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but holy, just, and good.

CHAP. VII.

The law of sin in our members. DOMINI 11 For sin, taking occasion by the not, I consent unto the law that it is

DOMINI
commandment, deceived me, and by good.
it slew me.

17 Now then it is no more I that
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
the commandment holy, and just, and 18 For I know that in me (that is,
good.

in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing :
13 Was then that which is good for to will is present with me; but
made death unto me? God forbid. how to perform that which is good I
But sin, that it might appear sin, find not.
working death in me by that which is 19 For the good that I would I do
good; that sin by the commandment not : but the evil which I would not,
might become exceeding sinful. that I do.

14 For we know that the law is 20 Now if I do that I would not,
spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under it is no more I that do it, but sin that
sin.

dwelleth in me.
15 For that which I do I + allow 21 I find then a law, that, when I
not: for what I would, that do I not; would do good, evil is present with me.
but what I hate, that do I.

22 For I delight in the law of 16 If then I do that which I would God after the inward man: commandment, which was given for life, that is, with approves; but such as it disapproves and condemns. the promise, 'Do this, and live,' was found to be unto Dr. Hammond. death. Dr. Whitby.

16. If then I do that which I would not, &c.] The 11. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment,] conscience of such men, which smites them for thus See above, ver. 8. Deceived,” or enticed me to the acting in disobedience to the law, is an acknowledgtransgression of the commandment, and so rendered ment that the law itself is good. Dr. Hammond. me guilty of death. Dr. Wells. There is an allusion 17. Now then it is no more I that do it, &c.]

“1," here to the excuse which Eve made for eating the for- according to the better part, from which I am denomibidden fruit; “The serpent beguiled me,” by assuring nated ; " but sin that dwelleth in me,” that is, in my me that I should not diē. Dr. Macknight.

flesh, ver. 23; and captivates me to the obedience of it. 12. Wherefore the law is holy, &c.] The Apostle Dr. Whitby. here infers the groundlessness of the objection urged in By distinguishing his real self, that is, his spiritual the 7th verse. Dr. Hammond. Wherefore it appears, part, from the self, or flesh in which sin dwelt

, and by that the law is by no means in itself the cause of sin, observing that the evil actions which he committed but on the contrary it is "holy,” or a rule directing us were done, not by him, but by sin dwelling in him; the to holiness: and consequently “the commandment,” Apostle did not mean to teach that wicked men are not or whatever the law commands, is in itself “holy;" and accountable for their sins, but to make them sensible of not only so, but just,” or fit to be commanded ; “and the evil of their sins, by shewing them, that they are all good," or beneficial to be observed. Dr. Wells. committed in direct opposition to reason and con

13. Was then that which is good made death unto me? science, the superiour part of their nature, at the insti&c.] Shall I then charge my ruin on this holy and gation of passion and lust, the lower part. Farther, by good law of God? By no means. But I must rather appealing to the opposition which reason and conscience charge it upon sin, which by means of so holy an instru- make to evil actions, he hath overturned the grand ment undid me. Dr. Doddridge,

argument, by which the wicked justify themselves in that it might appear sin,] That is, malignant, indulging their lusts. Say they, Since God has given pernicious, and detestable. Dr. Wells.

us passions and appetites, He certainly meant that we - that sin by the commandment might become ex- should gratify them. True, says the Apostle : but God ceeding sinful.] As being done against an express posi- hath also given you reason and conscience, which tive commandment, which plainly denounced death to oppose the excesses of lust, and condemn its gratifithe sinner; and so carrying with it a far greater degree cation. And as reason and conscience are the supeof aggravation, and consequently of malignity, perni- riour part of men's nature, a more certain indication ciousness, and detestableness than before. Dr. Wells. of the will of God may be gathered from their ope

14. For we know that the law is spiritual: &c.] The ration, than from the impulses of the other. Dr. MacApostle here argues, that it will not seem strange that knight. sin should prevail over us in a state of lapsed nature, to 20. — it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth transgress the law, and to become obnoxious to death in me.] The objection against the law in the 7th verse, by it, if we consider the contrariety which exists is thus fully answered by shewing, that the law is far between every natural man and the law: "for we know, from being guilty of men's sin ; and that it is not they, that the law is spiritual,” and requires spiritual things; by the conduct and dictate of the law, or by their own “ but,” every natural man hath cause to say of himself

, conscience guided by the law, that do evil; but their “I am carnal, sold under sin,” that is, enslaved by my carnal inclinations, or the custom of sin, which hath corrupt affections : such is the meaning of the last gained such power over them. Dr. Hammond. phrase in the Old Testament. See 1 Kings xxi. 20, 25. 21. I find then a law, &c.] By calling our sinful Dr. Whitby.

inclinations "a law,” the Apostle teaches, that they are 15. For that which I do I allow not: &c.] The mean- a principle of action as steady and constant in impelling ing is, that carnal men, though they are taught their us to evil, as the law of God is, in directing us to what duty by the law, do not such things as their under- is good. Dr. Macknight. standing or conscience, thus instructed and directed, 22. - after the inward man:] That is, in the mind

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The law of sin

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in our members. 23 But I see another law in my mind I myself serve the law of God;

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members, warring against the law of but with the flesh the law of sin.
my mind, and bringing me into capti-

CHAP. VIII.
vity to the law of sin which is in my 1 They that are in Christ, and live according
members.

to the Spirit, are free from condemnation. 24 O wretched man that I am ! 5, 13 What harm cometh of the flesh, 1. Or, this

who shall deliver me from || the body 6, 14 and what good of the Spirit : 17 and body of death. of this death?

what of being God's child, 19 whose glo

rious deliverance all things long for, 29 25 I thank God through Jesus

was beforehand decreed from God. 38 Christ our Lord. So then with the

What can sever us from his love ?

or judgment, as the Apostle interprets himself, ver. 25. the dictates of sin. Dr. Hammond. See the notes on Drs. Whitby and Wells.

ver. 17. It is not true, that, in strictness of speech, fallen man As if he had said, Thanks be to God, His gracious hath originally no principle of what is right left in mercy and goodness through Jesus Christ delivers us him. If the whole was lost by the fall, somewhat hath by the powerful and effectual motives and helps of the by the general grace of God been restored since. For, Gospel. So then, to shut up this discourse, the sum though St. Paul saith, In me, that is, in my flesh, and substance thereof is this : antecedently to the condwelleth no good thing," ver. 18, yet he saith of the sideration of Gospel-grace this is the condition of man; same person quickly after, “I delight in the law of by a diversity of inclinations he is drawn by different God after the inward man." And he supposes even motives at one and the same time towards opposite the Gentiles to “do,” in some cases and to some degree, objects; by reason and conscience in the spirit of his “the things contained in the law,” chap. ii. 14. Indeed own mind he is of necessity obliged to approve the law experience proves, that notorious sinners have often a of God, and strongly invited to act in conformity to considerable mixture of worthy dispositions. We are that obligation, but his bodily appetites and desires, not therefore to look on those dreadful pictures, which importunate to be gratified, often draw him into forthe sacred writers draw, of the most depraved of the bidden actions, and so bring him under subjection to heathens, as being just representations, without abate- sin and death eternal; from which miserable estate he is ment, of the natural state of all mankind. But, how- and can be delivered only by the mercy of the Gospel. ever, that state is undoubtedly a bad one; destitute of T. Edwards. sufficient strength, unentitled to pardon of sin, to supplies of grace, to reward of obedience; till God, in the Chap. VIII. The Christian religion is here shewn to covenant of baptism, affords us relief in all these be fully able both to cure the habits, and to atone for respects; and so “ delivers us from the power of dark- the guilt, of sins against the moral law: the merits of ness, and translates us into the kingdom of His dear Christ's death being a sufficient satisfaction for past Son," Col. i. 13. Abp. Secker.

offences; and the spiritual nature of His laws, with the 23. — in my members.] See the note on chap. vi. 13. assistance of the Divine Spirit, enabling us to attain

24. O wretched man that I am! &c.] This is a sad such habits of righteous living, as will qualify us for, condition, the very state of a carnal man under the and assure us of, a resurrection to eternal life and haplaw; and out of which the law cannot rescue any man, piness. This spiritual life is the great obligation, and nor from the destruction that attends it. Dr. Hammond. the only mark and character of a true Christian. It will This mass of inward corruption, which dwells in this entitle the Gentile, as well as the Jewish converts, to the mortal and sinful flesh of mine. Bp. Hall. Or, “The future glory and happiness of God's true Church and body of this death "

appears to be an emphatical He- children. Pyle. braism, signifying “the body," that is, the lusts of the St. Paul, in the foregoing chapter, having shewn the body, which cause “this death,” the death threatened in Jewish converts the necessity and obligation they were the curse of the law. Dr. Macknight.

under of quitting the observance of the law on the one 25. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.] Yet hand, which affording men neither possibility of escapblessed be God, by the grace and strength of Jesus ing sin wholly, nor sufficient means of recovering from Christ, chap. vi. 23, there is a way to escape from this the guilt of it, left them unavoidably subject to the final sad condition : 1st, pardon to every penitent sinner, wrath of God, the necessary consequence of every transwhich may encourage any to break off their sins; and gression by the terms of the Law; but that the Gospel 2dly, grace and strength in Christ, to perform what God on the other hand, having delivered men from the body in Christ will accept, namely, a sincere though imperfect of death and from the bondage of corruption, into the obedience. Dr. Hammond.

glorious liberty of the sons of God, enabled them to preSo then with the mind I myself serve the law of vail not only over the temptations of sin within themGod; &c.] So then the conclusion of this digression selves, but also over all the persecutions and all the from ver. 7, is, that the bare knowledge of the law of powers of the world, and also enabled them to bring Moses only directs the understanding what is our duty; | forth unto God the fruits of obedience acceptable unto notwithstanding which, the carnal man, accustomed to eternal life - he proceeds in this chapter to confirm the the ways of sin, may still persevere in them contrary to latter part of his argument by shewing how Christians the suggestions of his conscience, and so be justly are free from the sentence of condemnation, being delirewarded with death. The phrase, “I myself,” which vered both from the guilt and dominion of sin by the may be rendered literally, The same I,' means one sacrifice of the death of Christ, and the merciful terms and the same person, namely, him, whom the Apostle of the Gospel established thereupon, whereby they are has hitherto personated, and whom he here describes as enabled to serve God acceptably unto justification and consisting of two parks, and so doing two things at salvation, if they be careful so to do; that is, to perform once; with his understanding serving the law of God, the conditions of this gracious covenant on their part, and yet at the same time with his flesh submitting to by mortifying the deeds of the body, utterly forsaking

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|| Or, by a

They that are in Christ

CHAP. VIII.

are free from condemnation. THERE is therefore now

no in that it was weak through the flesh,
condemnation to them which are God sending his own Son in the like-
in Christ Jesus, who walk not after ness of sinful flesh, and || for sin,
the flesh, but after the Spirit.
condemned sin in the flesh:

sacrifice for
2 For the law of the Spirit of life, 4 That the righteousness of the
in Christ Jesus hath made me free law might be fulfilled in us, who
from the law of sin and death.

walk not after the flesh, but after the 3 For what the law could not do, Spirit.

sin.

all manner of vicious practices, and faithfully obeying mortal body, which was like sinful flesh, and differed the spiritual precepts of the Gospel, in the constant from it in nothing but in innocence. Dr. Hammond. course of an holy and virtuous life, to which he there- —and for sin,] Namely, that He might be a safore earnestly exhorts them. And then, from persuad-crifice for sin. Dr. Hammond. The phrase "for sin," ing them to continuance in well doing, he goes on to in the Old Testament, is the usual phrase for a sin-ofencourage them to perseverance in suffering patiently, fering: the constant effect of which was, to make an by representing the greatness and the glory of the hea- atonement for the sin committed, that it might be forvenly reward, the blessed privilege of conformity to the given, and the guilt of it might be done away. The example of Christ, the Divine assistance of the Holy effect of the sacrifice, delivered in these words, " and for Spirit helping the infirmity of their prayers, enabling sin condemned sin in the flesh,” should be interpreted them to pray to God acceptably, and joining His own agreeably to the constant design of all sacrifices for sin : effectual intercession to God for those things in general and so the words signify that He took away the conwhich He saw best and most convenient for them, demning power of sin ; He condemned that, which bewhereby they were assured that, if it pleased God to fore condemned us, enabling us to say, “who is He that continue their afflictions, they would turn to their great condemns us ? it is Christ that died;" ver. 34. He advantage in this world as well as in that which is to killed sin, or made it dead by that death, which caused come. And lastly, by representing the joyous sense and it not to be imputed to us to death, 2 Cor. v. 19. And assurance which patience under their sufferings would this is the thing which the law could not do; it could afford them of God's present love and favour, the ines- not give life to a person condemned to death, Gal. iii. timable value of which blessing he continues to set 21 : it could not justify or free us from condemnation. forth in a most exalted and triumphant manner to the Dr. Whitby. end of this chapter. T. Edwards.

The Apostle in the two preceding chapters having Ver. 1. - to them which are in Christ Jesus, &c.] That represented "sin” as a person, he expresses himself is, to Christians; provided they forsake sin, and per- very appositely here, when he tells us, Christ put sin form that evangelical obedience, and preserve that in to death in the flesh, that is, in our body, where he (ein) ward true purity, required by Christ under the Gospel. had introduced himself at the fall. Dr. Macknight. Dr. Hammond. Faith in Christ, joined with repentance 4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled and a sincere endeavour to obey His commands, will, in us] That is, the inward purity and righteousness through the merits of His death, avert the punishment which the law required. The phrase occurs only here due to our sins, and procure us admission into the king- and chap. i. 26 ; where it plainly signifies the righteousdom of heaven. Bp. Tomline. “To walk after the flesh, ness contained in the moral law, or those internal prinis to be governed by those inordinate appetites, which ciples of holiness, justice and goodness, which are comhave their seat in the flesh: “to walk after the Spirit,” | prised in it, these being “the weightier matters of the is to be habitually governed by reason and conscience, law,” Matt. xxiii. 23; and the only things in which the enlightened and strengthened by the Spirit of God. uncircumcision, or the Gentiles, could keep the "rightHence such are said to be “ led by the Spirit,” ver. 14. eousness of the law.” Here therefore the phrase appears Dr. Macknight.

to bear the same sense, and so confutes the vain imagi2. For the law of the Spirit of life] That is, the nations of the Antinomians. Dr. Whilby. Gospel, which commands spiritual inward purity, and The first benefit obtained for us by Christ's death is quickens those who embrace it to new life by the grace justification, or a release from the guilt and punishment of the Holy Spirit.” Drs. Hammond and Wells. of sin. The second is sanctification, which is effected

- hath made me free from the law of sin and death.] by the assistance and influence of God's Holy Spirit, Hath freed us Christians from the power and captivity enabling us to correct the corrupt principle called of sin, chap. vii. 23; and so also from death, the wages

“flesh. Dean Stanhope. of sin. Dr. Hammond. It is observable, that the person " Fulfilled " here does not signify a complete exact who speaks in the foregoing chapter is introduced here obedience, but such an unblamable life, by sincere enas continuing the discourse, and shewing the method in deavours after righteousness, as shews us to be the which his deliverance from “the body of death,” men- faithful subjects of Christ, exempt from the dominion of tioned chap. vii. 24, was accomplished. Dr. Macknight. sin : see chap. xiii. 8 ; Gal. vi. 2. A description of such

3. For what the law could not do,] Or, as to that who thus fulfilled “the righteousness of the law," we which was impossible to the law.' Dr. Hammond. have in St. Luke, chap. i. 6. As Christ in the flesh was

in that it was weak through the flesh,] The fleshly wholly exempt from all taint of sin, so we, by that Spirit desires of men carrying them headlong into all sin, in which was in Him, shall be exempt from the dominion despite of the prohibitions of the law, the law of Moses of our carnal lusts, if we make it our choice and endeawas by this means weak. Dr. Hammond. The weak- vour to live after the Spirit, ver. 9–11. For that which ness of the law is here attributed to the prevalence of we are to perform by that Spirit, is the mortification of that sensual and carnal principle, which by betraying the deeds of the body, ver. 13. Locke. men into sin, rendered them still more obnoxious to - who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.] death, in proportion as the precepts of the law were The terms of Scripture represent the Spirit of God as multiplied. Dean Stanhope.

an assisting, not a forcing power; as not suspending - in the likeness of sinful flesh,] That is, in a l our own powers, but enabling them; as imparting

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the flesh.

+ Gr. the

is life and peace.

+ Gr. the

ness.

What harm cometh
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of the flesh, 5 For they that are after the flesh 8 So then they that are in the

DOMINI do mind the things of the Aesh; but flesh cannot please God. they that are after the Spirit the 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but things of the Spirit.

in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit + Gr. the 6 For + to be carnally minded is of God dwell in you. Now if any minding of

death; but + to be spiritually minded man have not the Spirit of Christ, he minding of

is none of his. the Spirit. 7 Because + the carnal mind is 10 And if Christ be in you, the minding of enmity against God: for it is not body is dead because of sin; but the the flesh.

subject to the law of God, neither in- Spirit is life because of righteous

deed can be. strength and faculty for our religious work, if we will that runs directly counter to the law of God, and can use them: but whether we will use them or not, still never be brought into conformity and subjection to His depending upon ourselves. Agreeably hereunto St. commands. Such a settled contravention to His prePaul asserts, that “there is no condemnation to them cepts cannot be suffered by the supreme Lord and Gowho walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The vernour of the world in any of His creatures, without promise is, not to them who have the Spirit, but to them foregoing His sovereignty, and giving up the eternal imwho walk after the Spirit. “To walk after the flesh ” mutable rule of right, to the overturning of the very is to follow wherever the impulses of sensuality and sel- foundations of all order and moral rectitude in the intelfishness lead us, which is a voluntary act. “To walk lectual world. This, even in the judgment of men themafter the Spirit” is steadily and resolutely to obey good selves, will be always thought a necessary piece of jusmotions within us, whatever they cost us: which also tice, for the keeping out of anarchy, disorder, and conis a voluntary act. All the language of this remarkable fusion, that those refractory subjects, who set up their chapter proceeds in the same strain : namely, that own inclinations for their rule, against the law which after the Spirit of God is given, it remains and rests was made to restrain those very inclinations, should with ourselves whether we avail ourselves of it or feel the severity of the law, without which the authority not. “ If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of of the law and law-maker cannot be preserved. Locke. the body, ye shall live,” ver. 13. It is through the Spi- 8. they that are in the flesh] That is, they who live rit that we are enabled to mortify the deeds of the body. a worldly carnal life. Dr. Whitby. They who are not puriBut still, whether we mortify them or not, is our act; fied by the spiritual religion of Christ. Bp. Tomline. because it is made a subject of precept and exhortation 9. But ye are not in the flesh, &c.] As if he had said, to mortify them. Health is God's gift: but what use “But ”it is not so with you Christians, that you cannot we will make of it, is our choice. Bodily strength is please God, for, “ye are not in the flesh,” &c. Dr. God's gift : but of what advantage it shall be to us, de- Whitby. pends upon ourselves. Even so, the higher gift of the - if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.] EnSpirit remains a gift, the value of which will be exceed- lightening your understandings, renewing your wills ingly great, will be little, will be none, will be even an and affections, and inspiring your souls with an earnest increase of guilt and condemnation, according as it is desire after the favour and grace of God. The phrase applied and obeyed, or neglected and withstood. The " dwell,” imports intimate fellowship, active operation, fourth chapter of Ephesians, ver. 30, is a warning voice and constancy of abode. Burkitt. upon the subject : “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God:” · Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he therefore He may be grieved: being given, He may be is none of his.1. Hence it is evident, that none are truly rejected : rejected, He may be withdrawn. Archdeacon said to be in Christ, see ver. 1, by a profession of faith, Paley.

unless they live in a manner answerable to that profes5.- do mind the things of the flesh ;] The original sion, and be renewed in mind, will, affections, and converb signifies, to set one's affection on an object, and to versation. Dr. Whitby. use great pains in obtaining it, Col. iii. 2. Dr. Mack- the Spirit of Christ,] Called, in the former part night. They that are carried by their own carnal incli- of the verse, " the Spirit of God," to teach us that He is nations, or by customs and habits of sin, do generally “the Spirit of Christ,” as Christ is God, and that Christ mind and meditate on carnal things. Dr. Hammond. is truly God, one with the Father : otherwise the same

but they that are after the Spirit &c.] They that Spirit could not be the Spirit of Christ and of God too. are led by the Spirit of Christ, the conduct of the Gos- And as He is thus usually in Holy Scripture called, pel, study and mind those things, wherein inward purity sometimes “the Spirit of God,” and sometimes "the and sanctity consists. Dr. Hammond.

Spirit of Christ;" so, at other times, He is called abso6. For to be carnally minded is death ; &c.] As if he lutely " the Holy Spirit,” or, which is the same thing, had said, And so one pursues the things which tend to “the Holy Ghost, especially where the three Divine death, and the other those things which tend to life. Persons are all named together, as Matt. xxviii. 19; 2 “For to be carnally minded is ” the way which tends to Cor. xiii. 14; 1 John v. 7; to shew, that, although He “ death,” &c. Dr. Whitby.

be the Spirit both of the Father and of the Son, yet He 7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; | is so in such a manner as to be a distinct Person from &c.] The carnal man can look for no better issue than both, as each of the other Persons also is. Bp. Beveridge. “death,” ver. 6; for his affections and desires are no 10. And if Christ be in you,] If ye be Christians better than mere enmity against God, utterly rebelling indeed, your lives corresponding to the purity of the against the law of God; as those which neither are Gospel of Christ. Dr. Hammond. Christ, or His Spirit, subject unto it, neither indeed, while they so continue, being in us; His Spirit, or God's Spirit being in us, are can be. Bp. Hall.

expressions of the same import. Bp. Fell. Here the Apostle gives the reason, why even those, the body is dead because of sin ; &c.] That is, that are in Christ Jesus, have received the Gospel, and Though your bodies indeed be liable to present death, are Christians, for to such he is here speaking, are not like those of other men, by the unavoidable effect of saved, unless they cease to walk after the flesh, because 'Adam's transgression ; yet will the power of the Divine

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and what good CHAP. VIII.

of the Spirit. 11 But if the Spirit of him that Spirit do mortify the deeds of the DOMINI

raised up Jesus from the dead dwell body, ye shall live.
in you, he that raised up Christ from

Christ from 14 For as many as are led by the
the dead shall also quicken your Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
1 Or, because mortal bodies ll by his Spirit that 15 For ye have not received the
of his Spirit.
dwelleth in you.

spirit of bondage again to fear; but 12 Therefore, brethren, we are ye have received the Spirit of adopdebtors, not to the flesh, to live after tion, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. the flesh.

16 The Spirit itself beareth wit13 For if ye live after the flesh, ness with our spirit, that we are the

ye shall die: but if ye through the children of God: Spirit raise them up again to an immortal life, as the us grace or strength to perform them, and so render us happy effect of our justification by Christ's death and only more guilty of death, and consequently subject us sufferings. Pyle.

to fear. Dr. Wells. 11. - by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.] It was the the Spirit of adoption] The Holy Spirit, who opinion of the Jews, derived from Ezek. xxxvii

. 9, 10, is so called, because He endues believers with a filial that the resurrection shall be effected by virtue of the loving confidence in God, as their reconciled Father in Holy Spirit. Thus was our Lord raised from the dead, Christ. He is here opposed to "the spirit of bondage,” 1 Pet. iii. 18. Thus, saith this verse, shall we be raised, or of servitude;' or that slavish fear of God, which the who are " the temple of the Holy Ghost.” The promise Mosaick law considered merely as the law of a carnal of being raised by " the Spirit of Christ " belongs only commandment, had a tendency to produce. Compare to them, whose bodies shall be raised to the resurrection Gal. iv. 4-7; 2 Tim. i. 7. Parkhurst. of life eternal. As for others, they being only Christians whereby we cry, Abba, Father.] Whereby we are in name, and not in truth and sincerity, and persons, emboldened to speak to God under the title of a loving to whom Christ will then say, “I never knew you ;" Father. Bp. Hall. they shall be raised by the power of Christ, but not by vir- The word “ Abba” signifies Father in the Jewish tue of any union with the Spirit of Christ. Dr, Whitby. language, that is, the Syro-Chaldaick. Dr. Doddridge.

The Apostle here contends, that happiness and im- This was a phrase, in which the Jewish bond-servants mortality are, by means both of justification and of might not presume to address their masters. It intimates sanctification, privileges, which give a just preference to our being authorized to claim the rank of God's chilthe Christian religion over any other religion whatso- dren. Abp. Secker. ever. He does not attempt the absurdity of denying 16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit,] that Christians die in common with other men: but he | Or with our consciences, “that we,” being thus led by places their privilege in being restored to life, and such the Spirit of God dwelling in us, are the children of a future life, as far excels any advantages possible to be God.” Dr. Wells. reaped from their continuance in the present life by This testimony with our spirits is the sanctification of never dying at all. This he alleges to be a benefit en- them, the subjecting of our wills and affections to His tirely derived from Christ. Dean Stanhope.

influences, acting upon us by the mediation of our own 12. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, &c.] That is, thoughts, yet discoverable to be from Him, by their opseeing the Holy Spirit dwelleth in us, quickening our position to our natural corruption. It is by the sanctisouls for the present, in order that He may raise our fying grace of this Spirit dwelling in us, that we are enbodies in time to come ; furnishing the one with grace abled to “mortify the deeds of the body :” they that do here, and fitting the other for glory hereafter ; therefore so are “led by Him:" and as many as are so led have we ought to live unto God, and not unto the flesh. Burkitt. thereby a testimony that they are the children of God.

13. the deeds of the body,] It means all sin, relat- Our wills and affections had contracted by their corruping both to the inward and outward man: all evil dispo- tion an enmity against God, and a love of the world sitions, depraved habits, corrupt affections, as well as and vanity : the Holy Ghost unbends this perverseness, irregular actions; though“the body” only is mentioned, and directs them towards heaven. Dr. Glocester Ridley. because there sin especially shews itself. Burkitt. The Spirit of God doth not bear witness with the spi

14. For as many as are led by the Sptrit of God] rits of the faithful that they are the children of God, by Living after Christ's example, and doing what He com- an immediate oracle, voice, or whisper within them, in mands and enables us to do. Dr. Hammond.

express words pronouncing their pardon and acceptation they are the sons of God.] The strength of the with God, or saying that they are the sons of God. This argument will be clear from these considerations : Ist, is a vain imagination, and as dangerous as it is vain : it That the adopted "sons of God” are“ heirs of God, and being apt to lead some good men into despair, as not joint-heirs with Christ,” and so must reign with Him, finding any such whisper within them, and to expose ver. 17, which till they live again, and be raised from others to presumption and the delusion of the evil spithe dead, they cannot do; and that their adoption is rit. Such a vocal testimony of the Spirit is no where “the redemption of their bodies” from corruption, ver. promised in Scripture, and therefore not to be expected 23: 2dly, That we are then completely " the sons of by us. And that St. Paul means not here any such God," when we are“ children of the resurrection,” Luke vocal testimony of the Spirit, is evident from hence, that XX. 36; when we have “overcome,” according to those this vocal testimony would be the immediate testimony words in Rev. xxi. 7, “ He that overcometh shall inhe- of the Spirit alone, whereas the Apostle speaks of a tesrit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be My timony of the Spirit concurring and adjoining with the son." Dr. Whitby.

testimony of our spirits, that is, our minds and con15. For

have not received the spirit of bondage &c.] sciences. This testimony the Spirit bears, 1st, by those The Gospel does not load us, like bondslaves, with the gracious fruits and effects, which He hath wrought in intolerable yoke of numerous rites and ceremonies; nor us; which when we discern and perceive, we do or may does it only tell us our moral duties, without affording from thence conclude that we are the sons of God, those

ye

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