Obrazy na stronie


The Apostle goes on to show, That Juftification, and the

Favour of God, is not to be obtained by ceremonial
Performances, but by religious Faith: From the In-
Stance of Abraham the Father of the Jewish Church.
His Faith made him acceptable to God before ever be
was circumcised. Therefore all that imitate bis Faith,
by believing in JESUS CHRIST, may be pardoned
and saved without Circumcifion. This Faith alone.
makes Men_his spiritual Children, according to the
Promise. So that to say, mere legal Performances
can save the Jews as his Posterity, is as much as to
say, it was not his religious Faith that justified and

Javed him. 4. D. 57. "WHAT fhall we

HAT by your notorisay then, that

ous Transgressions of Abrahamour father, the Law then, the Jews as well as pertaining to the

as Gentiles are under the absolute flesh, hath found?

Want of the Gospel-Pardon and Redemption, I have proved (Chap. ii. and iii.) and that the ceremonial Observances of the Mosaical Law, are not the thing that can justify and save you, I shall now further prove to you, from the undeniable Instance of Abraham the Father * of our Nation. I ask therefore, was he justified and rewarded by Virtue of a mere external Privilege, and the bare Performance of Circumcision? 2. For if Abraham 2. If he were indeed, he might juftified by have boasted and prided himself works,





*. Ver. 1. Kale oágra, Concerning the Fles. Whether This Phrase is to be joined to walne Farber, or to sugnxóval, bath found, is not absolutely to be determined. And tho' the latter seems much the more natural Construction, I have expressed them both. See Chap. i. 3.

works, he hath wbere- above all other People, as you now A. D. 57.
of to glory, but not do. But 'tis plain, Abraham did
before God.

not do so; as well knowing it

was the free Bounty of God rewarding his moral Obedience, and not any outward Privilege, or Performance, that justified and saved him.

3. For what faith 3. But, look upon the Scripthe scripture? * Abra- ture Account of it, and that will ham believed God make it plainer. It is there faid and it was counted t + (Gen. xv. 6.) That for an emiunto him for righte- nent At of Faith, God was ļ, ousness.

highly pleased with him, that, tho Abraham might have many Failings and Imperfections, be was accepted, as if he were perfectly and compleatly Righteous.

4. Now to him 4. God, I say, out of perfect
that worketh, is the Bounty, thus accepted him; for
reward not reckoned if Abraham I had done any thing
of grace, but of debt. that by its own Virtue could have

rendered him a perfectly good
Man, the Acceptance and Reward had been a just
Debt, and not a Favour conferred on him.
5. But to him that


Whereas on the contrary
worketh not, but be- it is evident, God declared him
lieveth on him that righteous, pardoned and accept-
juftifieth the ungodly, ed, and then gave him the Cover
his faith is counted nant and the Promise, not as one
for righteousness.

that had absolutely deserved it by
I any Performances, or could claim it by any Privilege,
but as a free and gracious Reward for his Faith in Him,
who by the Goodness and Bountifulness of the Divine
Nature, is always ready to pardon and accept all those
who sincerely believe and obey him.

6, 7

[ocr errors]

* Ver. 1. and 3. Abrabom. See the fame Argument made use of in Galat. iii.

+ Ver. 3. 'Enogian, It was counted unto him, Plainly figo nifies, The putting or adding to the Balance of one's Account, out of pure Gift and Favour.

1 Ver. 4, 5. To bim that sporketh, and, to him that worketh που, τα εργαζομένων, και τα μη εργαζομένω, viz. το 'Αβeααμ, as the Connexion of the Apoll's Discourse plainly requires,

A. D. 57.

6. Even as David 6, 7 & 8. And this Manner of also describech the God's pardoning or justifying blessedness of the man Men is the same that David unto whom God imputeth righteousness while your Law was in force;

means (Psalm xxxii. 1, 2.) even without works.

7. Saying, Blessed for you cannot understand those are they whose ini. Words of the Man that is justifiquities are forgiven, ed by Virtue of his own compleat and whose fins are co- Holiness (much less any external vered,

Privileges of the Law) but of the 8. Blessed is the man fincere Man, that is pardoned for to whom the Lord his past Sins, by the Mercy of will not impute fin. God upon the Sincerity of his

Repentance and Faith. 9. Cumerb this bler

9 & 1o. Well then, it will be fedness then upon the

an easy Matter to know, whether circumcision only, of this great Blessing of Pardon and upon the uncircumci. Sion allo? For we say, ed to be confined to the Jewill

Acceptance with God, were intendthat faith was reck. oned to Abraham for Church, and not extended to the righteousness. Gentile World, purely because they

10. How was it are uncircumcised. Look upon then reckoned? when braham's Cafe again, was he ache was in circumcifi. cepted before he was circumcised, on, or in uncircumci.

or after it? Before it certainly. fion? not in circum- (Gen. xvi. 6.) cision, but in uncir. cumcision. 11. And he receiv.

11. And the external Peformed the sign of circumcision, a seal of the his Family, was so far from be

ance of Circumcising himfelf and faith, which be bad ing any way the Cause and Reaget being uncircum- fon of his fuftification, that it

cised: that he might was nothing else but a Sign and be the father of all Pledge that God gave him, to them that believe, shew him, and to be a Memoranthough they be not dum to his Posterity, how acceptcircumcised; that able his Faith was, and how sure righteousness might he would be to reward it in him be imputed unto them and them that imitated it. And as also:

Abraham was justified before Circumcifion; it is plain, that all People whatever that


[ocr errors]

follow his Faith, may be saved without it. For as it 4. D. 57,
was Faith in God that made him the Father and Pattern
of true Believers, so whoever has that Faith, though
he be a Gentile, is his true Son. *

12. And the father 12. And then he is the Father
of the circumcifion to of the Jews also, but a Spiritual
them who are not of Father, not to all the Nation
the circumcifion only, barely as his Pofterity by Circum-
but also walk in the cifion; but to such fews only as
fteps of that faith of imitate that Faith of his that faved
our father Abraham,
which bebad being get

him, before ever he was circum.

cised at all. 13. For the pro 13

& 14. For as it would be mise that he hould most abfurd for you to say, The be the heir of the Promise of Abraham's being the world, was not to A Father of all true Believers, was

braham, or to his seed given him by Virtue of Circumthe daw through the righte- cifion + that was after it, (much Outlu gülness of faith.

less by your whole Law À that
14. For if they
which are of the law

was given four hundred Years af-
be heirs, faith is made terward.) But you must make
void, and the promise it to have been the Reward of
made of none effe&. his Faith ; fo to fay, this Promise

is entailed upon your Nation his natural Pofterity, merely as circumcised, and as Subjects of the Mofaical Law, is to make his Faith signify no


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• Ver. 11. 'Ess to otras autón malieg warwr TÜV TISN• övlar So that he is the Father of all Believers. In the same Sense of the Phrase in Chap. i. 20. and in ver. 16. of this Cbap.-—where bus to lives ought to be rendered, so that.

+ Ver. 13, 14 & 15. The Law, may in these Verses fignify Circumcifion, as the Sacramental Rise that obliged them to the whole Law, or else the whole Law itself. Certain it is the Apostle uses tbis Word in sometimes a fuller, at other Times in a more limited Signification; taking it in fome Pafsages for the wbole Mass of the Jewish Law, in others for only the ceremonial Part of it, and in some for the whole Old Tef tament Writings. I have diftinguished them in my Paraphrase, as the Sense and Connexion requires, and refer the Reader to the Particulars in the INDEX.

you un

4. D. 57. thing in the Case, and the Promise is to have no Rela

tion to it.

Because the law 15. And indeed you cannot
worketh wrath: for have it by the Law, which is a
where no law is, there Dispensation abounding with Du-
is no transgression. ties, and severe Curses and Penal-
ties annexed to the Breach of them: And as you have
managed yourselves under it, in a wilful Violation of
its Precepts, all the Advantage that I see you have
gained by it, is a Load of Guilt, it has laid
der; and had such a sinful People as you had no Re-
velation of God's Will at all, you had been much
lefs obnoxious to the divine Pleasure than you now

16. Therefore it is 16. It must therefore be had by of faith, that it might the Imitation of Abraham's Faith.

be by grace; to the And surely God has now done end the promise might much better for you and all the be sure to all the seed, World, in making it so; it being not to that only which

a Condition much more gracious is of the law, but to

* and mild than the Observance that also which is of the faith of Abraham, of your Law; and the most perwho is the father of fect Manner of fulfilling the Pro

mise made to him, by making it

extend to all virtuous and faithful People, whether circumcised or not. 17. (As it is writ

17. (For in that Sense only the ten, I have made thee Scripture calls him, The Father of a father of many nati many Nations) and as such a spions) before him whom ritual Father and Example was he he believed, even God looked upon by that God tin whom who quickneth the dead, and calleth those he fo fully believed, as to trust he

could things

us all.

* Ver. 16. 'lycxald naer, so as to be a purely gracious Dispensation : Or else thus, and so it (i.c. Justification) is by Grace, i. e. by the Gospel Religion.

+ Ver. 17. Before him in whom he believed The Construction feems plainly to be this, ός έσι παρ πάντων κατίναντι επίςευσεν θες The Father of us all (i. e. Jews and Gentiles) in God's Effeem in zobom be believed.

« PoprzedniaDalej »