1.3.

'1 Cor. 1.3. 2 Cor 1.2.

Verse 5. Grace and apostleship'] The peculiar influence, and the essential qualifications which such an office requires :— without the Grace, favour, and peculiar help of God, he could not have been an Apostle: he had an extraordinary conversion; and an extraordinary call to preach the Gospel. Probably yjxpw xa' AtforoAijv grace and apostleship, mean the same as ya.civ rye Airor^fj the apostolical office; for so the word yot-cic means in chap. xii. 3. xv. 15. 1 Cor. iii. 10.

X Eph. iii. 8. See the various acceptations of the word grace,

on verse 7.

For obedience to the faith] That by this office, which I have received from God, and the power by which it is accompanied,! might proclaim the faith, the Gospel of Jesus; and shew all nations the necessity of believing in it, in order to their salvation. Here is, first, the Gospel of the Son of God—2. An Apostle divinely commissioned and empowered to preach it—3. The necessity of faith in the name of Jesus, as the only Saviour of the world—4. Of obedience, as the necessary consequence of genuine faith—and, 5. This is to be proclaimed among all nations; that all might have the opportunity of believing and being saved.

Verse C. Ye are the called] Ye Romans are all invited

to believe in Christ Jesus, for the salvation of your souls:

; and to you, with the rest, my apostolical mission extends.

j This appears to be the most obvious sense of the word called

I in this place—to be called by the Gospel, is to be invited to

believe in Christ Jesus, and become his disciples. The word

sometimes means constituted, or made, as in verse 1.

Verse 7. Called to be saints] Invited to become holy persons, by believing the gospel, and receiving the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Or here the word may have the meaning of made or constituted as above; y.Kyrotc ayioif, to all that be in Rome, Constituted Saints, for they had already received the gospel grace; and were formed into a Christian church.

Grace to you] Xapic vaiv; may you be partakers of the Divine favour, the source whence every blessing is derived. I think it necessary, once for all, to give the several acceptations of this word grace, which occur in the Sacred Writings.

1. The word yttpif signifies in general favour, or bene' volencc, but especially that favour which is powerful and active, and loads its object with benefits. Luke i. 30, Fear not, Mary, thou hast found Favour, yctpiv, «ith God. Luke ii. 40, And the child grew—and the Grace of God, %<*-oi<

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©soy, the favour of God was upon him. lb. v. 52, And Jesus encreased in Favour, xCLPir'i Grace, with God and man. Acts ii. 47, Having Favour, X^f1'' Grace, Kith all the people. Acts iv. 33, And great Grace, xaP's> Favour xzas upon them all. The Apostles were at that time in universal favour with the multitude. In this sense the word occurs in a great variety of places, both in the Old and New Testaments.

2. Hence it is often used for the blessing which it dispenses; for if God he favourably disposed towards a person, his beneficent acts in that person's behalf, will be a necessary consequence of such favour. John i. 14, Full of Grace and truth; accomplished in all spiritual blessings. lb. v. 16, And Grace upon Grace: he who is full of the most excellent blessings, confers them liberally on all believers. Acts xi. 23, When he had seen the Grace of God, i. e. he had the fullest evidence that they were richly endowed with heavenly gifts. 1 Cor. i. 4, For the Grace of God which is given you, the Divine blessings conferred upon you. 2 Cor. ix. 8, God is able to make all Grace abound towards you; i. e.to enrich you with every benediction. This also is a very common acceptation of the word; and in this sense the word grace, or favour, is now generally understood among religious people. The grace of God meaning with them some divine or spiritual blessing communicated.

3. It is sometimes taken for the whole of the Christian Religion, as being the grandest possible display of God's favour, to a lost, ruined world: and in this sense it appears to be used. John i. 17, For the Law teas given by Moses; but Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ: where the term Grace is evidently opposed to Law; the latter meaning the Mosaic, the other the Christian, dispensation. Acts xiii. 43, Barnabas persuaded them to continue in the Grace of God— i. c. to hold fast their profession of the religion of Christ. Rom. vi. 14, Ye are not under the Law, but under Grace: ye are no longer under obligation to fulfil the Mosaic precepts; but are under the Christian dispensation.—See also verse 15. of the same chap, and see 2 Cor. i. 10. vi. 1. Gal. i. 6. Coloss. i. 6. 2 Tim. ii. 1. Tit. ii. 11, The Grace of God, that bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared. The Jewish religion was restricted in its benefits to a. few; but the Christian religion proposes the salvation of all men; and the Author of it has become a sacrifice for the sins of the whole rcorld. Heb. xii. 15, Looking diligently lest any man fall from the Grace of God; lest any man apostatize from the Christian religion, and the blessings of pardon and holiness

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Jesus Christ for you all, thatb your

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which he has received through it. 1 Pet. v. 12, This is the true Grace of God wherein ye stand. The Christian religion which ye have received, is the genuine religion of God.

4. It signifies all the blessings and benefits which Christ has purchased; and which he gives to true believers, both in time and eternity. See Rom. v. 15 and 17. where the grace of God is opposed to death; i. e. to all the wretchedness and misery brought into the world by Adam's transgression.— 1 Cor. xvi. 23, The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all: may every blessing purchased by Christ's passion and death be the portion of you all. Gal. v. 4, Ye are

\fallen from Grace—ye have lost the blessings of the GosI pel by submitting to circumcision.

5. It signifies the apostolic and ministerial office; or the authority to propagate the Christian religion; and the unction or influence by which that office is executed: so in the 5th verse of this chapter, as has been already noted—By whom we have received Grace and apostleship, or, the apostolic office. Rom. xii. 3, I say, through the Grace given unto me:

i. e. I command you by the authority of my apostolic office, &c. See also verse 6.

6. It signifies a gift, salary, or money collected for the use of the poor. 1 Cor. xvi. 3, Whomsoever ye shall approve

| them will I send to bring your Liberality, ?rtv yxpiv vp.xr, I your Grace—i. e. the collection made for the poor saints: i see ver. 1. 2 Cor. viii. 4, Praying us—that tee would receive the Gift, r^v xxPiyi *he Grace, the contribution made I in the churches of Macedonia, for the relief of the poor. In I this sense it is used in Ecclus. xvii. 22, He will keep the | Good Deeds of man, xaPlv,> *ne same as £\trjyA)<r\i*rj, alms, j in the beginning of the verse, and it signifies a kind or friendly act, in the same author. Chap. xxix. 15, Forget not the Friendship, ^a^iraj, of thy surety. Grace, or X^p^i was a deity among the ancients; and the three GraCes, dt rests xaptrts, were called Pilho, Aglaia, and Euphrosync : Ylafiiu, mild persuasion; Ay\zix, dignity; EvffOa-uvr), liberality and joyfulness; and these were always painted naked, to shew that all benefits should be gratuitous, this being essential to the nature of a gift. See Suirfas, ia

XaF'Ta>

7. It sometimes signifies merely thanks or thanksgiving-— See Luke xvii. 9, Doth he Tbask, u-y) xxP'y sX-'i '^ ser' vant? Rom. vi. 17, But God be Tiiasked, xxp'S Ss ra> Qix. 1 Cor. x. 30, For if I by Grace, xxPirh Tbjxksgifixc, as our margin has it, and properly.

8. It signifies remuneration, wages, or reward. Luke ri.

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32, 33, and 34, If ye love them that love youdo good to them which do good to youlend to them of ichom ye hope to receive, what Thank have ye? iroia uu.iv ya.pi{ £r», what Beitjrd have ye? This appears, from the parallel place, Matt. v. 46, to be most evidently the meaning: «■/ /iA*cr5ov tym; what Reward have ye? The word is used in this sense by several Greek writers.

9. It signifies whatever is the means of procuring the favour or kindness of ancther. 1 Pet. ii. 19, 20, For this is Thank Hortuy, Tours yy.pya.pi; irapx ©£x, this is the means of Procuring Favour from God.

10. It signifies joy, pleasure, and gratification, which is the meaning of ya.pT., and with which it is often confounded in the New Testament. Philemon 7, For we have great Joy, yupiv yap syoy-ev roAAijv. Tobit vii. 18, The Lord give thee Joy, yapiv,for this thy sorrow. In this sense the word is used by the best Greek writers; and in this sense it appears to be used, 2 Cor. i. 15.

11. It signifies the performance of an act which is pleasing or grateful to others. Acts xxiv. 27, Felix, Killing to shea the Jews a Pleasure, yapira; xaraha-Qat, to perform an act which he knew would be highly gratifying to them.

12. It signifies whatever has the power or influence to procurefavour, &c. Suavity, kindness, benevolence, gentle demeanour. Luke iv. 22, All wondered at the Gracious words oi Xcyoi Tt)( yapiTog, the benevolent, kind, and tender expressions; such as his text ver. 18. would naturally lead him to speak—He hath anointed me to preach the gosjiel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, &c. Eph. iv. 29. Col. iv. 6, Let your speech be always with Grace: i.e.gracious, kind, benevolent, savouring of the doctrine of Christ: it is thus used by several Greek writers. See Schleusner. As the word ya.pi;, Grace, most frequently signifies some blessing or benefit, calculated to promote human happiness; it is generally derived from %aif»j / rejoice, because of the efFect produced by the blessing.

And Peace"] Eifijuj, the same as fhv shalom in Hebrew, generally signifying all kinds of blessing, but especially harmony and unity—and the bondof such unity. The most probable derivation of the wonl tipyvr) is from etpcu I bind, and Iv one—because peace unites and binds those who were, by discord, before disunited- In the New Testament it signifies—1. Peace, public or private, in the general acceptation of the word, as

make mention of you always in my prayers; 10 'Making request, if by any Avu.c.cirJii

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• Or, in mi spirit. John 4.23, 24. Phil. 3. S.

15. 23, 32.1 Thes. 8. 10.

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implying reconciliation and friendship; and to the etymology of the word the Apostle seems to allude in Eph. iv. 3, Endeavouring to keep the Unity of the Spirit, in the Bond of Peace. Acts xii. 20, They of Tyre and Sidon, desired Peace; they sought reconciliation with Herod, by means of Blastus, the king's chamberlain.

2. It signifies regularity, good order. 1 Cor. xiv. 33, God is not the God of confusion, but of Peace.

3. It signifies, the labour or study of preserving peace and concord; and this is supposed to be its meaning, Matt. x. 34. Luke xii. 51. and Acts vii. 26. Rom. xiv. 17, For the kingdom of God isrighteousness and Peace. The Christian dispensation admits of no contention, but inculcates peace. 1 Cor. vii. 15, God hath called us to Peace—to labour to preserve quietness and concord. Heb. xii. 14, Follow Peace labour to preserve it.

4. It signifies the author or procurer of peace and concord. Eph. ii. 14, He is our Peace—the author of concord betwixt Jews and Gentiles.

5. It signifies the Gospel and its blessings. Eph. ii. 17, And came and preached Peace to you which were afar off; and to them that were nigh.

6. It signifies all kinds of mental and corporeal happiness; and especially the happiness of Christians. Luke i. 79, To guide our feet into the way of Peace; to shew us the way to obtain true happiness. Luke xix. 42, The things which belong unto thy Peace—that, by which thou mightest have been made truly happy. 1 Thess. v. 23, The very God of Peace —God, the only source of true felicity. John xvi. 33 These things have I spoken unto you that in me ye might have Peace—that ye might have confidence and happiness in be. lieving on me as your only Saviour.

7. It signifies good wishes and affectionate prayers. Matt, x. 13, And if the house be worthy, let your Peace come upon it. Our Lord commands his disciples, ver. 12. to salute the house into which they entered; and this was done by saying peace be unto this house! that is, let every blessing, spiritual and temporal, be the portion of this family. See Luke x. 6. John xiv. 27. and Acts xv. 33. they zcere let go in Peace; they had the most fervent and affectionate prayers of the church.

8. It signifies Praise. Luke xix. 38, Peace in Heaven, and glory in the Highest. May all the heavenly host praise God, and give him the highest honourl

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