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men, as before, and by the strength of their carnal appetites, which were not subdued by the law, carried them to transgressions that they approved not. Nor did it avail them to disapprove, or struggle, since, though the bent of their minds were the other way, yet their endeavours after obedience delivered them not from that death, which their bodies, or carnal appetites, running them into transgressions, brought upon them. That deliverance was to be had from grace, by which those who, putting themselves from under the law into the Gospel state, were accepted, if with the bent of their minds they sincerely endeavoured to serve and obey the law of God, though sometimes, through the frailty of their flesh, they fell into sin.
This is a farther demonstration to the converted Gentiles of Rome, that they are under no obligation of submitting themselves to the law, in order to be the people of God, or partake of the advantages of the Gospel, since it was necessary, even to the Jews themselves, to quit the terms of the law, that they might be delivered from death, by the Gospel. And thus we see how steadily and skilfully he pursues his design, and with what evidence and strength he fortifies the Gentile converts, against all attempts of the Jews, who went about to bring them under the observances of the law of Moses.
TEXT. i Know ye not brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law)
how that the law hath dominion over a man, as long as he liveth?
PARAPHRASE. 1 I have let those of you, who were formerly Gentiles, see that
they are not under the law, but under grace a: I now apply myself to you, my brethren, of my own nation, who know the law. You cannot be ignorant that the authority of the law reaches, or concerns a man', so long as he liveth, and
NOTES. 1 . See chap. vi. 14,
b That his discourse here, is addressed to those converts of this church, who were of the Jewish nation, is so evident, from the whole tenour of this chapter, that there needs no more but to read it with a little attention, to be convinced of it, especially ver. 1, 4, 6. € Kupiebei Foữ đzbçútov, " hath dəminion over a man.” So we render it rightly: but I imagine we understand it in too narrow a sense, taking it to mean only that dominion, or force, which the law has to compel, or restrain us in things, which we have otherwise no mind to; whereas it seems to me to be used in the conjugation hiphil, and to comprehend here that right and privilege also of doing or enjoying, which a map has, by virtue and authority of the law, which all ceases, as soon as he is dead. To this large sense of these words St. Paul's ex. pressions, in the two next verses, seem suited; and so understood have a clear and easy meaning, as may be seen in the paraphrase.
TEXT. 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her
husband so long as he liveth: but if the husband be dead, she is
loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man,
she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be
married to another man. 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the
PARAPHRASE. 2 no longer. Ford a woman who hath an husband is bound by
the law to her living husband; but if her husband dieth, she is loosed from the law, which made her her husband's,
because the authority of the law, whereby he had a right to 3 her, ceased in respect of him, as soon as he died. Where
fore she shall be called an adulteress, if, while her husband liveth, she become another man's. But if her husband dies, the right he had to her by the law ceasing, she is freed from
the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she become 4 another man's. So that even ye, my brethren", by the body
NOTES. 2 a “ For.” That which follows, in the 2d verse, is no proof of what is said in the
Ist verse, either as a reason, or an instance of it, unless xupieber be taken in the sense I propose, and then the whole discourse is easy and uniformi. e’ATO to róuou toữ år&pós, “ From the law of her husband.” This expression confirms the sense above-mentioned. For it can in no sense be termed, law of her husband,” but as it is the law whereby he has the right to his wife. But this law, as far as it is her husband's law, as far as he has any concern in it,
or privilege by it, dies with him, and so she is loosed from it. 4 1 Kad iusis, “ Ye also;" xal, “ also,” is not added here by chance, and without .
any meaning, but shows plainly that the apostle had in his mind some person or persons before-mentioned, who were free from the law, and that must be either the woman mentioned in the two foregoing verses as free from the law of her husband, because he was dead; or else the Geutile converts mentioned chap. vi. 14, as free from the law, because they were never under it. If we think xed refers to the woman, then St. Paul's sense is this, “ Ye also are free from the law, as well as such a woman, and may without any imputation subject yourselves to the Gospel." If we take xal to refer to the Gentile converts, then his sense is this : “ even ye also, iny brethren, are free from the law, as well as the Jewish converts, and as much at liberty to subject yourselves to the Gospel, as they." I confess myself most inclined to this latter, both because St. Paul's main drift is to show, that both Jews and Gentiles are wholly free from the law; and because ibarathonte có vóuw, “ ye have been made dead to the law,” the phrase here used to express that freedom, seems to refer rather to the 1st verse, where he says, “ the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth,” implying, and no longer, rather than to the two intervening verses, where he says, “ not the death of the woman, but the death of the husband, sets the woman free," of which more by and by.
TEXT. body of Christ ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
PARAPHRASE. of Christs, are become dead to the law, whereby the dominion of the law over you has ceased, that you should subject yourselves to the dominion of Christ in the Gospel, which you may do with as much freedom from blame, or the imputation of disloyalty', as a woman whose husband is dead, may, without the imputation of adultery, marry another man. And this making yourselves another's, even Christ's, who is risen from the dead, is that wek should bring forth fruit
NOTES. 8" By the body of Christ, in which you, as his members, died with him;" see Col. ii
. 20, and so, by a like figure, believers are said to be circumcised with him, Col. ii. 11. b“ Are become dead to the law.” There is a great deal of needless pains taken by some, to reconcile this saying of St. Paul to the two immediately preceding verses, which they suppose do require he should have said here what he does ver. 6, viz. that the law was dead, that so the persons, here spoken of, might rightly answer to the wife, who there represents them. But he that will take this passage together, will find that the first part of this 4th verse refers to ver. 1, and the latter part of it to ver. 2 and 3, and consequently that St. Paul had spoken improperly if he had said, what they would make him say here. To elear this, let us look into St. Paul's reasoning, which plainly stands thus: the dominion of the law over a man ceases, when he is dead, ver. I, you are become dead to the law, by the body of Christ, ver. 4, and so the dominion of the law over you is ceased, then you are free to put yourselves under the domi. nion of another, which can bring on you no charge of disloyalty to him, who had before the dominion over yon, any more than a woman can be charged with adultery, when, the dominion of her former husband being ceased by his death, she marrieth herself to another man.” For the use of what he says, ver. 2 and 3, is to satisfy the Jews, that the dominion of the law over them being ceased, by their death to the law in Christ, they were no more guilty of disloyalty, by putting themselves wholly under the law of Christ, in the Gospel, than a woman was guilty of adultery, when the dominion of her husband ceasing, she gave her. self up wholly to another man in marriage. ¡“ Disloyalty." One thing that made the Jews so tenacious of the law, was that they looked upon it as a revolt from God, and a disloyalty to him, their king, if they retained not the law that he had given them. So that even those of them, who embraced the Gospel, thought it necessary to observe those parts of the law, which were not continued, and as it were re-enacted by Christ, in the Gospel. Their mistake herein is what St. Paul, by the instance of a woman marrying a second husband, the former being dead, endeavours to conviuce them of. k“We.” It may be worth our taking notice of, that St. Paul, having all along from the beginning of the chapter, and even in this very sentence, said “ kere, with neglect of grammar, on a sudden changes it into “ we," and says,
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by
the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
PARAPHRASE. 5 unto God! For when we were after so fleshly m a manner,
under the law, as not to comprehend the spiritual meaning of it that directed us to Christ, the spiritual end of the law, our sinful lust" that remained in us under the law", or in
NOTES. “ that we should," &c. I suppose to press the argument the stronger, by showiug himself to be in the same circumstances and concern with them, he being a Jew, as well as those he spoke to. 1« Fruit unto God." In these words St. Paul visibly refers to chap. vi. 10, where he saith, that“ Christ, in that he liveth, he liveth unto God," and therefore he mentions here his being raised from the dead as a reason for their bringing 'forth fruit unto God, i. e. living to the service of God, obeying his will, to the
utmost of their power, which is the same that he says, chap. viii. 11. 5 m " When we were in the flesh.” The understanding and observance of
the law, in a bare literal sense, without looking any farther, for a more spiritual intention in it, St. Paul calls “ being in the flesh.” That the law had besides a literal and carnal sense, a spiritual and evangelical meaning, see 2 Cor. iii. 6 and 17 compared. Read also ver. 14, 15, 16, where the Jews in the flesh are described; and what he says of the ritual part of the law, see Heb. ix. 9, 11, which whilst they lived in the observance of, they ere in the flesh. That part of the Mosaical law was wholly about fleshly things, Col. ii. 14-23, was sealed in the flesh, and proposed no other but temporal, fleshly rewards. * Tlabhuata Tär du aptim, literally “passions of sin,” in the Scripture Greek (wherein the genitive case of the substantive is often put for the adjective) “ sinful passions, or lusts.” • Tà Srà toữ vójov, “ which were by the law,” is a very true literal translaetion of the words, but leads the reader quite away from the apostle's sense, and is fain to be supported (by interpreters, that so understand it) by sayiug, that the law excited men to sin, by forbidding it. A strange imputation on the law of God, such as, if it be true, must make the Jews more defiled, with the pollutions set down in St. Paul's black list, ch. i. than the heathen themselves. But herein they will not find St. Paul of their mind, who, besides the visible distinction wherewith he speaks of the Gentiles all through his epistles, in this respect, doth here, ver. 7, declare quite the contrary; see also 1 Pet. iv. 3, 4. If St. Paul's use of the preposition, 86d, a little backwards in this very epistle, were remembered, this and a like passage or two more, in this chapter, would not have so harsh and hard a sense put on them as they have. Των σις εύοντων Si åxpobuslas, our translation renders, ch. iv. 11, " that believe, though they be not circumcised,” where they make Si' åxpokusías to signify, “ during the state, or during their being under uncircumcision.” If they had given the same sense to 8à vóuou here, which plainly signifies their being in a contrary state, i. e. under the law, and rendered it, “ sinful affections," which they had, though they were under the law, the apostle's sense here would have been easy, clear, and conformable to the design he was upon. This use of the word Sod, I think we may find in other epistles of St. Paul; và Ssà To OWMQTOS, 2 Cor. v. 10, may
TEXT. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein
we were held ; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
PARAPHRASE. the state under the law wrought in our members, i, e. set
our members and faculties P on work in doing that, whose 6 end was death? But now the law, under which we were
heretofore held in subjection, being dead, we are set free from the dominion of the law, that we should perform our obedience as under the new' and spiritual covenant of the Gospel, wherein there is a remission of frailties, and not as still under the old rigour of the letter of the law, which condemns every one, who does not perform exact obedience to
NOTES. possibly, with better sense, be understood of things done during the body, or during the bodily state, than by the body; and so 1 Tim. ii. 15, bà Texeyarías, “ during the state of child-bearing." Nor is this barely an Hellenistical use of sà, for the Greeks themselves say &inuépàs, “ during the day;" and Bà yuxTds,“ during the night.” And so I think bà tou súayyerbou, Eph. iii. 6, shonld be understood to signify,“ in the time of the Gospel, under the Gospel dispensation.” p« Members,” here doth not signify barely the fleshly parts of the body, in a restrained sense, but the animal faculties and powers, all in us that is em. ployed as an instrument in the works of the flesh, which are reckoned up, Gal. v. 19–21, some of which do not require the members of our body, taken in a strict sense for the outward gross parts, but only the faculties of our minds, for their performance. 9 Kaproçocīcas to Javára, “ Bringing forth fruit unto death,” here is opposed to “ bringing forth fruit unto God," in the end of the foregoing verse. Death here being considered as a master whom men serve by sin, as God in the other place is considered as a master, who gires life to them who serve him, in per
forming obedience to his law. 67" In newness of spirit," i. e. spirit of the law, as appears by the antithesis,
oldness of the letter, i. e. letter of the law. He speaks in the former part of the verse of the law, as being dead; here he speaks of its being rerired again, with a new spirit. Christ by his death abolished the Mosaical law, but revived as much of it again as was serviceable to the use of his spiritual kingdom, uuder the Gospel, but left all the ceremonial and purely typical part dead, Col. ü. 14–18; the Jews were held before Christ in an obedience to the whole letter of the law, without minding the spiritual meaning, which pointed at Christ. This the apostle calls here serving in the oldness of the letter, and this he tells them they should now leave, as being freed from it by the death of Christ, who was the end of the law for the attaining of righteousness, chap. x. 4, i. e. in the spiritual sense of it, which 2 Cor. iii. 6, he calls spirit, which spirit, rer. 17, he explains to be Christ. That chapter and this verse here give light to one another. Serving in the spirit then is obeying the law, as far as it is revived, and as it is esplained by our Saviour, in the Gospel, for the attaining of evangelical righteousness,