AN EXPOSITION OF ALL St. PAULS EPISTLES, TOGETHER With an Explanation of those other Epistles of the Apostles, St. James, Peter, John & Jude: Wherein the sense of every Chapter and Verse is Ana­lytically unfolded, and the Text enlightened.

By DAVID DICKSON, Professor of Divinity in the University of Glascoe.

Published for the Benefit of such as desire clearly to understand, and rightly to improve the Scriptures.

JOHN 15.4.

Abide in mee, and I in you; As the Branch cannot bring forth fruit of it self, except it abide in the Vine, No more can yee, except you abide in mee.

LONDON, Printed by R. I. for Francis Eglesfield, and are to bee sold at the Marygold in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1659.

TO THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS MARQUESSE, Earl of Kintar, Lord Cambel, Lord of Lorn, &c. AND To the most Noble Lord, the Lord Archibald Cambell ▪ Lord of Lorn, his Eldest Son and Heir, &c.

David Dickson wisheth all happiness.

THe name of Wisdome and Happiness (most Illustrious Marquess) hath alwaies and every where been very eminent, and all men have justly commended him that hath been studious of both; But few they are who well understand the things themselves: For they that place their Happiness in any thing besides the en­joyment of God, in the matter of true Wisdome, are much mista­ken: That indeed is the true Wisdome, by which wee are di­rectly and infallibly led to solid and eternal Happiness. It is a most sad spectacle, and to wise observers not unprofitable, to behold the misery of mankind, joyned with madness. Man is banished from Heaven, and as a Vagabond wanders up­on Earth, tossed up and down with the stings of misery, and a certain blinde de­sire of Happiness, inquires after his Remedy. But the Felicity hee should seek after above, hee looks for among terrene trash, and so misseth of it every where. For the chiefest Good hee embraceth the meanest things, and the deceitful sha­dows of Vanity: By the frequent frustration of his conceived hopes, hee is mind­ed of his errour, and urged with the perpetual agitation of a restless spirit, to seek after the heavenly Country, and his Fathers house. But hee goes astray from the womb, and his errour is endless, encreasing and multiplying the miseries that hee flies from.

The contemplation of Divine Goodness, conflicting with mans obstinacy and stubbornness, heightens the sadness of this spectacle; The fountain of happiness descends from Heaven (cloathed with Majesty and Light, as with a garment) ma­nifesting to those that are in the dark, his invisibility, to wit, his eternal power and God-head, shining forth in the works of Creation, that hee might invite rebels in­to favour with him. But they either look not towards God, or looking to him, they acknowledge him not, or knowing him in some measure, they glorifie him not as God, but become vain in their imaginations, and bowed downward, they cry out, Who will shew us any good? None seriously pray, Lift up the light of thy Countenance upon us.

God comes neerer in the works of his providence, and leaves himself not without witness, but communicates his good things to men unworthy; gives Rain from Heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling the hearts of his most ingrateful enemies, with food and gladness, that they might feel after the Lord, and finde him, whom they had lost; so by the riches of his goodness and forbearance, they might be re­duced to repentance; But they receive these benefits, and sacrifice them to glut­tony [Page] and intemperance. And even with these things which Divine bounty vouch­safed (arming themselves with the weapons of iniquity) they rebel against God.

But here the Man-kindness of God doth not end, but hee comes close to us, reacheth forth his hand, knocks at every mans breast, produceth the Law written legibly upon every mans heart, shakes their consciences, stirs up their thoughts to summon those fugitive enemies to the Tribunal of Justice, to accuse the guil­ty, and convince them of their odious ingratitude, takes away all excuse from those that are convicted, and all this, that men might repent, and sue out for par­don. But they convinced of their iniquity, contumaciously lift up themselves against God, fall out with conscience, and lay violent hands upon it, to bee silent; they invade that truth of God, written upon their hearts, which once suppressed they imprison, and with-hold in unrighteousness. Its no wonder if God suffer such desperately stubborn, and self-condemned creatures, to walk in their own waies, and leaves them to Satan, giving them up to their own corrupt affections. Alas! Alas! millions are lost, and will bee so.

By how much the more this spectacle is lamentable, by so much the goodness of God is more lovely, which will not endure that Divine Grace should suffer a re­pulse, by those which the good pleasure of God will have to be his own, to come to themselves, and be saved. You will easily affirm that to be a joyful sight, which for ever will bless the beholders, and make them happy. The Eternal Wisdome, the Beloved of the Father, the Delight of Angels, the Light of the World, the Life of Men, the Son of Righteousness, under whose wings is healing, and salvation, Our Lord Jesus Christ came down from the bosome of his Father: Who having discharged the price of our Redemption, conquered our enemies, gets up into his triumphant Chariot; passes through all places where his redeemed ones abide; for their sakes hee sets up the banner of his love; hee sends forth the voice of saving wis­dome in the Gospel of Peace: By the Ministery whereof, hee opens the fountain of mans misery wider, reproves of sin, creates in them a sorrow after God, holds forth wrath to come, and terrifies; demonstrates to them their folly, unworthi­ness and impotency to deliver themselves from those evils, and humbles them to an abnegation of their own wisdome and strength. Hee offers himself a Media­tour, for the restoring of amity betwixt God and man, provokes in us a thirst after Life and Righteousness, holds forth to us freedome from the Law of works, as also the ratification of the New and Free Covenant of Grace, to which hee causeth them to consent; perswades them to embrace Christ, that great gift of God, and wholly resign themselves up to him: Hee exhibits also to them Remission of sins, and causes them to lay hold upon it to Justification: Hee wills those that are justified, to mortifie the old man, and enkindles in them no less de­sire after holiness, than after Heaven and Happiness it self: Hee requires the fruits of Faith, in obedience to the Divine Law, and causes them to suck vital juice from the vine, which they send forth in fruits worthy of the Gospel. Hee com­mands that every one take up his own Cross, which lies in his way to Heaven, causing them to observe his commands, and after the Lord of Glory, bearing reproach for him, through prosperity and adversity to pass on unto eternal life.

This is that saving Wisdome which deceives no man, but justifies and blesseth all her Children, and in like manner is justified, asserted and defended by all her Chil­dren. This is that Wisdome from above, which every where is diffused through the Holy Scriptures, in the thrice seven Apostolick Epistles, more than twenty times drawn into a Compendium, and is fitted to the present use of the Children of Light.

[Page]I have sent abroad an Explication of these Epistles, Noble Hero, that I with my fellow-Ministers (who have dedicated their labours to your honour) might perform some portion of that gratitude, which long since the Reformed Church of Scotland is indebted to your most Illustrious family; And yet it is more obliged to your self, who have not onely revived the glory of your famous Progenitors by your stu­dious inde [...]vours in the reforming Religion, but also the seven [...]ast years (even with the manifold hazzards of your life and fortunes) you have much advanced it, hav­ing undergone t [...]ose difficulties, which would have altogether exhausted the strength and courage of meaner persons.

The University of Glasco is indebted to you this honour, to which you have committed the education of your noble Sons, inlarging it in the number of its pro­fessors of Divinity; most chiefly with the Delegates of the National Synod, by your Presence, Counsel, and Authority, once and again you have been helpful to them.

And here because it concerns my self, it's fitting I should own it, which you may record, as a debt that may bee required of mee, by whose Authority, amongst the chief Delegates of the Synod, I was advanced to the Chair of Divinity Professor, the task injoyned, was to open the scope of difficult places of Scripture to younger students. Wherefore after an Autumn or two equal it is that you should receive some fruit for that your seeds-time in the University; both from it, and namely from my self.

But this our smaller Offering bears no proportion with your Merits, whose admi­rable Pr [...]wess ▪ both in peace and war, constancy and fidelity in all conditions (which by no temptations on the right hand or on the left to this very day, could bee taken off from promoting the Civil and Ecclesiastick Republick) hath in all Delega­tions, as well Ecclesiastick as Politick, rendred the name of the Marquess of Argile, both to the States of the Kingdome, as also to the Synods of the Nation, most ac­ceptable and renowned, Neither could the envy, or obloquy of open enemies, or of friends less faithful to the Church and Commonwealth (who with their adhae­rents, unskilful Judges of matters, are wont to inveigh against none but those that deserve best of the Commonwealth) either take away, or cast a cloud before equal Arbitrators, upon that honour which virtue merited, the Council of the Kingdome, and the National Synods have conferred.

I have also mentioned your name, Illustrious Hero, born of most Noble Pa­rentage, promising the fairest hopes, because it is equal, that you should partici­pate of your Fathers honour, as you are heir to his inheritance. Your Name pre­fixed to this Apostolical Doctrine, may it bee an Argument and an incitation to you more firmly to imbrace the Wisdome and the Virtue of Christ. Imitating your Father, follow that way, wherein this doctrine is compendiously con­tained, to the prosecution of solid felicity, that One thing necessary ▪ Finally, that this conjunction of your names may make you zealous after your Fathers, and Grand-Fathers virtue, according to that hope, which the ripeness of your ingenuity hath begotten in us all, who observe that virtuous disposition in you, ascending to great things (which wee earnestly desire) that the antient renown of your family may bee continued and greatned in your self.

Your Honours Servant in Christ Iesus, DAVID DICKSON.

To the Reader.

ALL Sciences have their introductions and rudimentary Preparatives, by which the learner may bee fitted and instructed to a farther and more researched knowledge of things; All Noble families have their Porters to open unto their Visitors, and courteously to conduct them from the Gate to the Parlour: I doubt not (Candid Reader) but to find thee of my judgement, that the explication of the Scriptures should have its Introduction too, and the Learned, and therefore Noble Fa­mily of Commentators, their Ostiaries and Ianitors. Now that I might become a Servant in this Family, and shew my officiousness to give entrance unto the Su­ters of the holy Ministery, whereby they may have access unto the richer Providores in Gods Family, I have taken up my standing at the threshold of the house of God.

'Tis well known in the Schools, in how little time, how many and great volumes are to be read, how many facilitating and perasceuastical exercises young Clients to Divinity must run thorow; and in apportionating either of daies or hours, to the several sorts of studies, how little time is spent in reading the Holy Scriptures, to get a right understanding of which, ought to bee the chief labour of all men, especially of those that would hear the Lord himself speaking, that they may beleeve, and that what they beleeve as the Oracles of God they may publickly preach; Hee that shall conduce what hee can to the furtherance of such Noble Bereans, Scripture-Disciples, Ile bee his warrant, hee shall not lose his la­bour.

For their sakes that are students in Theology, by the authority of the National Synods Delegates, I made in my publick Lectures an Analytical Exposition of all the Apostolick Epistles, and those Lectures, though somewhat rude, I committed to the Press, that I might spare many's labour of transcribing them, and I purposed candidly to give you an account of my intent therein, to the end that I might render thee more equitable to mee in thy censure of mee.

For younger Students, for whom the reading of the Scriptures is necessary, but the peru­sing of larger Commentaries is impossible, according to my duty, I was to set forth an Ex­plication of the main scope of the Text, and of the obscurer words, and harder sentences, and of their coherence one with another, and also with the principal scope; now here was need of an Analysis, Glosses, and some Exposition, or Paraphrase which might bee instead of an Exposition. Brevity was so necessary for the intended Introduction, that it would have been better never to have undertaken it, than not to have made it short; for if there had been no hope of brevity, it had never been at all. Now to the brevity of the Explica­tion, perspicuity was also necessary, lest a trussing together of many things in few words should intangle the Reader.

That I might therefore obtain my designed end, I have pack'd the Analysis, and Com­mentaries, and Exposition or Paraphrase altogether, every one of which could not singly bee disposed of, without great tediousness: But whether or no, or in what measure I have effected what I aimed at, bee thou thy self Iudge, when having compared the Explication with the Text, thou shalt see how each thing hath reference to other. Onely know thus much, that I could with a great deal less labour have made my Explication longer, than so short as it is. I have not followed the Logical Analysis any further▪ than was necessary to demonstrate the Scope of the Text; for to mince every member of the sentence by peece­meal, [Page] would bee the work of a prolix Commentary: those that are called Logical terms of Art, I have used very sparingly, otherwise, I saw I should raise a quarrel against my self, and a trouble to thee, who mightest more easily understand the matter it self, than thou couldest examine, whether those terms were by mee rightly assigned, and wouldest sooner consent with mee in the main matter, than subscribe to my use of those Logical notions: For every one hath his several way of Analysing, so that you shall hardly finde two Writers that do agree in all their Logick terms, in the Resolution of but one Chapter, even when they unanimously accord in sense. For Logick terms according to a various respect had to the subject and attribute of the proposition to bee proved, are, and ought to be changed, the sense of the place remaining still intire and safe. The Precepts and Exhortations which are em­phatically proposed in that which they call (Modus Imperativus) or any other Rhetorical Modus, according to the Rules in Logick, I have turned in Modum Indicativum, that the position to bee confirmed may bee the more clearly illustrated. The emphasis and forcible­ness of the Spirit, I have left to bee unfolded in larger Commentaries and Sermons. For your memories sake, I have made the parts of every Chapter, and the chief Positions in e­very part (as far as the truth of the matter would suffer) very few. Arguments for the con­firmation of that Proposition that expresses the scope, I have made more or fewer, all after as perspicuity required; one while contracting the force of many Arguments into one, o­ther while unfolding them severally.

Arguments that make to confirm the chief scope, and the next foregoing matter, I have referred to both. But I have disposed all things by way of Enthymem for brevity and per­spicuities sake. If the scope or conclusion seems to bee repeated oftner than was needful, I hope you will pardon mee this labour, when you shall see the conclusion or purpose suppres­sed to bee more easily gathered by mee, than you can fetch it from what went before. Al­though at first blush some Arguments seem to bee the same, you shall see some new force the Apostle adds, doth make a difference. Nor let it not trouble you, that the Arguments that I refer to the confirmation of any Proposition, are used by learned men to prove other con­clusions: For the same medium may fitly serve for the proving of several Propositions. Where the sense of the verses is obvious, and the connexion plain, there will be no need of this help of mine, which is to take place chiefly in the obscurer passages; but lest there should bee any gap, I have made the work all along similar and homogeneous. Hee that likes not this concise way of writing, I beg of him that hee would not deter others from the reading of it. If this Introduction shall but open a door to the Students of Divinity unto larger Commentaries, I have my desire. A Key, the less it is, the higher it is wont to bee valued. In so great variety of Writers, hee consults best for the Common-wealth, that handles onely necessary things well, or at least, briefly, that the Reader may lose as little labour and cost as may bee.

If this labour of mine bee welcome to thee, your admonition shall not bee unwelcome to mee, though it pitch upon something to bee amended, or if in your prudence you think fit to give mee any advice. I will do my indeavour (God willing) to satisfie thee as to an Eng­lish Translation, which many of my friends put mee upon, if it shall bee found worth the while. In the mean time I humbly beseech the Father of Lights, that hee would send more learned and able servants of his into this Harvest, that what I cannot, they may do in this kind of writing. For I hope, that very many that are now kept off by the onely pro­lixity of Commentaries, that they read little or nothing, and with very small benefit, will now read the Scriptures more eagerly, having some short helps for the opening of their scope and sense tendred them.

Farewel. Most desirous of your Edification and Salvation in Christ, DAVID DICKSON.

The Translator to the READER.

THis Reverend Author having so well approved himself to the Church of God, by his several labours upon the Holy Scriptures, was a great motive to us, to make these e­laborate Expositions upon the Epistles, of universal use, by putting them into the same language, with his pious Commentaries on the Psalms of David, St. Matthews Gos­pel, and other Tractates that have promoted sober minds in the practical understanding of the word of God. And for this in thy hands, as many learned men (with great commendation) have taken much pains in the explication of these sacred Letters of St. Paul; so this Learned Professor of Divinity ▪ hath very much served the Church of God, by the addition of his Analytical Exposition, wherein hee is true to his Method, solid in his Explication, and learned in both. Yet possible it is, that matters of the best desert, may fall under the censures of some, amongst the rest, perhaps the transla­ting of this book into the English tongue; I hope the suspicion of an offence will not appear so great, when wee shall have shewed the reasons that carried us thereunto, which among the rest were such as these▪

Whilst this Commentary remained in the same language wherein the Author sent it into the world, it was more confined in its use, and could be helpful onely to some, and those men of learning; By this means it becomes instrumental to all, both learned and unlearned. And surely it is very meet that the learned should condescend to the good of others, when they cannot ascend to their own.

We conceived that this eminent part of the Holy Scriptures, being plainly opened (seeing that so many have, and do wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction) might prove very useful to all Fami­lies, where the word of God is conscionably read, and diligently studied, for their direction in the true intent and meaning of the Holy Ghost; for want whereof, many have abused their own under­standings, and the apprehensions of others about the mind of God in his revealed word; whereas this Commentary, being near at hand, will readily lead them, not onely to the sense of every single verse in any Chapter throughout this work, but to the scope and aim of the Apostle, in the whole design hee hath in hand: For by abstracting a particular sentence (or verse) from the body of the Epistle, it may seem to look another way, than the c [...]ntexture of the discourse doth import.

Another motive of this translation, was that which sometime moved King Alured (or Alfred) to procure the turning of Gregories Pastorals into English, because some of his Church-men did not un­derstand the Latin tongue. Thus it pleases God to have it at this day; Many Preachers in England, who take upon them to teach others, understand nothing but their Mother-tongue themselves, nor e­ver came they where Learning grew. But seeing they will undertake to minister to the people, and the wind blows for their turn; That the Church of Christ, purchased with his most precious blood, might not be left qu [...]e destitute, and totally subver [...]ed by comments of their own, wee thought it meet to commend this useful Author to their understandings, whereby they might have some assistance pro­portionable to their capacities.

These were the main inducements wee eyed in attempting this work, and wee hope its general ser­viceableness▪ will answer to whatever might be objected against the undertaking. Sometimes through the mistakes of printing the Latin book, the sense was here and there disturbed, whereupon wee were forced to take the more care in finding out the Authors mind, that wee might accordingly commend it to [...]hy benefit.

Another thing I should signifie to the Reader: Some years since this Author set forth his Expla­nation of the Epistle to the Hebrews, a Book so useful and solid, that it became deservedly acceptable to most men: This wee have inserted in its proper place, in this Volume and Edition: So that besides the Analy [...]cal Exposition of these Epistles (which was the sole intendment of the Author in this pre­sent work) yo [...] have his practical observations formerly set forth, upon the Epistle to the Hebrews.

[...] remains, but that thou apply thy self to the perusal of the whole, and before thou un­de [...]kest [...]o be a Iudge become a Reader; and while thy meditations are imployed in these sacred O­racles of God, I shall pray that the Spirit of truth and goodness may come down and rest upon thee: For [...] hee b [...]eathes from these mountains of spices, and wee delude our selves with the visions of our own heart [...] ▪ while wee think to finde the Holy Spirit, God blessed for ever, in any other Chanels, but these wherein he is determined to conveigh his holy and heavenly motions.

Farewel. Thine in the work of the Lord, WILLIAM RETCHFORD.

THE EPISTLE of PAVL to the ROMANS, Analytically Expounded.

THE SUMME OF THE EPISTLE.

THe Apostle determined to visit the Romans, that hee might by his presence con­firm them in the faith. In the mean time when hee observes his coming delay­ed, being moved by the Spirit of the Lord, hee writes this famous Epistle unto them.

The parts of the Epistle, besides the beginning and conclusion, are two. The first shewes the one­ly and spiritual ground of sinners Iustification by faith in Christ, to Chap. 12.

The other part treats concerning the holy course of life, which justified persons should live; to the end of the Chapter.

That which appertains to the first part, present­ly after the beginning of the Epistle, the Apostle undertakes to prove, THAT NO MAN CAN BE IUSTIFIED BY INHERENT RIGHTEOUSNESSE, BUT BY THE RIGHTEOUSNESSE OF CHRIST ON­LY, APPREHENDED BY FAITH A­LONE, AND FREELY OF HIS GRACE IMPUTED, BY GOD, TO US THAT BELEEVE.

This Position hee proves by ten Arguments; whereof the two first are in the first Chapter. The third in the second Chapter; the seven other in the third Chapter.

To the further fixing of these Arguments, hee sub-joyns a sevenfold proof of this doctrine

The FIRST is, That Abraham was justified by Faith alone. Chap. 4.

The SECOND is, That this onely reason of our justification, affords us comfort against the just anger of God, and original sin, the poison which Adam derived upon us. Chap. 5.

The THIRD is, That this ground of our ju­stification very much conduces to promote sanctifi­cation in them that are justified. Chap. 6.

The FOURTH is, That this ground of our ju­stification onely yeelds comfort to the afflicted con­sciences of them that are justified upon their im­perfect obedience, and the reliques of sin dwelling in them. Chap. 7.

The FIFTH is, That this ground of our ju­stification fenceth those that are justified, and san­ctified, not onely against condemnation, or all the evils to bee feared after this life; but also confirms and comforts against all the troubles and afflicti­ons, to which the Children of God are obnoxious in this life. Chap. 8.

The SIXTH proof is, That by experience it is found, that the Iews seeking righteousness from their works, fall short of it; and that the Gentiles, destitute of all shew of inherent righteousness, by faith in Iesus Christ, have obtained true and sa­ving righteousness. Chap. 9. Where, from occa­sion of the Iews cutting off, election and reprobation is handled.

The which rejection of the Iews, being apparent and manifest to all the Churches, (because of their foolish incredulity and obstinacy) hee proves to bee just. Chap. 10.

Yet all the Iews not to bee despised, because the obstinacy of that Nation is to last but for a time, which hee shews. Chap. 11.

In the other part of the Epistle, wherein hee treats of sanctification in the lives of all those that are justified, (1) After a serious obtestation, that all who are justified should consecrate them­selves unto God, and all the Ministers of the Gos­pel, maintaining peace amongst themselves, every one according to his ability should promote the san­ctification and salvation of the faithful; Hee gives general Precepts about Sanctity. Chap. 12. (2) Hee descends to more special duties towards the Magistrate, and their neighbours of all de­grees, according to the Law of Charity. Chap. 13. (3) Hee handles the mutual duties of the faith­ful, in a prudent use of their Christian liberty. Chap. 14. and in the former part of Chap. 15.

Lastly, Assuring the Romans of his love, and authority, in the remaining part of Chapter 15. with salutations of the Saints, hee concludes his Epistle. Chap. 16.

CHAP. I.

THere are two parts of this Chapter. The first con­taines the beginning of the Epistle, to verse 17. The other is an entrance, to prove the principal Proposition of the Epistle, viz. THAT WEE ARE JUSTI­FIED BY FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, AND NOT BY WORKS.

The beginning contains the inscription of the Epistle to verse 8. And the proemial discourse to verse 17. and all is or­dered to the preparing of the faithful Romans, that with all submission of mind, they would receive the subsequent doctrin; which designe may bee comprehended to the same sense, in this or the like maxim. You O Romans ought with all subjection of mind to receive this following do­ctrin: To this end hee insinuates eighteen Arguments, whereof some are contained in the inscription, and the rest in the proemial discourse of the Epistle.

Vers. 1. Paul a Servant of Iesus Christ, called to bee an Apostle, separated to the Gospel of God.

In the inscription of the Epistle, you have the descrip­tion of the Pen-man to verse 7. and of those to whom hee writes, verse 7.

A Servant] Argument 1. I Paul the writer of this E­pistle unto you, am a Servant of Jesus Christ, i. e, The matters of Christ Jesus my Lord, are in hand (not mine own) and to him I am to bee countable for my service; Therefore you Romans ought with all readiness of mind to entertain the things which I write in this Epistle.

By Calling] Argu. 2. By Calling I am an Apostle, i. e. A Servant extraordinary, who (as an Embassador) am sent from Christ with instructions to preach the Gos­pel, having received power to found and govern Churches, which office I have not invaded, but imme­diately called, I have received it; Therefore you ought with all submission to receive those things which I have writ unto you.

Separated] Argum. 3. I am set apart to the Gospel of God, i. e. I am designed by the Counsel of God, that I should give up my self to this Office alone, being sepa­rated from the womb, Gal. 1.15. appointed by the spe­cial authority of Christ, separated by the Holy Ghost (Act. 13.2.) Sent to preach to you Gentiles the glad tidings of mans redemption by Christ: Therefore with all reverence and willingness ought you to receive the things I have written unto you.

Vers. 2. (Which he had promised afore by his Prophets in the holy Scriptures.)

Before] Argum. 4. The Gospel which I preach, is not new, or feigned, but that most antient Word of God, which in times past, God promised by his Prophets should bee revealed, as it is set forth to bee read in the Holy Wri­tings of the Old Testament; Therefore ought yee to imbrace the following doctrin with all readiness of mind.

Vers. 3. Concerning his Son Iesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the Seed of David according to the flesh.

4. And declared to bee the Son of God with pow­er, according to the spirit of holiness; by the resurrecti­on from the dead.

Argum. 5. The matter of the Gospel which I preach, is not any common or ordinary thing, but Jesus Christ our Lord, the Son of God, God-man, in the unity of person, truly man, conceived by the Holy Ghost, of the sub­stance of the Virgin Mary, of the seed of David accord­ing to the flesh, or his humane nature: Also very God, as is apparent by many signes, so especially by his resur­rection from the dead, whereby hee is expresly manife­sted to bee the most powerful Son of God, according to his divine nature, which is called the Spirit most holy, 1 Tim. 3.16. and 1 Pet. 3.18. Therefore ought you with reverence and willingness to receive the subsequent do­ctrin.

Vers. 5. By whom wee have received grace and Apo­stleship for obedience to the faith, among all Nations, for his Name:

Argum. 6. To this very end, the glorious office of the Apostleship was freely bestowed upon the other Apostles, and my self by Christ; that according to that authority which Christ hath, and hath granted to us, wee might obtain amongst all Nations that saving obedience which is due to the doctrine of faith; Therefore you ought with all subjection of minde to entertain this doctrin of the Gospel.

Vers. 6. Among whom are yee also the called of Iesus Christ.

Argum. 7. Amongst the Gentiles, to whom I am sent, you beleeving Romans are the chief, because you are ef­fectually called by Christ, and to him are you subjected in obedience of the faith; Therefore ought you to receive this doctrine of the Gospel with all submission of minde.

Vers. 7. To all that bee in Rome beloved of God, called to bee Saints; Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Iesus Christ.

In the inscription of the Epistle, there remains the description and salutation of those to whom hee writes, wherein the Eighth Argument is contained, to this purpose.

You are the Beloved of God, effectually called, and in part sanctified, and heirs of grace and peace; so that I may justly in the Name of God, apply to you the bles­sing of the Gospel, and wish you Grace (i. e. All good things which by way of Sanctification flow from the special favour of God.) Peace, (i. e. all those things which conduce to your happiness, either in this present life, or that which is to come) from God, through Christ the Mediatour, to bee communicated to you; Therefore ought you with all willingness of minde to hearken to my doctrin.

Vers. 8. First, I thank my God through Iesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

In the other verses of the beginning wee have his proc­mial speech, whereof this is the scope,

Argum. 9. Throughout the world, the report of your faith is famous, which you yeeld to the Gospel, whereat I rejoyce, and give thanks to God by Christ our Media­tour, for you all; Therefore you ought to attend to my Gospel with all readiness of mind.

Vers. 9. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you alwayes in my prayers.

Argum. 10. The care which I have of your salvation, and the desire I have of your good, will not let mee bee un­mindful of you in my prayers, which because it cannot o­therwise appear to you, I call God to witness, who best knows, with what sincerity of heart I serve him in the Ministery of the Gospel of his Son; Therefore ought you to obey mee in what I write to you.

Vers. 10. Making request (if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God) to come unto you.

Argum. 11. That I may bee profitable unto you, I do not onely not decline the labour of comming unto you, but I earnestly desire of God, that hee would at length grant mee a prosperous journey unto you, when it shall seem good to him; Therefore ought you willingly to hearken.

Vers. 11. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end you may bee esta­blished.

Argum. 12. I am very desirous to see you, not that I might partake of your outward injoyments, but that I might communicate to you a fuller knowledge of the My­stery of the Gospel, as some spiritual gift, whereby you may bee established in the faith against what ever ten­tations; Therefore you ought willingly to entertain this doctrine.

Vers. 12. That is, that I may bee comforted together [Page 3] with you, by the mutual faith both of you and mee.

Hee unfolds this Argument (lest it might seem arro­gantly spoken) modestly intimating that hee was as rea­dy to receive comfort and edification from their faith, as hee was to administer the same to them, from his.

Vers. 13. Now I would not have you ignorant, Bre­thren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

Argum. 13. Although I have been hitherto hindred from comming to you, yet after many impediments, I re­sumed my purpose of comming unto you again, that, by the preaching of the Gospel, I might not onely confirm you in the faith and obedience of the Gospel, but might bee a means of converting some amongst you to the faith, even as among the other Gentiles I have gained some to God; Therefore ought you to hearken to my doctrine.

Vers. 14. I am debter both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

Argum. 14. By the office of my Apostleship, and the special command of Christ, I am a debter to all sorts of men to preach the Gospel; Therefore you ought to hearken to my doctrine.

Vers. 15. So, as much as in mee is, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you that are at Rome also.

Argum. 15. I have much respect to you Romans, and according to the liberty granted of God, as much as in mee lyes, I am ready to preach the Gospel no less to you, than to others, for your salvation; Therefore you ought to obey my doctrine.

Vers. 16. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

I am not ashamed] Argum. 16. Although the Gospel which I preach is commonly dis-esteemed, and goes along with the Cross, yet because it is not mine, but the Gospel of Christ (holding forth that grace which by him is com­municated unto us) honourable and glorious, whereof I am no wise ashamed; Therefore you ought to hearken to my doctrine.

Power] Argum. 17. Confirming what was said be­fore; The Gospel which I preach is a powerful and effe­ctual instrument of salvation to every one that beleeves, without exception of Nation, whether Jews or Gentiles, the Jews prerogative being regarded, to whom the Gospel ought first to bee preached, because of the Covenant long since made betwixt God and the Jews; Therefore you ought, &c.

Vers. 17. For therein is the righteousness of God re­vealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Argum. 18. Confirming the former; In the Gospel which I preach is revealed and discovered the righteous­ness of God from faith to faith, which before was hid un­der Ceremonies and shadows; that is to say, That means of justifying sinners, which God himself hath found out, in which onely wee can stand before God, and in which alone hee is well pleased: To wit, the righteousness of Christ our Lord, which is made ours from faith to faith, i. e. from faith (increasing by degrees) from less to a greater measure; or from faith meerly, onely, and not of works; or our inherent righteousness; Therefore ought you to receive the things which I write; with all willing­ness and submission of mind.

The second part.

Hee passeth to the second part of the Chapter, where­in hee laies down a Proposition to bee confirmed in the following part of the Epistle, which is this, That Righ­teousness which is revealed in the Gospel, is the Righteous­ness of Christ, imputed to us by the grace of God, apprehend­ed by faith alone, and not inherent righteousness in men, which is works. Or which is to the same sense, wee are justified by faith in Christ, and not by works.

The Arguments brought to confirm this Position are ten, whereof two are contained in this Chapter, one in the second, the rest in the third Chapter. To all which, this dis-junction is to bee premised. Either wee are justified by Faith, or Righteousness freely imputed, or by works, or inherent Righteousness.

The Just] Argum. 1. By the Righteousness of faith onely wee obtain life; Therefore by the righteousness of faith alone wee are justified; for by an indissoluble con­nection Righteousness and Salvation are joyned together, and there is the same reason or ground of both. This Ar­gument hee confirms by a Testimony, Hab. 2.4. Who rejects those as Hypocrites, from life, that trusted in them­selves, or their own works, and the righteous by faith, hee pronounceth heirs of life onely.

Vers. 18. For the wrath of God is revealed from hea­ven against all ungodliness, and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.

Argum. 2. Wee are so farre from being justified by works, that the wrath of God openly pursues the unjust and wicked works of all men, of the Gentiles and the Jews, to wit, of those that are out of Christ; Therefore wee are justified onely by the righteousness of faith, or the Righ­teousness of Christ apprehended by faith, and through grace imputed unto us.

The Truth] Hee confirms this Argument by several parts; and first hee shewes the unrighteousness of men, in the example of the Gentiles, to verse 24. and the wrath of God poured out upon the wicked; and their unrighteous­ness hee further shewes to the end of the Chapter. Hee proves the impiety and unrighteousness of the Gentiles, inasmuch as the wisest of men (to wit, the Rulers and Philosophers among the Gentiles) with-held the truth in unrighteousness, i. e. That true knowledge which they obtained from God (through unrighteousness, or the pra­vity of their own will) they suppressed, and detained in themselves as a captive, whilst they neither communicated it unto others, nor shewed it forth in works of piety; Therefore they are all impious and unrighteous. This Ar­gument is much to the purpose; for if this bee true con­cerning the prime part of man-kinde out of Christ; 1 Con­cerning the wisest Law-makers and Philosophers amongst the Heathens, much more is it true, touching the rest; for if the flower and principal part bee corrupted, what shall wee think of the dreggs and lower sort?

Vers. 19. Because that which may bee known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them.

20. For the invisible things of him from the Crea­tion of the World are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his Eternal Power and God-head, so that they are without excuse.

This Argument hee explains two waies; First, By shew­ing, that the Gentiles had certain remnants of the light of Nature, concerning the worshiping of God; because that which may bee known of God by natural light, was mani­fest to them, to wit, The Eternity▪ Power▪ and Divinity of God, with the rest of his Attributes, which are appre­hended by the light of Nature, even from the Creation of the World, were manifested (by the things that were made) clearly as in a glass, that they could not plead ig­norance.

Vers. 21. Because that when they knew God, they glori­fied him not as God, neither were thankful, but be­came vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22. Professing themselves to bee wise, they became fools:

23. And changing the glory of the incorruptible God, into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.

Secondly, Hee explains the former Argument, by shew­ing that the Gentiles detained and imprisoned the known [Page 4] truth, partly, in that they gave not God the glory of his Attributes, and divine works, as also that they were not thankful for his benefits, which the light of Nature would have taught them. Partly, because they became vain in their imaginations, and deceived themselves, being blind where they seemed most of all to bee wise, leaving those true Principles concerning God, [...]hrough their own false reasonings, they drew false conclusions about God, and the worshiping of him. Lastly, They apparently manifested their ingratitude and folly by their works; they framed the images of men and beasts, whereby they would represent God, or the properties of God, to the eye; thus, as much as in them lay, they changed the glory of God, dishonoured by so vile a comparison, into those abominable images.

Vers. 24. Wherefore God also gave them up to unclean­ness, through the lusts of their own hearts, to disho­nour their own bodies between themselves:

25. Who changed the Truth of God into a Lie, and worshipped, and served the Creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

The impiety and unrighteousness of men against God, being manifested in the Example of the Gentiles, hee shews the wrath of God to bee poured out upon the wicked; and withall the greatness of their iniquity, In that God gave them up judicially to their own affections, and most justly left them to themselves, for a punishment of their abominable Idolatry: That they which robbed God of his glory, might suffer in, and by themselves, the foulest ig­nominy: And that they which changed the glorious At­tributes of God into lying images (which are nothing less than what they are called) should change themselves in­to beasts by their unbridled lusts. They are said to wor­ship and serve things created, passing by the Creator: For although Idolaters seem, in the false representation of God by an Image, to intend him honour and worship, yet God altogether rejects that worship, and leaves it wholly to the Image or Creature, with whom hee will not by any means share his worship.

God is called in this place, Blessed for ever, that wee may know that the injurious carriage of Idolaters can de­tract nothing from the felicity of God; But that his glo­ry and blessedness will abide for ever, to whom wee all of us ought with the Apostle to ascribe it, saying, AMEN.

Vers. 26. For this cause God gave them up unto vile af­fections; for even their women did change their na­tural use into that which is against nature:

27. And likewise also the men, leaving the natu­ral use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is un­seemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their errour which was meet.

In the Example of the Gentiles is propounded a further demonstration of mans unrighteousness, and Gods wrath against the wicked: To wit, that God gave them up ju­dicially to the hands of their own lusts, and defiled spirits (who served their own corrupt affections in matter of Re­ligion) that (against Nature) the men and women in their abominable Sodomitical filthiness (below beasts, in their unnatural lusts) by way of requital should debase themselves, who by their Idolatry had abased the glory of God, in resembling him to Creatures and fictions of their own.

Vers. 28. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a repro­bate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.

29. Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornica­tion, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers,

30. Back-biters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventers of evil things, disobedient to Parents,

31. Without understanding, Covenant-breakers, with­out natural affections, implacable, unmerciful;

Hee proceeds further to manifest the unrighteousness of man, and the wrath of God; to wit, That God most justly gave them up to a reprobate mind, who refused to retain in their minds the knowledge of him, which by the light of nature was apparent in all the works of Creation, that being deprived of the use of common judgement, as if they had turned beasts, they ran mad into all wickedness against the Law of Nations and Nature, without the least shew of Reason.

Filled] That wee might not imagine them guilty of one fault onely, the Apostle reckons up a Catalogue of about three and twenty, with which these were filled, that were left to themselves.

With all unrighteousness] That is, with all unrighte­ousness against their neighbour.

Fornication] Under this hee comprehends all unlaw­ful lying of the Man with the Woman.

Maliciousness] That is, a desire to hurt, joyned with fraud and indeavour.

Wickedness] That is, a frowardness of mind, openly dis­covering it self.

Malignity] That is, with roughness and harshness of manners.

Whisperers] Such as privily back-bite their neighbours, on purpose to dissolve the bonds of friendship.

Back-biters] Such as injure the reputation and fame of others.

Haters of God] Such are they, who (out of an evil conscience) will not endure to hear any thing of God.

Spightful] Such are those that are cruel, oppressing o­thers by force.

Boasters] Such as make a shew of great matters.

Inventers of evil things] Such as devise new kinds of sins.

Without understanding] Such are they which are hur­ried like brute beasts, without any shew of reason, which way soever their lust draws them.

Vers. 32. Who knowing the judgement of God (that they which commit such things are worthy of▪ death) not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

The last demonstration of mans unrighteousness, and the wrath of God in his justice leaving them to themselves, appears with a threefold aggravation. (1) They pra­ctised the foresaid wickednesses against the dictate of con­science; for they knew that those wickednesses were dis­pleasing unto God. (2) They s [...]ned against the knowledge of the judgement of God, and the due desert of sin; They knew them worthy of death that committed such things. (3) They themselves onely did not com­mit such things, but (not onely by their silence, but con­sent, flattery and authority) became Patrons to them that did, confirming and hardening them in their sins. This is the condition of the wisest men out of Christ, who are so farre from the righteousness of works, that they do nothing but abuse the known principles of Righteousness, provoke the wrath of God against themselves, and more and more pollute themselves with all manner of filthiness, to their fi­nal perdition.

CHAP. II.

IN this Chapter wee have the third Argument set down to prove the Position, viz. CONCERNING THE RIGH­TEOVSNESSE, NOT BY WORKS, BVY BY FAITH. Which is propounded in the first and second verses; in the remaining part of the Chapter it is confirmed, and the objections removed.

Vers. 1. Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, who­soever thou art that judgest, for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thy self, for thou that judgest, doest the same things.

2. But wee are sure that the judgement of God is according to truth, against them which commit such things.

[Page 5]The third Argument against Justification by works, from the self-condemnation of all men, drawn from the last verse of the former Chapter. Every man (condem­ning others, and doing the same things which hee con­demns) in his own judgement is condemned without ex­cuse. Therefore every man is so farre from being justified by works, that on the contrary hee is condemned.

In the second verse a reason of this is subjoyned, be­cause the judgement of God is just, and according to the merit of the deed, condemns every sinner, both him that judgeth, and him that is judged. Therefore hee which according to the judgement of God condemns another to death for sin, condemns himself doing the like things.

Vers. 3. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgement of God?

This Argument in the following part of the Chapter is confirmed, removing the four pretended Objections, whereby men may evade the force of the Argument.

Object. 1. Hee securely contemns the judgement of God, who (because God hath hitherto spared him) pro­miseth himself impunity (or freedome from punishment) when hee judgeth others: I am not afraid (saith hee) of the judgement of God. The Apostle refutes this Objecti­on, and proves it null by six Reasons.

Reas. 1. That such an imagination is vain and foolish; for Thinkest thou, &c. which is the same, as if hee had said, In vain doest thou think to escape the judgement of God.

Vers. 4. Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Despisest] Reas. 2. Such an imagination puts contempt and abuse upon the riches of the bounty, forbearance, and gentleness of God, when any one (because God hath spared hitherto) goes on in sin, and conceives hopes to go unpunished.

Bounty] Reas. 3. That the bounty of God ought to invite, and move to repentance, not to go on in sin, out of hopes to go unpunished.

Vers. 5. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thy self wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgement of God:

Hardness] Reas. 4. That such a thought is the harden­ing of our hearts in sin, and a sealing of them up that wee cannot repent.

Treasure] Reas. 5. That hee who securely contemns the judgement of God, heaps up unto himself a kinde of treasure of punishments, from divine justice, to the time of that last and terrible judgement, wherein that whole treasure of punishments, in the most righteous anger of God shall bee openly poured out upon him.

Vers. 6. Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

7. To them, who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life:

8. But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indigna­tion, and wrath;

9. Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile:

10. But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.

Reas. 6. God will give to every man in the day of Judgement according to his works, good or evil; his re­wards of grace, or punishments of his justice; To wit, e­ternal life to them that persevere in obedience to the truth, hoping for a reward, vers. 6, 7. And besides the signs of wrath in this life, eternal death also after this life (as it is just for an angry God to inflict) upon the adversaries of the truth, and the servants of unrighteousness, verse 8. Hee confirms this reason, in that God will have no re­spect to any Nation or outward Priviledges in the inflict­ing of his punishments; But the Jews which had the chief­est favours of God, should bee first in their punishments; and that hee would inflict upon the soul and body of the Heathens, or Gentiles, their deserved torments, verse 9. And to the same manner, in his rewards, without diffe­rence of Nations, hee will glorifie (i. e. with all gifts that may externally accomplish a man, such as Glory, and Ho­nour; and inwardly, which is signified by Peace) and will heap upon the pious and honest Jew, according to all the priviledges which hee hath vouchsafed to that Nation; and will crown the pious and honest Gentile in his place, with eternal life, verse 10. from whence it follows, that hee is deceived, who indulges hopes of impunity, because God hath hitherto spared him.

Vers. 11. For there is no respect of persons with God.

Hee confirms the former reason from the equity of God, in that hee is no respecter of persons; and hee meets with the second Objection, propounded verse 2. against the severe judgement of God against sinners. Some might object. In the executing of Judgement, respect is to bee had, as well of the Heathen, who lives out of the Church, without the knowledge of the Law, or the doctrine of God; as also of the Jew, which is a Disciple of God, and an hearer of the Law; God forbid that either of them should perish, for both seems unjust, although they are sinners. Hee refutes this Objection, and proves it just that every sinner should perish, by five Reasons.

Reas. 1. Because there is no respect of persons with God, that hee should exempt from condemnation those that persevere in sin, whether Jews or Gentiles, for any reason which appertains to the person, not the cause. And here it is to bee observed, that God looks with an equal eye upon the Jew and Gentile out of Christ, not in the degrees of punishment, but in the guilt of eternal death, which all sinners are worthy of, although not in the like degree.

Vers. 12. For as many as have sinned without Law, do by nature the things contained in the Law, those ha­ving not the Law, shall be judged by the Law.

Reas. 2. This confirms and unfolds the other, because they that have sinned without the Law (scil. written) A­gainst the Law, written upon their hearts by nature, even by the same Law within them, shall perish without the written Law by the sentence of Justice. And whoever have sinned in the Law, or in the knowledge of the Law written, shall bee condemned even by the sentence of the written Law.

Vers. 13. (For not the hearers of the Law are just be­fore God, but the doers of the Law shall be justi­fied.)

Reas. 3. Especially intended against the Jews, who according to the rule of Righteousness, cannot bee ac­counted for Righteous before God, even they that are hearers of the Law, unless they perform perfect obedi­dience to the Law, which because neither Jew nor Gentile can do, by consequence neither can they bee ex­empted from deserved condemnation; but on the contrary, especially the Jews, which are hearers of the Law, and do not keep it, are most worthy of judgement.

Vers. 14. For when the Gentiles which have not the Law, do by nature the things contained in the Law, these having not the Law, are a Law unto them­selves:

15. Which shew the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing, or else excusing one another.

Reas. 4. Especially intended against the Gentiles, which though they have not the written Law, yet they have a Law within them, and by nature do some external works of the Law, although they have not the written [Page 6] Law, yet that Law within them is a Law, and that really and indeed written upon their hearts, as their consciences witness, accusing them when they do ill, and excusing them when they do well; Therefore they have nothing to pretend why they should not undergo deserved condem­nation, when they sin, much less the Jews.

Vers. 16. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel.

Reas. 5. Because in the day of judgement God will bring forth the secrets of the heart, and according to this my doctrine in the Gospel, will pronounce the condem­nation of sinners to bee just, whether Jews or Gentiles; Therefore they cannot bee excused who sin, but perish by their own just desert.

Vers. 17. Behold thou art called a Jew, and restest in the Law, and makest thy boast of God,

18. And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the Law,

19. And art confident that thou thy self art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkn [...]ss:

20. An instructer of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hath the form of knowledge, and of the truth in the Law.

The third Objection. But something must bee allowed to the priviledges of the Jews, that they come not into the like condemnation with the Gentiles; And here hee seems to conflict with some principal teacher of the Law, and Patron of Righteousness by works, and brings forth seven props of his vain confidence, by way of concession granting all. (1) The first that hee grants is, the exter­nal honour of a worshiper of God: Thou art called a Jew, which was a name not of Nation only, but of a confessor of the true Religion. (2) A submission of mind to the do­ctrine of the Law: Thou restest in the Law, and thou ap­plaudest thy self in this, as an eminent benefit. (3) Thou makest thy boast in God, viz. that thou art of that people, chosen above all other Nations, & in Covenant with God, vers. 17. (4) The knowledge of Gods will, taken out of the Law. (5) The discerning of good and evil, and of things that differ, and controversies, by the benefit of the same Law, verse 18. (6) The confidence of such abundant knowledge, and certainty, that they could teach others. (7) That they had a systeme and collection of that knowledge, which was here and there contained in the Law, and that all the rest besides this our Rabbi, are infants and foolish, verse 19, 20.

Vers. 21. Thou therefore that teachest another, teachest thou not thy self? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, doest thou steal?

22. Thou that sayest a man should not commit adul­tery, doest thou commit adultery? Thou that ab­horrest idols, doest thou commit sacriledge?

23. Thou that makest thy boast of the Law, through breaking the Law dishonourest thou God?

The Apostle answers the Objection, and all these being granted, hee shews them insufficient to righteousness, by two Reasons.

Reas. 1. Because thou doest not teach thy self, i. e. thou dost not shew forth thy doctrine by thy deeds, but either pollutest thy self with those vices, or the like, which thou forbiddest in others. Therefore those things suffice not to free thee from condemnation.

Vers. 24. For the Name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles, through you, as it is written.

Reas. 2. Confirming the former, Because through your fault the Gentiles speak evil of God, as if hee had or could bear prophane worshipers: Therefore the fore­cited priviledges make nothing to Righteousness.

This reason hee confirmes by the testimony of Ezekiel 36.22. who complains of the Hypocrites of his time, boasting in the same priviledges.

Vers. 25. For Circumcision verily profiteth [...]f thou keep the Law; but if thou be a breaker of the Law, thy Circumcision is made uncircumcision.

The fourth Objection. But because of the Covenant of God, the sign whereof is Circumcision, I shall not perish, who am circumcised, saith the Jew, confiding in the out­ward Ceremony.

The Apostle answers and proves, that Circumcision does not exempt us from condemnation, or death, by four Rea­sons.

Reas. 1. Because Circumcision if it bee joyned with perfect obedience to all the rest of the commandements, if it could bee, it would profit as a part of that obedience to justification by works, for which the Jew did contend; but if the transgression of the Law bee found in him that is circumcised, as touching justification by works, circum­cision and uncircumcision will bee the same; Therefore circumcision exempts not from condemnation.

Vers. 26. Therefore, if the uncircumcision keep the righ­teousness of the Law; shall not this uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?

Reas. 2. Because the Gentiles uncircumcision joyned with perfect obedience to the Law, if it could bee, shall bee of the same account with the Jews circumcision; If so bee God require to justification by works nothing but a perfect observation of the Moral Law; Therefore cir­cumcision frees not from condemnation.

Vers. 27. And shall not uncircumcision, which is by nature, if it fulfil the Law, judge thee, who [...]y the letter and circumcision dost transgress the Law?

Reas. 3. Because the Gentile being by nature uncir­cumcised, if it was possible that hee could keep the Moral Law, compared with thee who are outwardly circumcised, and yet transgressest the Law, by thy own judgement, hee shall argue thee worthy of condemnation; Therefore cir­cumcision doth not free from condemnation.

Vers. 28. But he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh.

29. But hee is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and no [...] in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Reas. 4. Because neither the outward profession of the true Religion (long ago erected among the Jewes by God himself) is to be accounted for a true profession of the true Religion, nor outward Circumcision of the flesh is to bee reckoned for true Circumcision, ver. 28. But hee is a true Professor of the true Religion, who is such an one in the Spirit; and that is true Circumcision which is of the heart, spiritual in the inward soul, and not that which is outwardly in the body, or the letter, which is commonly called Circumcision. He that is a Jew indeed, and that which is true and spiritual Circumcision, hath commen­dation and praise, not only among men, (who only see things that are open and manifest) but with God, who looks into the heart: Therefore outward Circumcision perfects not our righteousness, nor frees any man from con­demnation, ver. 29.

CHAP. III.

THere are two parts of this Chapter; in the FIRST he answers five objections against the foresaid Do­ctrine, to ver. 9. In the SECOND part, he proceeds to prove the POSITION, touching JUSTIFICATION NOT BY WORKS, BVT BY FAITH.

Ver. 1. What advantage then hath the Iew? or what profit is there of Circumcision?

2. Much every way; chiefly, because unto them were committed the Oracles of God.

The first objection is, from this Doctrine some might say, then the Jew hath no prerogative above the Gen­tile, nor is there any profit of Circumcision, ver. 1. Hee answers, ver. 2. that this is the principal and chief privi­ledge [Page 9] of the Jewes; that the Covenant was made with the Jewes, and this Nation had the custody of the holy Scriptures, i. e. the Tables of the Covenant committed to them of God, and the Jewes were made Depositaries, (Treasurers) which was a singular benefit, and a famous honour.

Vers. 3. For what if some did not believe; shall their unbelief make the Faith of God without effect?

The second Object. But they are fallen from that ho­nour, because they have not believed the Oracles of God, and so the Faith of God given in that Covenant is made void; to which hee answers four wayes.

First; It follows not that the faithful Promises of God made to this Nation were void, because some of them be­lieved not.

Vers. 4. God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a lyar; as it is written, That thou mightest bee justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Secondly; He answers, by detesting the Objection, because it is absurd to imagine, that God should fail our Faith.

Thirdly; He answers, by laying down a most true as­sertion to the contrary, that God is to bee avouched al­wayes true, and that every man by nature is a lyar.

Fourthly; That the sins of men, and their lyes, are no hindrance to God in the performing of his Promise, but rather serve to illustrate his Truth, Mercy and Justice; be­cause by how much the greater and more the sins of men are, so much the more is the Justice of God eminent when hee punisheth, and his mercy and truth when hee spares; which hee confirms out of Psal. 51.4. Where David in the Confession of his sins, commends the truth of God, and pronounceth God alwayes to overcome when hee judges, as often as any one Undertakes to judge of what hee doth, or saith.

Vers. 5. But if our unrighteousness commend the righte­ousness of God, what shall wee say? Is God unrighte­ous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man.)

The third Object. From the words of the Psalm per­verted to blasphemy; If our sins illustrate the righteous­ness of God, then God seems to be unrighteous, who a­venges those sins whereby hee is glorified. This is object­ed by the Apostle in the person of a man, ignorant of God.

Vers. 6. God forbid; for then how shall God judge the world?

Hee answers ▪ (1) By rejecting the Objection as blas­phemous; God forbid, saith hee.

(2) Hee answers, by giving a reason why hee rejects the Objection; Because it is impossible that hee which shall judge the world should be unjust.

Vers. 7. For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lye unto his glory; why also yet am I judged as a sinner?

8. And not rather as wee bee slanderously report­ed, and as some affirm that wee say, Let us do evil, that good may come; whose damnation is just.

The fourth Objection, urging the former: If by my sin, to wit, my lye, the truth of God is more glorified, I am not only not to be condemned for sin, but I may fol­low after it, that the glory of God may bee more advan­ced. In answer, hee saith (1) They were malicious slanderers that thus charged the Apostles Doctrine; Let us do evil, that good may come of it. Hee answers. (2) That these calumniators, and those that teach and follow this Doctrine, doing evil, that good may come, were justly to bee condemned of God.

Vers. 9. What then? Are wee better than they? No, in no wise; for wee have before proved both Iewes and Gentiles, that th [...]y are all under sin.

The fift Object. But by this Doctrine wee Jewes have no preheminence of the Gentiles, to wit, in the matter of Iustification by Works, which is the principal question.

Hee answers, that in this respect the Jew is no better than the Gentile, and hee renders a reason of it, because hitherto wee have proved that both Jewes and Greeks are under sin.

The second Part.

In the second part of the Chapter hee returns to prose­cute the Dispute concerning Iustification, not by works but by faith.

Vers. 10. As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one.

11. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

12. They are all gone out of the way, they are toge­ther become unprofitable, there is none that doth good, no not one.

Argument 4. Concerning Justification not by works, but by faith: The Scripture witnesseth, that all men are under sin, and liable to condemnation, to ver. 20. there­fore no man is justified by the works of the Law, ver. 20.

The testimonies of Scripture are six: (1) Out of Psa. 14.1, 2, 3. and Psalm 53.1, 2, 3. where the Prophet speaking of the unregenerate in his time, and of all in their natural estate out of Christ, pronounceth; first, that no man is righteous, ver. 10. Secondly, that all are blind, and ignorant of the things which make for their Salvati­on. Thirdly, that there were none which were affected with a desire of knowing, or worshipping, or having any communion with God, ver. 11. Fourthly, that all were guilty of Original Apostasie from God, and his known Will. Fifthly, that all were unprofitable, polluted, abo­minable, by reason of the filthiness of their wickednesses. Sixthly, that there were none, viz. of those that were un­regenerated, that did any good, and by consequence that there was none but did evil, and only evil; for when hee does the work commanded, not to God commanding, being unregenerate, hee serves himself, and sacrificeth to his own idols.

Vers. 13. Their throat is an open sepulchre, with their tongues they have used deceit, the poyson of Aspes is under their lips.

The second testimony is from Psalm 5.9. wherein Da­vid, under the type of his enemies, condemns all unre­generate men, or men not reconciled to God, of impurity of heart, from whence proceeds nothing but that which is abominable and loathsome unto God; that the throat of every one is as a Sepulchre newly opened, sending forth a pestilential smell of wicked thoughts, out of whose mouth comes forth nothing but pestilent, injurious and deceitful speeches.

Poyson] The third testimony is from Psalm 140.3. In which the same is confirmed of Davids enemies, which were types of persons unreconciled unto God, in that they are alwayes ready to send out from their mouths, as from a quiver, poysonful speeches, no less hurtful than the poyson of Aspes.

Vers. 14. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.

The fourth testimony is from Psalm 10.7. to the fore­said sense, wherein the Psalmist complains of the natural man, that his mouth is full of cursing, and reproachful words, whereby the glory of God, and the fame of our Neighbour is wronged.

Vers. 15. Their feet are swift to shed blood.

16. Destruction and misery are in their wayes:

17. And the way of peace have they not known.

The fifth testimony is from Psalm 59.7, 8. In which unregenerate men are pronounced guilty of cruelty, vio­lence, oppression and man-slaughter, who create nothing but misery and destruction to themselves and others, in the whole course of their lives, who are very far from procu­ring peace, or any thing that is good, either to themselves or others.

Vers. 18. There is no fear of God before their eyes.

The sixth testimony is from Psalm 36.2. Wherein un­regenerate [Page 8] men by their deeds, are condemned of pro­phaness and contempt of God; for seeing they are void of the fear of God, there is nothing to restrain them from falling headlong into all kind of wickedness.

Vers. 19. Now wee know that what things soever the Law saith, it saith to them that are under the Law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Hee prevents an Objection, lest any man should elude the force of the testimonies before recited, as if they be­longed but to some few, and those certain impious men, who lived in the times of David or Isaias. Here hee shews that the common disposition of mankind is taxed, which live unde [...] the Law, or the Covenant of Works, and not under grace; and hereupon these fore-cited sentences of the Law, are directed against all men, under the state of corrupt nature, chiefly the Jewes; whereupon a threefold conclusion is inferred. First, from hence every mouth is stopped, lest any man should glory in himself, or excuse himself in the judgement of God. Another conclusion, Hence the whole world is made lyable to condemnation, and obnoxious to punishment.

Vers. 20. Therefore by the deeds of the Law, there shall no flesh bee justified in his sight, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin.

The third conclusion and principal, drawn from the fore-cited testimonies; therefore by the works of the Law no flesh shall bee justified in the sight of God, for it mat­ters not, that some may bee justified by their works before men.

For by the Law] Argument 5. Serving to prove the same assertion: All men are convinced of sin, and con­demned by the Law; for by the Law is the knowledge of sin, not a procurer of righteousness to any one: There­fore no man is justified by the works of the Law.

Vers. 21. But know, the righteousness of God with­out the Law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.

22. Even the righteousness of God, which is by the Faith of Iesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference.

Argum. 6. Tending to the asserting of the affirmative part of the position. Now in the Gospel, the righteous­ness of God is manifested without the works of the Law, approved by the testimony of Scripture, to wit, that the righteousness of God, which is imputed and given to all believers, apprehending by Faith the righteousness of Christ Jesus, without distinction of Nations or persons; therefore by this Righteousness alone, which is through Faith in Jesus Christ, are wee justified. The Argument is good, for if wee cannot bee justified by the works of the Law, and yet there is another way to justify us found out, to wit, that which God commends to us in the Law, and in the Prophets: As for example, when hee hath said in the Law, In the Seed of Abraham all Nations shall bee blessed: And in the Prophets, The Iust shall live by Faith. It's fitting wee should believe our selves to bee justified only upon this latter ground, to wit, by Faith.

Furthermore, seeing wee can conceive only a two-fold Righteousness; one is of the Law, or of works inherent, or a mans own righteousness; another, which is Evange­lical, called the Righteousness of Faith, or the Righte­ousness of Christ imputed unto us, to wit, that Righteous­ness which hee imputes to all that believe: After the exclusion of the former Righteousness, that being now impossible, the other is of necessity to bee admitted, which is commended to us in the Old Testament, now revealed in the New, and only is possible and acceptable to God, deserving alone the name of Righteousness.

Vers. 23. For all have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God.

24. Being justified freely by his Grace, through the Redemption that is in Iesus Christ.

Argum. 7. Wherein is shewed the common disease of all men, as also the necessity of the common remedy; all men without exception have sinned, and by Law are shut out from the glory of God, or Eternal Life; there­fore all are no otherwise justified but freely, or by Divine Grace through the Redemption of Jesus Christ; that is to say, they cannot otherwayes bee justified, than by Faith in Christ the Redeemer, who by his Blood hath purcha­sed for us Righteousness and Salvation, and hath freely of his Grace made it ours.

Vers. 25. Whom God hath set forth to bee a Propitia­tion, through Faith in his Blood, to declare his Righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

26. To declare, I say, at this time his righteous­ness, that hee might bee just, and the Iustifier of him which believeth in Iesus.

Argum. 8. God hath set forth Christ that hee might bee a Reconcilement, and Propitiatory Sacrifice, where­by the wrath of God is appeased towards all that lay hold on him by Faith; therefore it is not possible that a man should be justified, but by Faith in Christ, offering up this attonement in his Blood, unless God should alter the means of appeasing himself.

To shew forth.] Argum. 9. God in this present time of the Gospel hath set forth Christ as the means of appea­sing his anger, to those that imbrace it by Faith, that by this way of justifying, his Righteousness might bee mani­fest in the time past, in his forbearance and forgiveness of sins past, which from the beginning of the world hee hath forborn and forgiven, to wit, that God did not pardon the sins of his own, but upon the account of the Propiti­atory Sacrifice of Christ, which was to come, and that without any violation of his Justice: Therefore this ground of our Justification is no less to bee asserted, than the glory of Gods Justice is to bee manifested. The mat­ter is clear: For if Justification by Faith in the Blood of Christ, shews that God never pardoned sins, but upon sa­tisfaction made to his Justice by the Blood of Christ, cer­tainly hee would have the righteousness of God concealed, that would determine any other ground of our Justification than by Faith.

That hee might bee just] This confirms the Argument, that God hath set forth Christ, that hee might bee a Pro­pitiation through Faith in his Blood; not only that hee might declare himself just in sending the promised Messi­as, for whose sake freely and also justly hee would pardon sin, but that hee might shew himself the Author and Do­ner of true Righteousness to us, (that were without any righteousness of our own) by believing in Jesus Christ: Therefore this ground of our Justification by Faith, is no less to bee maintained, than the glory of Gods Justice, Faithfulness and Goodness, to bee declared in justifying Believers.

Vers. 27. Where is boasting then? it is excluded. By what Law? of Works? nay, but by the Law of Faith.

28. Therefore wee conclude, that a man is justified by Faith without the deeds of the Law.

Argum. 10. Because by the Law of Faith, or the Cove­nant of Grace, which requires Faith to our Justification by the Righteousness of another, mans boasting in him­self is excluded, and not by the Law of Works, or the Co­venant of Works, which exacts perfect obedience, and af­fords matter of boasting to men in their Inherent Righte­ousness; Therefore (saith hee) wee conclude▪ that a man is Iustified by Faith without the Works of the Law. The Argument is good: For if men were Justified by their Works, and Inherent Righteousness, they might boast of the meritorious cause of their Justification to bee in them­selves; but they that are Justified by Faith, are compelled to renounce their own Inherent Righteousness, and to place their only Confidence in the imputation of the Righteousness of Christ, and solely in the grace of God.

Vers. 29. Is hee the God of the Iewes only? Is hee not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also.

[Page 9] 30. Seeing it is one God which shall justifie the Circum­cision by Faith, and uncircumcision through Faith.

Hee concludes this Disputation with the resolution of two questions, which give much light to the present Do­ctrine. The first question is, Whether this way of our Justification by Faith bee common both to Jewes and Gentiles? To which hee answers, That it's common to both, whereof he adds a reason, because there is one God of those that are Justified; therefore there must bee but one way of justifying all, to wit, by Faith, or of Faith. For if hee should Justifie the Jews upon one ground, and the Gentiles upon another, God would seem to differ from Himself in communicating Righteousness and Sal­vation to sinners, both to Jews and Gentiles, which is absurd.

Vers. 31. Do wee then make void the Law through Faith? God forbid; yea, wee establish the Law.

Another question is, Whether the Doctrine of Faith, or Justification by Faith, makes the Law of none effect, or to bee given in vain, while it is denied that men are Justified by the Law? Hee answers, that the Law is no wayes rendred void, but is rather established by the Do­ctrine of Faith; for Faith, or the Doctrine of Faith, establishes the Law three wayes. First, in respect to the threatnings, shewing that Christ was dead by the Sen­tence of the Law, that hee might satisfie the Law, and that wee were lyable to death, unless freed from it by Christ. Secondly, in respect to the Precepts, because hee demonstrates that perfect obedience was yeelded to the Law, in the Righteousness of Christ. Thirdly, Faith establishes the Law in respect to Believers, because being justified by Faith, by virtue of Christ, they are initiated into new obedience, who before they were justified by Faith, could do nothing but sin.

CHAP. IV.

UNto the twelfth Chapter the Apostle illustrates, com­mends, and further by many Arguments establishes this Divine ground of our Iustification by Faith, not by Works. Wee, for the more easie method, shall make the Confirmation of this Doctrine seven-fold.

The first Confirmation of Iustification by Faith, which is contained in this Chapter, is chiefly from the example of Abraham, the ground of whose Iustification is com­mon, both to Iews and Gentiles, whose Faith is set be­fore us all of God for a pattern.

There are three parts of the Chapter. In the first, the ex­ample of Abrahams Iustification is set down, to ver. 9. In the second, hee proves this ground of Iustification to bee common both to Iews and Gentiles, to ver. 18. In the third, the Faith of Abraham is commended to the use of Believers, to the end of the Chapter.

Vers. 1. What shall wee say then, that Abraham our Father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

So much as pertains to the example of Abraham, un­der the form of an interrogation, hee denies that Abra­ham was justified according to the flesh, or by the Law of Works, or Inherent Righteousness, which is called flesh, Galat. 3.3. in respect to the Spiritual Righteousness of Christ: From whence it follows that no man is justified by Works.

Vers. 2. For if Abraham were justified by Works, hee hath whereof to glory, but not before God.

This Thesis concerning Abraham, is asserted by five Reasons.

Reason 1. If Abraham was justified by Works, hee hath whereof hee may glory, but not before God; there­fore hee is not justified by Works before God. The rea­son is sufficient; because boasting in our selves is not taken away by the Law of Works, but by the Law of Faith, Rom. 3.27. For in the question before men, Whether Abraham is just, Abraham can produce his Works, and boast, saying, I will shew thee my Works; and so hee shall bee justified before men by his Works: But the question is, Whether hee bee righteous before God, whereupon hee must renounce his own works, and fly to the Promise of Blessedness in Christ, to come of A­brahams Seed, that hee might bee justified in Christ by Faith alone.

Vers. 3. For what saith the Scripture? Abraham hath believed God, and it was counted to him for righte­ousness.

Reason 2. The Scripture testifies, Gen. 15.6. that A­braham was justified by Faith, or that Righteousness was imputed to him by Faith; therefore hee was justified by Faith, not by Works.

Vers. 4. Now to him that worketh, is the reward not reckoned of Grace, but of debt.

Reason 3. The reward cannot bee of Grace, but of debt, to him that seeks after righteousness by his works; wee may assume thus, But to Abraham it was imputed of Grace. Therefore Abraham did not mercenarily seek after righteousness by the works of the Law.

Vers. 5. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his Faith is counted for righteousness.

Reason 4. To this purpose Faith is imputed for righte­ousness to him that is not mercenary, but renouncing his own righteousness, believes in God, who freely justifies the ungodly that flees to Christ Jesus; But such was the Faith of Abraham. Therefore Abraham was not justified by works before God, but Faith was imputed to him for righteousness; or the Blessing promised in Christ to come, received through Faith by Abraham, was imputed to him for righteousness.

Vers. 6. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputed righteousness without works,

7. Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgi­ven, and whose sins are covered.

8. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not im­pute sin.

Reason 5. David testifies, Psalm 32.12. that Blessed­ness is given to him, to whom Righteousness is imputed without works, and whose righteousness consists not in good works, but in the forgiveness of sins: therefore such was of necessity the Justification of Abraham: consisting not in the perfection of his works▪ but in the remission of his sins. Understand the same of the Justification of all, which the Apostle even now hath shewed.

Vers. 9. Cometh this Blessedness then on the Circumci­sion only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for wee say, that Faith was reckoned to Abraham for righ­teousness.

The second Part.

The second part of the Chapter, wherein hee proves this to bee the ground of Abrahams Justification, and ob­taining Eternal Life, (to wit, by Faith) is common to the uncircumcision, or the Gentiles, and to Circumcision; or the Jews. The question is propounded in this verse, the answer whereof follows, till hee hath proved it com­mon both to Jews and Gentiles.

Vers. 10. How was it then reckoned? when hee was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? not in circumcision▪ but in uncircumcision.

Hee proves this ground of Justification▪ and obtaining of happiness, to bee common to the uncircumcised, or the Gentiles, no less than to the Jews that were circumci­sed: By seven Arguments.

Argum. 1. From the state of incircumcision, where [...]n Abraham was, when hee was pronounced righteous; as it appears in the History, Gen. 15.6. Righteousness was imputed to Abraham by Faith, while hee was yet uncir­cumcised: Therefore this way of Justification is common, even to Believers while uncircumcised.

[Page 10]

Vers. 11. And hee received the sign of circumcision, as a seal of the Righteousness of the Faith, which hee had yet being uncircumcised, that hee might bee the Father of all them that believe, though they bee not circumcised, that Righteousness might bee imputed to them also.

12. And the Father of Circumcision to them who are not of Circumcision only, of our Father Abraham, which hee had, being yet uncircumcised.

Argum. 2. Abraham received from God the Sign of Circumcision, as a Seal of the Covenant of Grace, or the Righteousness of Faith, which hee had yet being uncir­cumcised, to that end, that hee might bee the Father as well of the Faithful that were uncircumcised, as of those that were circumcised, which were the children of the flesh, and also of the Faith of Abraham. Therefore the righteousness of Faith is common to Believers, both cir­cumcised and uncircumcised, or those that follow the steps of the Faith of Abraham, not yet circumcised. Abraham is called the Father of the Faithful, because hee was the first eminent example of Faith, the Righteousness which is imputed by Faith, and by his example, a Leader to all, that they may believe.

Vers. 13. For the promise that hee should bee the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his Seed through the Law, but through righteousness of Faith.

Hee proves that Abraham was not the Father of any but Believers, both circumcised, and uncircumcised; and with this hee adds a third Argument: The Promise was made to Abraham, and to his Seed, that hee should bee afterwards heir of the Land of Canaan, in a type, and of the World and Heaven, in truth, being restored to that right which Adam lost; and hee came not to this by the Law, or upon the condition of works, but by the absolute Promise, being j [...]stified [...]y Faith, or having the Righte­ousness of Faith; therefore his children are not they which are by the Law, looking for righteousness by Works, but only they which are of Faith, looking for righteousness by Faith; i. e. All and only they that believe, circumcised and uncircumcised, who have an e­qual community in the righteousness of Faith, and the promise of the inheritance. The Argument is valid; for if Father Abraham is not heir of the world, and hath any righteousness but by Faith, certainly none are his sons but the faithful, who have their righteousness by Faith, and from Righteousness the Inheritance.

Vers. 14. For if they which are of the Law bee heirs, Faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.

Argum. 4. This confirms the former Argument: If those which are of the Law, or seek Righteousness by Works, are the children of Abraham, and heirs of Life, and partakers of Righteousness, then Faith is vain, and the Promise is void: But this is absurd; therefore they which are of the Law, are not heirs, but only Believers are the children of Abraham, and heirs of Righteousness and Life. The Argument is strong, for if Righteousness and the Inheritance are given through Faith and the Pro­mise, then they are freely given: But if by the works of the Law, then of debt, and merit, and not of grace, for merit or debt leaves no place for free grace, and by con­sequence, makes faith and the promise void.

Vers. 15. Because the Law worketh wrath; for where no Law is, there is no transgression.

Argum. 5. Confirming the former, the Law worketh wrath to them that seek for Righteousness by their Works, i. e. it pronounceth condemnation and death up­on the guilty for their transgressions, which should bee none, if there was no Law. Therefore they that are of the Law, are not heirs of Righteousness and Life, but all and only they which are of Faith, both circumcised and uncircumcised.

Vers. 16. Therfore it is of Faith, that it might bee by Grace, to the end the Promise might bee to all the Seed, not to that only which is of the Law, but to that also which is of the Faith of Abraham, who is the Father of us all.

Argum. 6. God hath determined that the Inheritance should bee of Faith, to this end, that it might appear to bee of Grace, or through Grace; therefore all and only Believers, circumcised, and uncircumcised, are heirs. The Argument is good, because Faith and Grace concur, mu­tually standing and falling together: Faith is wholly maintained by Grace, which Grace is only promised and given to them that believe. It being granted, that the Inheritance is through Grace, it follows, to bee through Faith also; and it being granted that it is through Faith, it follows, that it is by Grace also, and that Believers are heirs only through Grace.

That it might bee firm] Argum. 7. The Inheritance is of Faith, and by Grace, that the Promise might bee firm to all the Seed, not only to that which is of the Seed of Abraham by the Law of Nature, and with all Believers, i. e. to the believing circumcised Jews; but also to that seed which is not after the flesh, but only of the Faith of Abraham, that is, to the believing uncircumcised Gen­tiles. Therefore unless wee would make the Promise of Righteousness, and the Inheritance (hanging it upon the condition of performing the Law) infirm and uncertain, the whole Seed of Abraham (or all and only they that believe, both circumcised and uncircumcised) are heirs by Faith with Father Abraham, who according to Faith, is the Father of all us that believe, both Jews and Gentiles. The matter is clear, because the Law, or the condition of Works, would render the Promise of the Inheritance in­firm, and altogether uncertain, seeing that whatever de­pends upon our works can no wise bee firm, both because wee are mutable, as also the condition of works, by reason of our infirmity, is impossible; but that which is of Grace, that which is by Faith, that which is in Christ, is necessarily firm, because it leans upon the unchangeable good pleasure of God, and the Merit of Christ.

Vers. 17. (As it is written, I have made thee a Fa­ther of many Nations) before him whom hee belie­ved, even God who quickeneth the dead, and callet [...] those things which bee not, as though they were.

The third Part.

The third part of the Chapter follows, in which the Faith of Abraham is commended to the use and benefit of all Believers, that they may learn by his example to be­lieve more and more. T [...]e grounds upon which the Faith of Abraham is commended, are six.

Reason 1. Because Abraham (through his Faith) by the special Sentence of God, is declared the Father of many Nations, and so the Father of us that believe, ac­cording to the Faith: For as Abraham begat Isaac by virtue of the Divine Promise, and not by the power of Nature; even so by virtue of the Divine Promise, promi­sing that hee should bee the Father of many Nations, A­braham took all Believers into the number of his Chil­dren, to bee reckoned amongst his Seed. And thus in the virtue of the Promise, hee begot, or conceived the Faithful, as Children of the Promise; which hee shews more clearly, by calling Abraham the Father of the Faithful, not only before God, or in the sight of God, that is, after a spiritual manner, and in the account of God, but also to the likeness of God, by a kind of simili­tude answering to God, whom hee believed; for in the Act of Faith, Abraham standing in the light of the coun­tenance of God Almighty who spake unto him, believed the Promise. Those sons which God promised, hee look­ed upon as present by Faith: And thus after a sort hee became the Father of them, after the similitude of God.

Quickning] Reason 2. Because Abraham by Faith fixed his eyes upon the truth and Omnipotency of God effectually bringing life out of death, and a beeing out of [Page 11] nothing; and effectually calling things that were not yet, as if they were or had a beeing; to which Omnipo­tent Truth when Abraham believed, his Faith put on a kind of similitude to the Truth of God Almighty.

Vers. 18. Who against hope believed in hope, that hee might become the Father of many Nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy Seed bee.

Reason 3. Because Abraham believed in Spiritual hope, i. e. hee had in his heart a firm and invincible confidence, with a lively and strong hope of the promised issue: A­gainst hope, viz. of the flesh, and natural reason, which did object nothing but impossibility, and as it were affirm­ed that they could not bee his Seed, as God had spoken.

Vers. 19. And being not weak in Faith, hee considered not his own body now dead, when hee was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb.

Reas. 4. Because hee was not weak in faith; hee did not consider, or did not stand upon those impediments that lay before his Faith, from himself and his wife, as now dead, in respect to natural generation, but rather magnified the power and faithfulness of God which had promised.

Vers. 20. Hee staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in Faith, giving glory to God.

Reas. 5. Because hee disputed not against the Promise, not was stopt by those objections, which unbelief suggest­ed, but valiantly defended the Promise of God, and set himself against temptations, ascribing to God the glory of his truth and Omnipotency.

Vers. 21. And being fully perswaded, that what hee had promised, hee was also able to perform.

Reas. 6. Because hee gave to God speaking, the glory of his truth, out of a most full perswasion of Gods power for the performance of his Promise. For the Promise once made, there is no doubt to bee made of his will to per­form what hee promiseth: But the question which re­mains, is touching the Power of him that promiseth. Which question being laid aside, Abraham rests in the promise of him whom hee knew to bee Almighty.

Vers. 22. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Reas. 7. Wherein the Faith of Abraham is commend­ed, in that his Faith (by this act shewing it self to bee true, such a Faith which uniteth, humbled and emptied man (in the sight of God) to God that promiseth) was imputed to him for righteousness. Because hee imbraced for his righteousness, the blessing promised in that Seed which was to come, i. e. Christ.

Vers. 23. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

24. But for us also, to whom it shall bee imputed, if wee believe on him that raised up Iesus our Lord from the dead.

Now the Apostle shews forth the example of Abrahams Faith, fitted to the common use of Believers, giving a pledge as it were by this example, promising that our Faith in Christ Jesus, in like manner, should bee imputed unto us for righteousness. And that hee might invite us to believe, hee first compares the Gospel (ministred unto us in the Name of God, touching the Death and Resurrecti­on of Christ for us) to the promise made unto Abraham: And further, hee requires of us Faith in God, who offers us this grace by the preaching of the Gospel, that wee might believe with Abraham. And lastly, hee affirms our Faith in God, who hath willingly satisfied himself in the death of Christ, whom hee hath raised also from the dead (that hee might impute, and apply to us, the righte­ousness obtained by the death of Christ) no less certain­ly to bee imputed unto us for righteousness, than it is cer­tain that Abrahams Faith was imputed to him for righte­ousness; and so sure it is that this was not written for his sake alone, but for us, to whom in like manner this Faith was to bee imputed for righteousness.

Vers. 25. Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our Iustification.

Hee layes the foundation of this certainty in a twofold judicial act of God towards Christ. The first act is, the delivering up of Christ our Surety to death for our offen­ces. The other is, the raising of him for our Justification. In the first whereof, God testifies that the sins of the Re­deemed were translated upon Christ by Covenant. And in the other, that hee is abundantly satisfied for their sins, and that the Redeemed in the person of their Surety are justified: From whence it follows, that to those who are Redeemed, (seeing they by Faith agree in this Cove­nant revealed in the Gospel) Faith is imputed to righte­ousness, or the Righteousness obtained by Christ is apply­ed to them, that as in the person of their Surety they are justified, so also they may bee justified in themselves.

CHAP. V.

THe first Confirmation of this Divine ground of the Iustification of sinners by Faith in Christ, you have had; the second assertion follows, from a solid consola­tion, which this way of our Iustification affords against wrath and sin.

The parts of the Chapter are two. In the first is propounded a consolation in repeating the several fruits of our Righ­teousness by Faith in Christ, to verse the sixth. In the other, is set forth the solidity of this comfort, to the end of the Chapter.

Vers. 1. Therefore being justified by Faith, wee have peace with God through our Lord Iesus Christ.

The first part of the Chap. in which hee recites nine be­nefits or fruits, which depend upon each other, to shew the consolation, which Justification by Faith in Christ afford [...] to us.

The first fruit is peace, or reconciliation with God, now appeased by our Mediator, or through Christ who hath made peace for us.

Vers. 2. By whom also wee have access by Faith into his Grace wherein wee stand:

The second fruit, is a daily leading by the hand, as it were, through Christ by Faith, into the favour and grace of God, that wee might use and enjoy it more and more, and bee even wholly taken into it.

Stand] The third fruit, is the confirmation of us in this state of grace, that wee may not fall from it, but con­stantly stand.

And rejoyce] The fourth fruit, is a rejoycing in the most assured hope of enjoying of celestial glory hereafter with God.

Vers. 3. And not only so, but wee glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience:

4. And patience, experience: and experience, hope.

The fifth fruit, is a glorying in all tribulations, and that in the midst of afflictions, to which wee are lyable in this life, after wee are justified.

Knowing] The sixth fruit, is the giving occasion of re­joycing in tribulations, upon a certain knowledge or per­swasion of persevering in holiness by the Cross. Because thereby God teacheth us patience, and by patience in us, affords us new instructions of his grace towards us, giving us experience, and by experience encreaseth and confirms our faith, and hope of present and full freedome hereafter from tribulations.

Vers. 5. And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Ho­ly Ghost which is given unto us.

The seventh fruit, is a certainty of the possession of the good hoped for, or freedome from being ashamed, which the frustration of conceived hope causeth: for hope arising from Justifying Faith, after this manner stirred up and encreased, deceiveth not, nor maketh him that hopes a­shamed.

[Page 12] Shed abroad] The eighth fruit confirming the former, is a sense of Divine Love towards us, shed abroad in our hearts, and filling them; which as a certain earnest, sta­blisheth us in the hope of future good things.

The Spirit] The ninth fruit, is the Holy Ghost more plentifully given to us who believe in Christ, which Spi­rit works in us this sense of Divine Love towards us, and witnesses together with our Spirits, that wee are the sons of God, and works in us all his other works belonging to Regeneration, Consolation and Salvation. All that are justified by Faith have right to all these priviledges: If there bee any that are Babes in Christ, or under any ten­tation, and know not that they are justified, and are not acquainted with the Consolations of the Spirit, and sor­row under their sins, no wonder that they receive no com­fort from these fruits.

Vers. 6. For when wee were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly:

7. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while wee were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

9 Much more then being now justified by his Blood, wee shall bee saved from wrath through him.

The second Part.

The second part of the Chapter, wherein hee shews the solidity of Consolation against wrath and sin, by a two-fold comparison; whereof the first is of Christ with Christ; to ver. 12. The other is of Christ (which is the second Adam) with Adam our first parent; to the end.

There are three members of the comparison of Christ with Christ, wherein is proved, that they which are justi­fied shall bee saved from wrath, by three Arguments.

The fi [...]st member of the comparison, is of the efficacy of Christs love towards us before Justification, with the effi­cacy of his love towards us after our Justification. To this sense, when wee lay in misery and sin, destitute of all strength to deliver our selves, Christ in the fulness of time died for us sinners, ver. 6. Such great love amongst men is scarcely found towards a righteous man, unless per­chance for a good man, and some way profitable to us, some would dare to die, ver. 7. Whereupon the love of Christ is commended to us from this, that when wee were yet sinners, not yet justified, Christ died for us, that wee might bee delivered from wrath, ver. 8. Therefore much more effectual shall the love of Christ bee towards us, now justified by his blood, that wee might bee delivered by him from wrath, ver. 9. The Argument is sufficient, because the love of Christ towards us now justified, can­not bee less than it was towards us when wee lay in our sins. This is the first Argument.

Vers. 10. For if wh [...]n wee were enemies▪ wee were reconciled to God by the Death of his Son; much more being reconciled, wee shall bee saved by his life.

The second member of the comparison, is the efficacy of Christs death before Justification, and of his life after Justification, after this manner: If when wee were ene­mies, the Death of Christ was effectual for the reconciling of us unto God, it shall bee effectual to free us from wrath now being justified and reconciled; because it is absurd to determine, that Christ being raised from the dead, and living in heaven, should not preserve us from wrath, for whom that wee might bee freed, hee both died and arose from the dead. And this is the second Argu­ment.

Vers. 11. And not only so, but wee also joy in God, through our Lord Iesus Christ, by whom wee have now received the attonement.

The third member of the comparison, is of the effica­cy or virtue of Christ to procure and effect, that God might bee ours, (as a thing properly our own) which is greater, with the virtue and efficacy of Christ to preserve us from wrath, which is less: To this sense, wee have not this advantage only by Christ, that wee should bee pre­served from wrath, but that which is chi [...]fest of all, wee make our boast (or rejoyce) in God as our peculiar pos­session, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath not only obtained reconciliation for us, but hath applyed it to us now justified by Faith, and hath made God reconciled peculiarly ours; therefore wee are sure to bee preserved from wrath. And this is the third Argument. In all which is shewed the solid consolation of those which are justified by Faith.

Vers. 12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entred into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

Another comparison is of Christ and Adam, tending to shew, that the righteousness of Christ is no less effectu­al to save those that are justified by Faith, than the sin of Adam was of force to destroy those that are not justified. There are six parts of the Comparison.

The first, As by one man, viz. Adam, sin entred into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men that are the sons of Adam by nature, in as much as in him, as in a common parent, all have sinned; so by one man Christ Jesus, the second Adam, Righteousness entred into the world, and Life by Righteousness, and so life was communicated to all men which are the sons of Christ by grace, (such as all are which are justified by Faith) in as much as in him, as in a common parent, surety, and advocate, all are justified. This Antithesis remains to bee collected from what follows, and especially from the end of ver. 14. where Christ is made the Anti-type of Adam, because hee is the Gate and Fountain of Righteousness and Life, as Adam was the Gate and Fountain of sin and death.

Vers. 13. For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no Law.

14. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the simili­tude of Adams transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Hee proves that sin entred into the world, by one man Adam, and was propagated to his posterity: For from Adam, to the Law written by Moses, sin was in the world, and imputed; and that could not bee, unless there had been some Law, at least unwritten, and innate; for had there been no Law, neither written nor innate, sin could not bee imputed, ver. 13. but it was imputed, because the punishment was inflicted: If so bee the wages of sin is death, it reigned from Adam to Moses, not only over those that were of riper years, but also over infants, which sinned originally in him, (seeing all men were in Adam one man) though not actually, or after the simi­litude of Adams actual transgression, ver. 14. The sum of all is, there was death, the wages of sin, therefore there was sin, therefore a Law, and sin from one passed unto all. Hee calls Adam a type of him that was to come, viz. of the second Adam, Christ, that wee might under­stand how Christ ought to answer in his saving effects, to those destructive effects of Adam, and that by the pur­pose of God, who would represent Christ the Saviour of men, in the lost original of mankind, that Christ might bee no less acknowledged the Fountain, Head, and Root of Righteousness and Life, to bee derived to those that are his, as Adam was the Fountain, Head and Root of propagating sin and death to his.

Vers. 15. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift; for if through the offence [...]f one, many be dead, much more the grace of God, and [...]he gift by grace, which is by one man Iesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

The second member of the Comparison wherein they disagree, which is first briefly propounded, afterward more largely explained. The offence is not like the gift [Page 13] of God, for that good which proceeds from God, is of Divine efficacy and virtue, therefore infinitely surpasses the evil which is from man: Wherefore if the offence of one man, i. e. Adam, could bring forth death to many that were naturally propagated from him; much more the infinite grace of God, and the free gift of one m [...]n Jesus Christ, who also is God, shall abundantly con­vey life to them which are spiritually born of Christ. The sum of all is, Hee would have us know, that the grace of Christ is more potent to save, than the sin of Adam to destroy; and the gifts which are bestowed through the grace of God, are more excellent than those which A­dam lost.

Vers. 16. And not as it was by one that sinned, so was the gift; for the judgement was by one to condemna­tion, but the free gift is of many offences unto Iu­stification.

The third branch of the Comparison, shewing the dissimilitude between the evil that entred only by Adam sinning, and the gift, which is by Jesus Christ; because the just judgement of God from one sin of Adam, pro­ceeded to the just condemnation of himself, and of all, that by the Law of Nature were comprehended in his loyns: But grace, or the free gift of God, not only frees us from that one Original sin, but from a multitude of a­ctual sins committed by every one, to a full justification from all sin. The sum of all is, condemnation is from one offence, but the gift of grace is an acquittal from all offences.

Vers. 17. For if by one mans offence death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Iesus Christ.

The fourth branch of the Comparison, with a confir­mation of the former, after this manner: If by one only sin of Adam, death entring, as a King, subdued mankind to it; much more being justified by Faith, receiving that abundant grace of God, and the gift of Righteousness, shall reign in life, by one, Jesus Christ; By how much the more excellent therefore the Kingdome of Life is (which makes its Subjects Kings, and companions with Christ in Life Eternal) than the Kingdome of death (which de­stroyes all its subjects) by so much the gift of Christ (in respect to its efficacy) excells the offence of Adam.

Vers. 18. Therefore as by the offence of one, judgement came upon all men to condemnation; even so ly the righteousn [...]ss of one, the free gift came upon all men unto [...]ustification of Life.

The fifth branch of the Comparison: As by the fall of Adam only, the guilt came upon all, (that sprang of Adam by a natural propagation) to their condemnation; so by the obedience of Christ only (wherein hee was obe­dient to his Father unto the death) the satisfaction came, to justification of all men, which spring of Christ by a spiritual regeneration.

Vers. 19. For as by one mans disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one, shall many bee made righteous.

The sixth branch of the Comparison, illustrating and [...]onfirming the former, after this manner: As by the disobedience of Adam only, it comes to pass, that many are accounted and dealt with in the judgement of God as sinners, because they are derived from him according to the flesh; so by the obedience of Christ only, many shall bee made righteous, that is, shall bee accounted as righte­ous; to wit, all they that are in Christ by Faith, born of him after the Spirit: For equal it is, that the poyson of sin should not pierce deeper, or the sin of Adam spread further upon his Off-spring, than the virtue of Christs obedience upon his: And it is meer, that as one sin of A­dam was imputed to his children, to condemnation and death; so the intire obedience of Christ only should bee imputed to his sons to Justification, and the obtaining of Eternal Life.

Vers. 20. Moreover, the Law entred, that the offence might abound; but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.

21. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Iesus Christ our Lord.

Hee illustrates and concludes this whole comparison, by shewing the abundance of sin in those that are justifi­ed, renders the grace of Christ more illustrious; and this hee does by answering an objection concerning the end and use of the published Law.

It may bee questioned, if death reigned by the Law of Nature, not written before Moses, what need was there of any written Law; and seeing righteousness comes not by the Law, as is said before, to what end was the Law?

Hee answers, by shewing a three-fold end of giving the Law.

First: The Law entred, that the offence might abound; i. e. The Law forbidding sin, and enjoyning righteous­ness, in that space of time betwixt Adam and Christ, came in, that sin, (which was daily committed, and yet because of ignorance not acknowledged) might bee known to bee sin, and that the natural wickedness of men might appear, which occasions, that by how much the more the Law requires righteousness, by so much the more concupiscence is stirred up aga [...]nst the Law; and that by this, the sin which lyes hid in men might bee ma­nifested, and known to abound.

But where] The second end, that from the abundance of sin in those that were to bee justified, the exceeding a­bundant grace of Christ towards those that are justified might appear: seeing that where sin abounds in the con­viction of men that are to bee justified, there the grace of Christ justifying is found to super-abound.

Even as] The third end, that the power of sin, (as a King) by the Law, might more clearly appear, shewing forth its condemning power, the power of the righteous­ness of Christ (as a Superiour King) held forth in the Gospel, might bee more [...]minent, prevailing, not only to the abolishing of the Kingdome of sin, but also to the conferring of Eternal Life upon those that are justified: Therefore by how much the more the force of sin (reign­ing over men not justified) crowding them to the prison of Eternal death, might more clearly appear; by so much the more, the virtue, power, and excellency of the grace of Christ, overcoming and subduing sin, leading men powerfully unto Eternal Life, might more manifestly bee declared.

CHAP. VI.

THe third proof of the Doctrine of Iustification freely by Faith in Christ, in that it conduceth very much to the promoting of Sanctity and Holiness.

There are two PARTS of the Chapter: In the first hee shews, that by Faith in Christ, or the Doctrine concern­ing the free ground of Iustification, several wayes promotes endeavours after Sanctification; to verse 12. In the other part, hee exhorts those that are justified to follow after holiness; to the end.

Vers. 1. What shall wee say then? Shall wee con­tinue in sin, that grace may abound?

2. God forbid: how shall wee that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

By answering an objection, which seems to arise from this Doctrine, hee sets down a confirmation of the Propo­sition; That this Doctrine of Grace, or of Free Justifica­tion, makes for the promoting of holiness. Some may say, Shall wee persevere in our sins, wee that are justified by Faith, that the grace of God may appear more abun­dant, as this Doctrine of Free Justification, by the impu­tation of the Righteousness of Christ, seems to intimate? Hee answers, by denying and rejecting: Far from us bee [Page 14] such a thought. As if hee had said, They that are justifi­ed by Faith, ought not to indulge themselves in any sin, but to endeavour after holiness: And this Proposition hee confirms by ten Arguments.

Argum. 1. Wee are dead unto sin, in as much as when wee gave up our names unto Christ, that wee might bee justified and sanctified by him, wee renounced sin, that wee might not have any more to do with it, than the dead have with the living. Therefore wee that are justified, ought not any longer to live in sin.

Vers. 3. Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Iesus Christ, were baptized into his death?

Argum. 2. Wee (as you know) which are freely justi­fied by Faith in Christ, are also taken into the fellowship of his Death, by Baptism; by which Sacrament wee have bound our selves to die unto sin, and Christ hath bound himself unto us, to communicate the power of his Death, that wee might die unto sin. Therefore wee ought not to undulge our selves in our sins, but endeavour after holi­ness.

Vers. 4. Therefore wee are buried with him by Baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so wee also should walk in newness of life.

Argum. 3. Our communion with Christ in his Death, is sealed to us in our Baptism, for the abolishing of the old Man of Sin, i. e. Not only that wee might bee bound to mortifie the old man, but also that wee might bee made certain concerning the mortifying and subduing of sin, by virtue of Christs Death. Therefore wee ought not to indulge our selves in sin, but endeavour the mortifying of it.

Argum. 4. As our communion with Christ in his Death is sealed to us in our Baptism, so also in his Resur­rection; that as Christ was raised from the dead, to a blessed and immortal life, by the glory of the Father, who powerfully raised him; so should wee endeavour by Faith, applying the virtue of Christ, to arise from sin, and to walk in newness of life, to the glory of the Father powerfully renewing us. Therefore ought wee not to con­tinue in sin, but follow after holiness.

Vers. 5. For if wee have been planted together in the likeness of his death, wee shall bee also in the like­ness of his resurrection.

Argum. 5. Drawn from our spiritual and neerest union with Christ by Faith, which union is the ground of the communication of that virtue which flows from the Death and Resurrection of Christ; for by Faith wee are planted into Christ, as the Branch into the Vine, and this in­grafting brings us into that conformity with the Death and Resurrection of Christ, that wee dying unto sin, Christ dying, and following after newness of life, Christ rising again, may bee clearly seen in a certain likeness to himself. Hence hee confirms his former Argument; when wee are planted together with Christ by Faith, wee are so neerly united to him, that there follows of ne­cessity a conformity with him in his death, to the mortifi­cation of sin, and in his resurrection, to newness of life. Therefore unless wee will acknowledge no union with him, and implanting into him, wee must renounce all sin, and endeavour after holiness.

Vers. 6. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might bee destroyed, that henceforth wee should not serve sin.

Argum. 6. From that judicial union which wee have with Christ crucified. The force of which Argument, that it may bee seen, four things are to bee maintained. 1. That Christ hanging upon the Cross as our Surety, su­stained our persons before Gods Tribunal. 2. That hee under-went the punishment due to our corrupt nature, or the old man, so called, because the evil of nature in those that are regenerated waxeth old, and hastens to destruction. 3. That hee took upon him to slay the old man in us. 4. In that hee took upon him to represent our persons, wee are thereby obliged to labour after mor­tification of sin by his Spirit, that after Justification wee should no longer serve sin. From hence the Argument, wee know, or believe that our old man is crucified ju­dicially with Christ, to this end, that in us who are justi­fied by Faith, might bee weakned the body of death, (so that filthiness of habitual corruption, compacted, as it were, into one monstrous body, prepared with all its mem­bers to actual sinning) that wee should no more, after wee are justified, serve sin. Therefore wee ought to endea­vour the mortification of sin, unless wee will cast away the Faith of our judicial union with Christ, hanging upon the Cross.

Vers. 7. For hee that is dead, is freed from sin.

Argum. 7. From the fruit of this union with Christ dy­ing on the Cross; whosoever is dead to his old Lord sin, is justified and freed from the yoke and dominion of sin, that hee might not serve it any longer, nor obey the com­mands of it: You may assume, But wee are justified by Faith in Christ dying for sin upon the Cross, wee are dead to [...]our old Master Sin, therefore wee are justified and freed from the yoke and dominion of sin, that wee should not any longer obey its commands; for what ser­vice can sin further exact from us, whom Christ in his death upon the Cross hath slain, as it were?

Vers. 8. Now if wee bee dead with Christ, wee be­lieve that wee shall also live with him.

Argum. 8. If wee die with Christ, i. e. are united to him dying, in his power endeavouring to mortifie sin, wee need not doubt but wee shall live a spiritual, new and heavenly life with him; therefore it behoves us to endea­vour the mortifying of sin.

Vers. 9. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him.

Argum. 9. Confirming the former; Wee believe that Christ rose to an immortal life, neither is hee for ever hereafter lyable unto death, but alwayes living; hee both will, and is able to perpetuate in us a new life, that death may no more have dominion over us. Therefore as wee do not believe in vain, that by his power wee shall live a new and eternal life, so ought wee to labour, that the new life, to which wee have risen with Christ, may bee continued, not to suffer sin should any more prevail, or have dominion over us.

Vers. 10. For in that hee died, hee died unto sin once; but in that hee liveth, hee liveth unto God.

11. Likewise reckon yee also your selves to bee dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, through Iesus Christ our Lord.

Argum. 10. As Christ died but once to wash away and abolish sin, and rising from the dead, hee lives for ever to the glory of God; so you that are justified, by argu­ments of Faith gather, and reckon your selves in the death of Christ to bee once dead, nor to bee obliged to dye for sin any more; that yee were once dead by the dethrone­ing of sin, neither are yee bound to serve sin any longer; that yee were once dead to the destroying of sin, nor can yee bee destitute of the strength of Christ to mortifie sin, but in his resurrection yee are bound to live unto God, or the glory of God, and that yee might so live, yee have strength and help enough by Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore the Doctrine of free Justification by Faith, is so far from opening a door of liberty to sin, that on the contrary, nothing is more effectual and conducible to the promoting of Sanctity and Holiness.

Second Part.

Vers. 12. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bo­dies, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.

The second part of the Chapter follows, wherein the Apostle infers, out of what went before, an exhortation to all that are justified by Faith, that they follow after [Page 15] Holiness. The Proposition to bee proved is the same with the former, viz. They that are justified, ought not to continue in sin, but labour after Holiness. Hee produceth thirteen Arguments, whereof the three former are inclu­ded in the following Exhortation.

The branches of this Exhortation are three, and the Arguments as many, couched in the Exhortation, to the confirming of the Proposition.

The first branch of the Exhortation is, that they would not obey sin, by indulging the sinful lusts of the body.

Argum. 1. The first Argument is this; To obey the sinful lusts of the body, is to suffer in your mortal body the reign of sin, or of the Devil, from whence yee are freed, which they that are justified should tremble at. Therefore being now justified, you ought not to follow af­ter sin, but holiness.

Vers. 13. Neither yeeld you your members as instru­ments of unrighteousness unto sin, but yeeld your selves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteous­ness unto God.

The second branch of the Exhortation is, that they would not fight for this Tyrant, viz. sin, making use of the faculties of their souls or bodies as servants to con­tend for it, wherein is the second Argument: To serve sin, is to yeeld the faculties of the Soul, and members of the body, as weapons of iniquity to fight for sin and the Devil against God, and our own Salvation, which all that are justified ought to abhor. Therefore they that are justified, ought not to serve sin.

Yeeld] The third member of the Exhortation, that they would yeeld themselves Souldiers and Servants unto God, who hath freed them from death, wherein is the third Argument. God hath called you back from death in sin, and Eternal Perdition, unto Life, that you might bee Servants unto righteousness, and might contend for God against his enemies; therefore ought you to labour after Holiness.

Vers. 14. For sin shall not have dominion over you; for yee arae not under the Law, but under Grace.

Argum. 4. If you contend and fight against sin, the Tyrant shall not recover his dominion over you, which hee hath lost, neither shall sin reign over you, but you shall become Conquerours through Christ; therefore ought you to labour after Holiness.

For you are not] Argum. 5. Confirming the former, you are not under the Law, under the Covenant of works, wherein the Commandment exacted strict obedience, but affords no strength to assist in our obedience; but you are under Grace, or the Covenant of Grace, wherein the Grace of God, with the Command, confers life to Be­lievers, and strength to obey; therefore certain of the victory against sin, yee ought to endeavour after Holi­ness.

Vers. 15. What? then shall wee sin, because wee are not under the Law, but under grace? God forbid.

Hee repeats and rejects the absurd objection of Liber­tines, who take occasion from the grace of God to sin more freely, when the contrary follows, viz. because wee are under grace, therefore wee ought not to indulge to our selves a liberty of sinning.

Vers. 16. Know you not, that to whom you yeeld your selves servants to obey, his servants yee are to whom yee obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Argum. 6. Serving by the way to confute the objecti­on; seeing there is a necessity that you bee servants to him whom you obey, and that you receive a reward pro­portionable to your work, whether you obey sin, or the Divine Commands, unless you will bee accounted the servants of sin, and will receive the reward of eternal death, it behoves you to beware that you indulge not your selves in sin, and if you will bee accounted the Servants of God, that you may bee pronounced Righteous, and Heirs of Life, of necessity you must labour after Holi­ness.

Vers. 17. But God bee thanked that yee were the ser­vants of sin: but yee have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you.

Argum. 7. By the grace of God, the time of your bondage is past, in which you were servants to sin, before your regeneration, and now converted, you have begun to yeeld sincere obedience to the Gospel, the impression whereof you have received as from a print: Therefore to return to the service of sin, or to depart from the sound Doctrine, is unworthy, but it behoves you to per­severe in your obedience to the Doctrine into which you were delivered.

Vers. 18. Being then made free from sin, yee became the servants of righteousness.

Argum. 8. Being now freed from sin, by the Omnipo­tent Arm of God, yee are servants of righteousness to holiness: Therefore by the Law of servitude, being ser­vants to righteousness, yee are bound to become servants also unto holiness.

Vers. 19. I speak after the manner of men, because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as yee have yeelded your members servants to uncleanness, and to iniqui­ty, unto iniquity; even so now yeeld your members servants to righteousness, unto holiness.

After his excuse of his homely similitude, which in many things holds no proportion with these spiritual things, yet notwithstanding the Holy Ghost is pleased to use, because of the infirmity of the Romans, for the sake of those that were carnal, which could not so easily apprehend an higher, or more spiritual way of speaking: Hee repeats the exhortation, and addeth:

Argum. 9. You have sometimes yeelded your members unto uncleanness, and have been altogether servants to unrighteousness; therefore now 'tis fitting, that with e­qual industry at least, you yeeld your members servants unto righteousness, and to holiness, not to bee less studi­ous of doing well, than heretofore you have been of sin­ning, and doing ill.

Vers. 20. For when yee were the servants of sin, yee were free from righteousness.

Argum. 10. Confirming the former: When you were servants of sin, yee were free from righteousness, for you were not at all servants unto righteousness: Therefore now 'tis equal, seeing you are the servants of righteous­ness, that you should bee free from sin, and not at all servants unto it.

Vers. 21. What fruit had you then in those things, whereof yee are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

Argum. 11. You have gained no other fruit for your former sinful course of life, but shame, which is now up­on you, nor could you expect any other fruit for the fu­ture but eternal death, which is the end of sin; There­fore it behoves you to beware that you serve sin no lon­ger.

Vers. 22. But now being made free from sin, and be­come servants to God, yee have your fruit unto ho­liness, and the end everlasting life.

Arg. 12. After you gained your liberty from the bon­dage of sin, you became servants unto God, and have your fruit unto holiness, encreasing and abounding dai­ly therein, at length you shall obtain eternal life; there­fore ought you diligently to follow after holiness.

Vers. 23. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life, through Iesus Christ our Lord.

Arg. 13. Confirming those which went before, after this manner; Whatsoever hath hitherto been spoken in this Argument, is sufficient and firm; for it is decreed by a Divine Sentence, to render a reward to sinners accord­ing to their deserts, which is eternal death; and to be­stow [Page 16] life eternal, with Justification and Sanctification, which are chained to eternal life, not of debt, but freely of his grace, and that no way but in our Lord Jesus Christ: Therefore ought wee not to continue in sin, lest wee perish, but with Faith in Christ wee must joyn the practice of holiness, which holiness with eternal life, God will freely give to those that believe in Christ, and follow after holiness, as it is largely proved before.

CHAP. VII.

IN the former Chap. hee exhorts those that are justified by Faith, to Holiness; and because they who most follow after Holiness, are most sensible, and lament the power of sin dwelling in them, not yet extinguished: There­fore for the sake of these ariseth the fourth Confirmati­on of the Doctrine of Free Iustification by Faith in Christ, in that it yeelds consolation to the afflicted con­sciences of the Saints, by reason of their imperfect o­bedience to the Law, and the reliques of sin that dwell in them.

There are three parts of the Chapter; in the first, that they who are justified should take comfort against their imperf [...]ct obedience to the Law, hee handles the free­dome of justified persons from the Covenant of Works, and their interest in the Covenant of Grace, which is the first place of Consolation, to ver. 7. The second contains an Apology for the Holiness of the Law, two objections against the Law being answered, to verse 14. In the third, is contained the second place of Con­solation, wherein from the Doctrine of Iustification by Fait [...] in Christ, the Apostle propounds the wrestling which hee had with the remnants of sin, and the victory which hee gained, that by his example and experience, troubled consciences might take comfort.

The first Part.

Vers. 1. Know yee not, Brethren, (for I speak to them that know the Law) how that the Law hath domi­nion over a man, as long as hee liveth.

2. For the Woman which hath an Husband, is bound by the Law to her Husband, so long as hee liveth: but if the Husband bee dead, shee is loosed from the Law of her Husband.

3. So then, if while her Husband liveth, shee bee mar­ried to another man, shee shall bee called an adul­teress: but if her Husband bee dead, shee is free from that Law, so that shee is no adulteress, though shee bee married to another man.

As to the first part, taking a comparison from Marri­age, hee shews that the Justified which are delivered from the conjugal Covenant of the Law, and Espoused by a new Covenant of Grace, to a new Husband Christ, should bring forth the fruits of holiness, in new obedi­ence to the Law, to the glory of our new Husband, Christ.

In the three first verses hee propounds the protasis of the comparison, after this manner: As no Law hath do­minion over the dead (as yee know) but only over them that are alive, ver. 1. and particularly the Law of Marri­age is dissolved, the one being dead, so that the Wife, (the Husband being dead) without adultery may marry another, ver. 2, & 3. so you, &c. as it shall appear by and by.

Vers. 4. Wherefore my Brethren, yee also are become dead to the Law by the Body of Christ, that yee should bee married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that wee should bring forth fruit unto God.

The Apodosis of the comparison, to this manner; So you that were espoused formerly to the Law by a Covenant of Works, Christ being dead for you, that hee might satisfie the Law, Justice, and the Cove­nant of Works in our name, you are judicially dead to the Law, in the body of Christ (for the Law, or Co­venant of Works hath slain Christ, and you in him) and by consequence you are delivered from the matrimo­nial Covenant of the Law; so that without the breach of Justice you may enter into a new Covenant of Grace, with Christ, being raised from the dead. To this end hee shews, that the purpose of marriage being disannul­led, betwixt the Law of Works and us, not that wee should live as wee list, but being raised from a state of death, by the Resurrection of Christ, that wee should bee espoused to another Husband, viz. to him which is rai­sed from the dead, i. e. to Christ, who rose from the dead, and hath raised us with himself to newness of life, and hath espoused us to himself, according to the Covenant of Grace, that being married unto Christ, wee might bring forth fruits of obedience to the glory of God.

There are five Arguments of consolation to the Justi­fied, who bewail the imperfection of their own obedi­ence.

Become dead] Argum. 1. You are freed from the Co­venant of Works, which admits no obedience besides what is perfect, and every way compleat: Therefore all you that are Justified have consolation, which bewail the imperfection of your new obedience.

Of another] Argum 2. You are now married to ano­ther Husband, viz. to Christ, who is raised from the dead, who when hee could answer the imperfections of your obedience, and (according to the Covenant of Grace) render your begun obedience acceptable unto God, hee took it upon himself: You have this consolation that mourn over the imperfections of your new obedi­ence.

Fruit] Argum. 3. Ye [...] are married unto Christ, which is raised from the dead, that you may not abide unfruit­ful, but may bring forth fruit to the glory of God: There­fore take yee comfort, who bewail your imperfect obe­dience.

Vers. 5. For when wee were in the flesh, the motions of sins which were by the Law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

Argum. 4. Confirming the former, from the change of our condition, while wee were unregenerate (and by consequence under a Law-Covenant) evil affections by the holy Law of God were stirred up, and put forth themselves powerfully in our members, and all our fa­culties both of soul and body, to the production of the deadly fruit of actual sin: Therefore it will follow, when wee are now regenerated, and under the Covenant of Grace, holy desires stirred up by the New Covenant, powerfully shew forth themselves in our members, to the bringing forth the fruit of good works unto God, that wee might not abide unfruitful. Which is no small consolation; for if wee by Faith would lay hold upon the Covenant of Grace, and would stir up our souls by the promises thereof applyed unto us, there is no doubt but wee should more plentifully bring forth good works; That is it which Christ saith, Joh. 15.5. I am the vine, yee are the branches, hee that abides in mee, and I in him, hee brings forth much fruit: for without mee you can do no­thing.

Vers. 6. But now wee are delivered from the Law, that being dead wherein wee were held, that wee should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the old­ness of the letter.

Argum. 5. Opening and confirming the former, from the end of our changed condition, Now, to wit, after Ju­stification, through the Grace of Christ wee are freed from the Law-Covenant (that Covenant being dead in which wee were held, or wee being dead in Christ, in whom wee were contained judicially) to that very end, that wee should serve God, by the power of the Holy Ghost, bestowing new strength upon us, by bringing forth new and spiritual fruit, not superficial and hypocri­tical, which the letter of the old legal Covenant (now [Page 17] abolished) at the most, brought forth: Therefore God will not fail of his end, but will cause those that are justified, bewailing their imperfect obedience, to bring forth much fruit in the newness of the letter, for the fruits which are brought forth by virtue of the Covenant of Grace, are truly new, and arise from the regenerating Spirit, furnishing us with new strength forthwith to good works; But the fruits which are brought forth by virtue of the Covenant of Works, either are open rebel­lion of corrupt Nature against Gods Law, or counterfeit obedience onely in the outward performance; such as the fruits of the Pharisees are, who in the letter, that is, the outward shew, and formality obeyed, without any reno­vation of the heart.

The second Part.

Verse 7. What shall wee say then? Is the Law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the Law: For I had not known lust, except the Law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

The second part of the Chapter, containing an Apolo­gy for the holiness of the Law, in answering two Ob­jections, arising out of what was said before. The first Objection; seeing that evil and sinful motions are excited by the Law, as was said, the Law seems to bee sin, or the cause of sin.

Hee answers by way of negation; farre bee it from us to entertain any such thought; hee gives three Reasons of his negation, illustrated by his own experience, where­in hee pleads for the Law.

The first Reason, Because the Law discovers sin, and manifests the evil that is in it, which hee confirms by his own experience, who had not known that lust which lurked in his heart to bee sin, had hee not seen it forbid­den by the Law: Therefore the Law is holy.

Vers. 8. But sin taking occasion by the Commandement, wrought in mee all manner of concupiscence; for without the Law sin was dead.

Reason 2. Because the sin that dwells in us, or the ha­bitual pravity of our nature, is the cause of actual sins; but the Law is not the cause, but the occasion to sin, not given, but taken. For sin that dwells in us (saith hee) or the evil of nature, taking occasion from the Law for­bidding lust, so much the more is inflamed and excited; And indeavouring after what was forbidden, begat in mee all manner of concupiscence, and evil motions a­gainst the Law.

For without the Law] Which hee confirms by a sign, Because the Law not being known, sin lies hid, and is as dead, but when the Law comes, it is stirred up, and ap­pears; as filthiness is not seen in the absence of the Sun, but that arising, it appears and stinks, not by the Suns fault, but by its own: Therefore the Law is holy.

Vers. 9. For I was alive without the Law once, but when the Commandement came, sin revived, and I died.

By his own experience hee further explains the matter, shewing, that formerly when hee was a Pharisee and un­regenerate, in his own opinion hee was alive, that is, very just, and in no wise guilty of eternal death; but when his eies were opened by the grace of God, the true sense of the Law was unfolded, then hee understood the force of sin, and that hee was guilty of eternal death.

Vers. 10. And the Commandement which was ordain­ed to life, I found to bee unto death.

From this experience hee saith that hee learned two things; First, That the end of the command, and the ef­fect was good in it self, because the command is good in it self, and by it self ordained to life, if men obeyed it: The other, that the effect of the Law by accident was death, so farre as it threatned death to the sinner, and urges him from justice with the sentence of death.

Vers. 11. For sin taking occasion by the Commandement, deceived mee, and by it slew mee.

12. Wherefore the Law is holy, and the Com­mandement holy, and just, and good.

The third Reason, in defence of the Law; The sin that dwells in us, is the cause of death, onely taking oc­casion from the Law, or the command, as hee had learn­ed by experience: for sin (while hee thought of what was forbidden in the Law) invited and inticed him to forbidden things, and polluted him, and so by the Com­mand made him more and more obnoxious to death: Therefore the Law is altogether holy; and particularly that which forbids Concupiscence, is holy, just and good, because it is given by an holy God, according to equity, and for our profit.

Vers. 13. Was that then which is good made death un [...]o mee? God forbid. But sin, that it might ap­pear sin, working death in mee by that which is good, that sin by the Commandement might become exceed­ing sinful.

The second Objection; Some might say, Therefore hath that which is good been the cause of death? Hee answers, by rejecting the reproach; for the occasion is to bee distinguished from the cause, and the use of a thing from the abuse of it. Hee therefore acquits the Law, and casts all the blame upon the sin that dwells in us. Truly (saith hee) it is not the Law, but sin that dwells in mee, which is the cause of death, and discovers it self to bee sin, so farre forth as it is stirred up in mee, and kindled by the good Law of God, it enkindles rebellious motions to the Law of God, and so much the more upon this ac­count doth it cause death, that so sin in mee, by the Com­mand might appear above measure sinful. Which is spoken most seasonably, to stop the mouths of all, who otherwise would deny inborn concupiscence (now natural to all) to be sin, was it not found to bee the cause of actual sins and death; and this defence hee makes for the Law.

The third Part.

Vers. 14. For wee know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.

The third part of the Chapter, wherein is set down the second head of comfort, to those who bewail the imper­fection of their obedience to the Law, from the Apostles example, wrastling with the same evil, and getting the victory, by the favour and benefit of free justification, as appears from vers. the last. This is the force of the Ar­gument; I bewailing in my self the power of sin, wrastle against it, taking comfort, from justification by faith in Christ: Therefore you holy Champions take comfort in your wrastling and conflict.

In the conflict of the Apostle appears a threefold diffi­culty, and a threefold victory in the retreat; in all which are mixed some Arguments of comfort, drawn from the Apostles experience: The first difficulty arises from a threefold contention; The first is of the Law and him­self; I (saith hee) with the rest of beleevers, acknow­ledge the Law to bee spiritual, which wholly favour [...] the holiness of the Spirit of God; and is wholly referred to a spiritual course of life; But when I look upon my self, and compare the imperfection of my obedience with the spiritualness of the Law; I am compelled (in respect to the Old Man in mee not yet mortified) to acknowledge my self carnal, and as a slave sold to subjection under sin, out of whose bonds I cannot deliver my self, but I am carryed away whither I would not.

Vers. 15. For that which I do, I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.

Hee proves what hee hath said, and shews the second contest betwixt his actions, and his judgement renewed. That which I do, I do not approve, viz. when I exa­mine my actions to the perfect Rule of the Law, I am forced not to approve, but condemn many things in my actions.

The third disagreement hee shews to bee betwixt his [Page 18] actions, and his will renewed; I do not that good which I would (saith hee) hindered by the body of death in mee; and that evil which I hate, that I do, failing of the Rule, where I would not; for I would perform per­fect obedience to the Law of God, but I fall short, and in many things I offend.

Vers. 16. If then I do that which I would not, I con­sent unto the Law, that it is good.

The first difficulty you have seen, the victory follows, and three Arguments of Consolation, whereby the Apostle comforts himself, and the rest of his fellow-combatants.

Argum. 1. I my self, am in the number of those, who bewail their imperfect holiness, and finde the same conflict in my self as they do, from the imperfection of my obedience: Therefore they have Consolation, that mourn over the imperfection of their holiness, seeing they suffer nothing different from other Saints, nay, not from the Apostles themselves.

I consent] Argum. 2. Of Consolation; Because from this con [...]ict it appears, that sanctification is begun in him that wrastles, and a consent to the Law of God, that it is holy and good; for if I do what I wo [...]ld not, then I assent to the Law of God, that it is good: and the same sign of their sanctification have all those that bewail the im­perfection of their obedience.

Vers. 7. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in mee.

Argum. 3. Of Comfort; Because to him that laments his imperfection, and disallows it, that evil shall not bee imput [...]d (which is also to bee understood of all the o­ther holy Combatants) but to sin dwelling in him: Be­cause God esteems those that weep over the evil of their nature, from their better part, viz. that which is renew­ed, which doth, and shall prevail in the mortification and abolition of sin that dwells in us; from which re­newed part hee is called the Christian Champion; It is no more I (saith hee) but sin that dwells in mee.

Vers. 18. For I know, that in mee (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with mee; but how to perform that which is good, I finde not.

The other difficulty or sharp contest, consisting in a threefold conflict. First, Betwixt himself and the Old Man, or that part which was not yet renewed, and him­self, the New Man, or the renewed part; and here hee himself renewed, condemns himself unrenewed, as void of any good, and a fit receptacle for all evil. I know (saith hee) that there doth not dwell in mee, that is in my flesh (or corrupt and unrenewed nature, which I re­ceive from my carnal Generation) any spiritual good thing, whereby I may please God.

Hee proves what hee said, and propounds the second conflict, betwixt his will renewed, and the weakness of his flesh, or his perverse nature, hindring that the holy motions, stirred up by the Spirit, were not brought into act and performed.

Vers. 19. For the good that I would, I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do.

The third conflict, betwixt the regenerated Will and the Flesh, or the Old Man, not onely hindring the exe­cution of the Will renewed, but also producing evil effects, contrary to the renewed Will. Some may won­der what hee means, when hee speaks of the commission of evil; seeing wee all know from the Scriptures, how holily and unblameably our Apostle behaved himself in all things, after his conversion. But it will bee no won­der, when wee consider, that, by reason of the abundant measure of holiness, which was bestowed upon him, hee could not behold those rebellious motions of his nature, but hee would accuse himself of the omission of good, and the commission of evil; for hee took notice of those motions, either hindring him from performing all the parts of his duty towards God and men, which hee strict­ly desired to do; or polluting some way or other all his actions in the sight of God: What wonder therefore, if after this manner, hee set out himself as a great sin­ner?

Vers. 20. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in mee.

The Conquest follows, after this sharp conflict, repeating the consolations of himself, and the rest of the Saints, That the sin committed would not bee impu­ted to him, bewailing this his imperfection; but to the corruption of his nature, or his habitual corruption in­dwelling, designed to destruction and abolition: And because hee conflicted with sin, therefore is hee denomi­nated from the better and renewed part, as above, vers. 17. and not from the worser part.

Verse. 21. I finde then a Law, that when I would do good, evil is present with mee.

The third sharp Conflict follows, consisting of a three-fold contention: The first is betwixt himself regene­rated, endeavouring after holiness; and an evil inclination cleaving unto him, and impelling him with a kind of ne­cessity, and as it were by a Law inciting and pro­voking to evil.

Vers. 22. For I delight in the Law of God, after the inward man.

23. But I see another Law in my members, warring against the Law of my mind, and bringing mee in­to captivity to the Law of sin, which is in my mem­bers.

The second Contention is betwixt the inner spiritu­al man, renewed with his affections, and the Law of God, on the one part; and the outward or Old Man not renewed, furnished with his instruments and faculties, with his rebellious motions, on the other side; Against the Law of God, and the Law or inclination of his re­newed mind, fighting, and sometimes prevailing, and making him captive to the evil disposition of his na­ture. This is the fight, whereof hee speaks, Gal. 5.17. The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary, that you cannot do the things which you would. Which wrastling onely they understand, that feel it within them, and the force of sin some way or other polluting their most holy actions, all their life long.

Vers. 24. O wretched man that I am, who shall deli­ver mee from the body of this death?

The third Contention is betwixt evil Concupiscence, and the holy servant of God, lying prostrate under the oppression of the conquering perverseness of his nature, or this body of death, groaning, lamenting, and crying out to God for deliverance.

Vers. 25. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

After this feirce combate follows the victory, and Comfort by faith in Christ justifying, together with his thanksgiving to God his deliverer, who hath provided comfort in his Son, not for those that continue in sin, but which bewail their sins and imperfections.

Vers. 25. — So then, with the mind I my self serve the Law of God: but with the flesh, the Law of sin.

At length with a composed mind, after his being affe­cted with sorrow for sin dwelling in him, and with joy, because of his hoped-for liberty by Christ, the Apostle at length propounds himself a fellow-souldier with other Saints, in this holy war, against the remainder of sin. After this manner; I therefore an Apostle (that for com­fort to those who bewail their sins, I may briefly recollect what I have spoken of my self) I profess that I have not attained to that measure of Sanctity, after which I a­spire: But together with the rest of the Saints mourning and conflicting, under the hope of freedome I go for­ward; and as if I was divided from my self, the spirit and the flesh wrastling in me: with my mind, or my spi­ritual part, delightfully I serve the Law of God; but with [Page 19] my flesh, or my unregenerate part, I am as a Captive to the Law of sin, or the prevalency of corrupt nature.

CHAP. VIII.

THe fift Confirmation of Justification by Faith is this, That this way of Iustifying, affords solid con­solation, not only against all evil to bee dreaded after this life, but also against all troubles and afflictions to which the children of God are lyable in this life.

There are three parts of the Chapter. The first is to com­fort those that are Iustified, against the fear of Condem­nation, which might trouble those that bewail the im­perfection of their Sanctification, and the reliques of sin. Which consolation hee appropriates to those that are justified, endeavouring after holiness, secluding those that are unregenerate, and delight in sin, to ver. 9. which hee applyes to the Romans, to ver. 12. and thus applyed, hee shews the use of it, to ver. 17. The second part contains the Consolations of the Iustified in respect to the calamities of this life, to which the godly are lyable, to ver. 31. The third part contains the triumph of those that are justified, over all their enemies, to the end.

Vers. 1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Iesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.

From what hath been spoken, hee infers consolation to those that are justified, against the fear of condemnati­on; which the conscience of sin dwelling in us, may ea­sily affright us with. There is no condemnation (saith hee) to those which by true Faith are ingrafted into Christ: And because many profess the Faith they have not, hee describes true Believers and justified persons from this property, that they do not indulge themselves in sin, neither do they willingly follow the guidance of the flesh and corrupt nature, but walk after the Com­mands of God, and the motions of the Holy Ghost, in­wardly perswading them, to direct the course of their life according to the Rule of the Word of God.

Vers. 2. For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Iesus, hath made mee free from the Law of Sin and Death.

That this consolation belongs to them that are truly justified, and endeavour after holiness, hee proves by three Arguments.

Argum. 1. The Law of Faith, of Life, and the Spi­rit in Christ, or the Covenant of Grace, hath freed eve­ry Believer, and mee in particular, from the law of sin and death, or the Covenant of Works. Therefore to them that are justified, truly united unto Christ, there is no condemnation. For by the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, hee understands the Law of Faith, or the Covenant of Grace, because by Faith, or the Covenant of Grace, the Spirit is received, and communion with the Life of Christ. And by the Law of Sin and Death, hee understands the Law of Works, as Rom. 3.27. or the Covenant of Works, by which Law or Covenant convi­ction of sin is made, and condemnation unto death of them that are guilty.

Vers. 3. For what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh;

Argum. 2. Seeing the Law was found weak, to pro­cure for us Justification, by reason of the infirmity of the flesh, or humane nature, now corrupted; not able to yeeld perfect obedience to the Law. God sending his Son in the flesh, of the same nature with us, and in all things like unto us (sin excepted) in the flesh of his Son cruci­fied, condemned our sin, that satisfaction being made for us, it might bee abolished in us. Therefore sin in us that are justified, who are in Christ, cannot bee the cause of condemnation, and thus there is no condemnation to us.

Vers. 4. That the righteousness of the Law might bee fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but af­ter the spirit.

Argum. 3. To this very end sin is condemned, in Christ that is condemned and dead for us, that wee being once dead and condemned in him, it might appear that the Law is satisfied; in us, I say, who follow not the lusts of the flesh, but the guidance of the Holy Ghost: Therefore now no condemnation remains us.

Vers. 5. For they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh: but they that are after the spirit, the things of the spirit.

Hee gives four reasons why hee makes this consolation peculiar to them that follow after holiness, secluding all that are unregenerate, and continue in sin. The first rea­son, They that are carnal and unregenerate, savour and affect only those things that are carnal and wicked; but those that are regenerate, savour and affect spiritual things▪ Therefore its no wonder, that only they that follow after holiness, are admitted to the consolation of an immunity from condemnation; and they which are carnal are ex­cluded.

Vers. 6. For to bee carnally minded, is death: but to bee spiritually minded, is life and peace.

Reason 2. The wisdome of carnal men, which is the Governour of their counsels and actions, and is carried on­ly to those things, which please the flesh, whether in re­spect to God, or eternal life, and so it inclines to death. But the wisdome of the spirit, or an habit directing the actions of regenerate men, is carried to those things which belong to spiritual life and peace: Therefore its no wonder, if only they that are regenerate, and spiritual, are exempted from condemnation, but not they that are car­nal.

Vers. 7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, nei­ther indeed can bee.

Reason 3. Confirming the former; the wisdome of the flesh it self, the principal virtue of politick wits, is enmity against God, for it only seeks and cares for its own, reject­ing God; neither is it subject to the Law of God, or can bee subject: for it cannot but subject to its own carnal ends, the Soul, Heaven, God, and all things; and pur­sue after these so far as it thinks them conducible to car­nal ends: Therefore its no wonder that carnal men are not freed from condemnation.

Vers. 8. So then, they that are in the flesh, cannot please God.

Reason 4. Whoever are unregenerate, in the state of corrupt nature, or the flesh, cannot please God, because they cannot but follow after those things which please them: Therefore no wonder they are not freed from con­demnation.

Vers. 9. But yee are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so bee that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if a­ny man have not the Spirit of Christ, hee is none of his.

Applying the character of justified persons out of the judgement of charity to the Romans, hee also applies to the same Romans, to whom hee writes, the consolation which arises from freedome from condemnation: hee prudently in the mean time bespeaks them, that they would not indulge hypocrisie in any; and hee gives four Reasons of this application.

The first Reason; You are not subject to the dom [...]nion of the flesh, you are not unregenerate, but in a spiritual condition, following the guidance of the Spirit: There­fore there is no condemnation to you, or, which is the same, to you belongs the foresaid consolation.

Reas. 2. Confirming the former, the Spirit of God dwelling in you, framing your hearts and lives unto ho­liness; for unless I should thus judge of you, I should [Page 20] think you did not belong unto Christ; for hee that hath not the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, is not yet a living member of Christ: Therefore there is no condemnation unto you.

Vers. 10. And if Christ bee in you, the body is dead, because of sin; but the Spirit is Life, because of righteousness.

Reas. 3. Seeing that Christ is in you, though your bodie indeed, in respect to the remnants of sin, not to bee abolished, but by death, is destined to death, and shall certainly dye; Yet the Spirit of Regeneration, which is given to you, is eternal life it self in you, or be­gun in your souls, because of the Righteousness of Christ imputed unto you: Therefore there is no condemnation unto you.

Vers. 11. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; hee that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Reas. 4. The Spirit of Christ dwelling in you, will never forsake his habitation, but will render you to him­self a glorious and immortal receptacle; To which end, God will no less certainly and powerfully raise even your mortal bodies, to life immortal, as hee hath raised the body of Christ from the dead: Therefore to you there is no condemnation.

Vers. 12. Therefore, Brethren, wee are debtors, not to the fl [...]sh, to live after the flesh.

The Consolation which hee had applied to the Ro­mans, from their immunity from condemnation, bee draws into use, exhorting them to the study of holiness, by which they should strengthen their consolation: The Arguments of his exhortation are six.

The first Argument; Wee are bound by all means to obey the Holy Ghost, continually minding us of our duty, both inwardly, and by the Word: But wee [...]re no deb­tors to the flesh, or to serve the lusts of our nature, because wee are nothing indebted to that, besides hatred, and all means of mortification: Therefore ought wee to follow after holiness.

Vers. 13. For if yee live after the flesh, yee shall dye, but if you through the Spirit do mortifie the deeds of the body, yee shall live.

Argum. 2. If you set up the lusts of the flesh, and cor­rupt Nature for a Rule, that you may order your lives according to that, yee shall eternally dye: Therefore as you would not perish, follow after holiness.

Argum. 3. If you obey the Holy Ghost, using onely those means prescribed by it, and make use of that power communicated by the Spirit to you that beleeve in Christ, for the mortifying the corrupt affections and deeds of your bodies, without doubt you shall obtain Eternal Life through the grace of God: Therefore ought you to follow after holiness.

Vers. 14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, are the Sons of God.

Argum. 4. Confirming the former: All that follow the command, and guidance of the Holy Spirit, testifie themselves to bee the Children of God, by virtue of the regenerating Spirit: Therefore that you may prove your selves the Sons of God, obeying the Spirit of God, follow after holiness.

Vers. 15. For yee have not received the spirit of bon­dage again to fear, but yee have received the spirit of adoption, whereby wee cry, Abba, Father.

Argum. 5. Further confirming that they are the Sons of God; Because after they fled to Christ, and embra­ced the Covenant of Grace, being set free by Faith from the servile fear of condemnation (which the Spirit strikes all those with, who seek Life from the Covenant of Works) and are indued with the Spirit of Adoption: from hence the Argument, After yee have imbraced the Covenant of Grace, by Faith in Christ, a servile fear of Condemnation, according to the tenor of the Gospel, is no more given unto you; but the Spirit of Adoption, that you may most familiarly call upon God the Father, with the people of God, every one in his own tongue: Therefore you are both the Sons of God, and also it becomes you to behave your selves as the Sons of God, in following after holiness.

Vers. 16. The Spirit it self beareth witness with our spirit, that wee are the Children of God.

Argum. 6. The Spirit of God seals up in our hearts, and witnesses together with our spirits, or consciences, that wee are the Children of God: Wee are therefore bound, as it becomes the Sons of God, to follow after holiness.

The second Part.

Vers. 17. And if Children, then Heirs, Heirs of God, and Joynt-heirs with Christ; if so bee that wee suffer with him, that wee may bee also glorified together.

The second part of the Chapter, comprehends the con­solations of justified persons by Faith, against the sharp­ness of afflictions in this life.

Hee premises a Conclusion, drawn from what was said before, wherein hee proves that they who are justified by Faith, are not onely Heirs of God, and have right to all his good things, but also co-heirs with Christ, and brought by Adoption into communion with the onely begotten Son, and into the inheritance with him, being the Sons of God. This is the right of those that are justified, to the inheritance, which inheritance that they might bee brought into the possession of, hee subjoyns the condition of suffering with Christ. And this affords thirteen Ar­guments of consolation.

The first Argument of Comfort. Communion with Christ in the Kingdome of Heaven, and the possession of the glorious inheritance, will follow our communion with him in his sufferings: Therefore let us comfort our selves in our afflictions.

Vers. 18. For I reckon, that the sufferings of this pre­sent time, are not worthy to bee compared with the glory which shall bee revealed in us.

Argum. 2. This is no hard condition; because, casting up the account, I finde that whatever wee suffer in this life, for righteousness sake, is unworthy to bee compared with the glory that shall hereafter bee revealed, and at length bee bestowed upon us, whether wee respect the quality of the things, or the duration of time: There­fore let us comfort our selves in our tribulations.

Vers. 19. For the earnest expectation of the Creature waiteth for the manifestation of the Sons of God.

Argum. 3. Figurately propounded; the whole frame of the world, in its kind, suffering together with us, su­stains it self in the hope of the glory of God, to bee re­vealed in the day of judgement, and very earnestly, as it were with the head stretched out, expects that wished-for time: Therefore wee also, with this hope ought to support our selves.

Vers. 20. For the Creature was made subject to vani­ty, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath sub­jected the same in hope.

Hee explicates this Argument, shewing first that crea­ted things are subject to vanity, i. e. a corruptible condi­tion, and to the abuse of the vainest men, who abuse the Creature to all manner of sin, and prostitute it to their service, to the fulfilling of their vainest lusts. Secondly, That the Creature is not subject to this vanity willingly, or of its natural propensity, or its natural use, to which it was created of God, but for the will and pleasure, or the judgement of God, which hath subjected the Crea­ture to this curse, with sinful man (for whose sake the fabrick of the world was created;) whence,

Argum. 4. The Creatures are subject to vanity and misery, not for their own, but our fault, and they pa­tiently endure it: Therefore much more wee, who are subject to miseries by our own fault, ought patiently to suffer afflictions under the hope of freedome.

[Page 21] Vers. 21. Because the Creature it self also shall bee delivered from the bondage of corruption, unto the glorious liberty of the Sons of God.

Argum. 5. There is hope of the Creatures, that they may bee freed from that servitude into a state propor­tionable to the future glorious condition of the Sons of God: Therefore much more this freedome may bee ex­pected by the Sons of God.

Vers. 22. For wee know that the whole Creation groan­eth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Argum. 6. Wee know that the whole frame of the World, from the time that sin came into it, to this day, doth groan together, and travail together, that being freed from the burden of mans sin, it might bring forth into the eternal light of all the Sons of God, a perfect birth: Therefore unless wee would call this a vain instinct of nature, at the time appointed of God, a full freedome of the Sons of God is to bee expected.

Vers. 23. And not onely they, but our selves also which have the first fruit of the Spirit, even wee our selves groan within our selves, waiting for the adop­tion, to wit, the redemption of the body.

Argum. 7. Not onely created things, but wee our selves, who have received peace and joy, the first fruits of the Spirit, the pledges and beginnings of eternal life, do groan, expecting a full manifestation of our adoption, in the resurrection of our bodies (by the power of redemp­tion wrought by Christ) to bee freed from all evils: Therefore unless wee undervalue the first fruits of the harvest of eternal life, and the desires of the Spirit, wee ought to take consolation from the certainty of our free­dome.

Vers. 24. For wee are saved by hope; but hope that is seen, is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth hee yet hope for?

25. But if wee hope for that wee see not, then do wee with patience wait for it.

Argum. 8. From the nature of hope, which is said to save us, because it waits for the fulfilling of the promi­ses to salvation. Saving Hope is given to us, which is a certain and patient expectation, not of visible and present things, but of good things to come: Therefore unless wee renounce saving hope in our afflictions, wee shall not want comfort, expecting the freedome that is promised from all our troubles.

Vers. 26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infir­mities: for wee know not what wee should pray for as wee ought; but the Spirit it self maketh interces­sion for us, with groanings which cannot bee ut­tered.

Argum. 9. Wee are not alone in our afflictions, but wee have the assistance of the holy Spirit our Comfor­ter, who supports us labouring under infirmities, and in­structs us how to pray, exciting in us groans, which can­not bee uttered, being as an advocate for us with the Father: Therefore ought wee to take comfort in our af­flictions.

Vers. 27. And hee that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because hee maketh intercession for the Saints, according to the will of God.

Argum. 10. With the prevention of an objection. Some might say, wee do not discern the feeling of those confused and indistinct groanings: The answer affords an Argument of Consolation: God which searcheth the hearts, well knows the meaning of the Spirit stirring up those groanings in us, accepts of them as agreeable to his will: Because hee stirs up in the Saints desires according to the Will of God, and after his own manner inter­cedes: Therefore being certain that our prayers are heard, wee ought to take comfort in our afflictions.

Vers. 28. And wee know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Argum. 11. As all things, so afflictions work together for the good of them that are justified beleevers: There­fore they may take comfort in the greatest afflictions. Hee describes persons justified, or beleevers. First, That they love God, as those who by faith have imbraced the mercy and good will of God in Christ, and cannot but love him from their hearts. Secondly, That they are ef­fectually called, being by the Spirit in the Word moved, that they should obey the heavenly calling which invites sinners unto Christ. Thirdly, That they are called ac­cording to his purpose, as the Elect of God, out of his meer good will, before all time, without any respect to their merits, or worth, and upon that ground they are called, that they might bee led to eternal life, to which they were predestinated.

Vers. 29. For whom hee did fore-know, hee also did predestinate to bee conformed to the Image of his Son, that hee might bee the first-born amongst many Bre­thren.

Argum. 12. Confirming the former, by an indisso­luble chain; God hath joyned in his decree of Election and predestination, a conformity (of those that are justi­fied, and effectually called) to Christ in his likeness e­very way, viz. of his Cross, of his holiness and happi­ness, to this very end, that the glory of Christ might more appear, whilst hee the chieftain, as it becomes the first-born, is found amongst his Elect Brethren, as in an holy and patient enduring of afflictions, so in wear­ing the Crown of Glory after the afflictions are past: Therefore they that are justified, ought to take comfort in their afflictions, while they behold how they make for their own good, and the glory of Christ.

Vers. 30. Moreover, whom hee did predestinate, them hee also called; and whom hee called, them hee also justified▪ and whom hee justified, them hee also glo­rified.

Argum. 13. Effectual calling and justification, which in this life are granted to beleevers; the gifts of God (as the rings of an indissoluble chain) are so firmly joyned with Election and Predestination before all time, and with glorification after all time, so that hee which is cal­led effectually and justified, may bee certain of his Pre­destination to Eternal Life, and certain of his future glo­rification with God, for ever. For whom hee hath prae­destinated, them hee hath called, &c. Therefore they that are justified, have solid consolation, though af­flicted in this life.

The third Part.

Vers. 31. What shall wee then say to these things? if God bee for us, who can bee against us?

The third part of the Chapter, containeth a sixfold triumph of those that are justified by Faith in Christ, over the enemies of their salvation.

To this boasting in God, hee premiseth an interroga­tion, to shew the undoubted verity of the whole prece­ding doctrine, which no man could justly contradict▪ what shall wee therefore say to these things? In answer to this, the triumph of all that are justified by Faith in Christ follows, amongst which the Apostle reckons him­self, and in their names, as some leader, hee speaks in the singular number. The first triumph is, over all enemies together in one, by reason of the conjunction of those that are justified with God. If God bee for us, who shall bee against us? i. e. Seeing God is for us, about to fulfil in us his eternal purpose of sanctification, and glorifica­tion, who, or men or Devils, may rise up against us, to hinder our salvation?

Vers. 32. Hee that spared not his own Son, but delive­red him up for us all; how shall hee not with him also freely give us all things?

The second triumph, is concerning the want of some good necessary to salvation, leaning upon such great love of God towards us, that hee gave his Son to death for us; [Page 22] After this manner, God who spared not his own Son (than whom hee hath nothing dearer) but gave him up to death for the salvation of all the Elect, cannot but give us his Son, and with him all other gifts, necessary to sal­vation, and lastly salvation and glory it self; what there­fore can bee wanting to us to salvation?

Vers. 33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? it is God that justifieth:

The third triumph, is over every accuser, the Devil, the World, our own conscience, leaning upon the absol­ving sentence of God justifying us; Who shall lay any thing to the charge of those whom God hath elected? That is, none will do it, but in vain. It is God that justifies, i. e. from our sins, and from any action brought against us, hee absolves the Elect: Therefore in Christ wee triumph over all.

Vers. 34. Who is it that condemneth? it is Christ that died, yea rather that it is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for you.

The fourth triumph is, over every judge, or any one that shall assume that office, and shall undertake to con­demn those that are justified. Seeing God hath justified us, who shall dare to condemn us? Seeing Christ is dead for us, yea as a Conquerour is risen from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, and there in glory intercedes for us, no condemnation is to bee feared by us, unless wee should say, that the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, his sitting in glory, and intercession is in vain, which is blasphemous: Therefore wee triumph in Christ.

Vers. 35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

The fifth triumph is, over outward afflictions, whereof hee reckons up six kinds, wherein hee comprehends all ad­versities, with which Christians in any kind, by the un­thankful world, are used to bee persecuted for Righteous­ness sake: Denying concerning all, that any enemy, by these evils, can hinder the fullest effect, and sweetest sense of divine love towards us, but that wee should at length partake of it.

Vers. 36. (As it is written, for thy sake wee are kil­led all the day long, wee are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.)

Lest hee should seem to triumph over a feigned enemy, hee proves out of Psal. 44.22. That all the true servants of God, which then lived, were liable to all those mise­ries, that they may apply to themselves the words of the Psalm, saying, For thy sake, O God! are wee killed all the day long, and are handled as if wee were sheep for the slaughter.

Vers. 37. Nay, in all these things wee are more than Conquerours, through him that loved us.

Hee follows his triumphing, declaring the excellency of the victory, which Christians in his time had over these evils, by the power of Christ: for they returned al­waies from the battel more than Conquerours, neither wounded, nor wearied, suffering no loss, but more heal­thy and strong, more holy and increased in every grace, even then when they seemed to the world to bee most o­vercome, the glory of which triumph hee wholly ascribes to the love of Christ.

Vers. 38. For I am perswaded, that neither death, nor life, nor principalities, nor powers, nor Angels, nor things present, nor things to come,

39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other Creature shall bee able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The sixth and last act of triumph, is over unbeleef, and all doubtings, which might arise from any Creature, or, a­ny present or future cause. By Life and Death hee under­stands prosperity and adversity, by which wee might bee either allured or affrighted. By Angels hee understands good and evil spirits, if it was possible they should con­cur to the separating of us from Christ. By Principalities and Powers, hee means the power of Kings, Emperours, Governours, Tyrants in the whole world. By things pre­sent, and things to come, hee understands, all those oc­currences which had already fallen out, or might before death come upon us. By height and depth, hee means the creatures placed above or below us. By any other Crea­ture, any created thing, universally in the whole world, or any thing besides God that may seem terrible. Over all these, in a full confidence of Faith, hee triumphs, be­cause of the powerful, and efficacious, certain and immutable love of God, whereby hee is pleased to promote us to Eternal Life; from the embracing of whose love, and a saving sense thereof, nothing shall e­ver separate those that are justified by Faith in Christ. Whereof hee gives this reason, because the efficacy of Gods free love conveyed unto us, is founded in Christs infinite merit, and omnipotent power, whereby wee are kept through Faith unto salvation.

CHAP. IX.

THe sixth and last Confirmation remains, of free Ju­stification by faith in Christ, and not of works, from EXPERIENCE; Partly of the rejected Israelites, who seeking after Righteousness by Works, did not at­tain it, or were not justified at all; Partly of the be­leeving GENTILES, who being destitute of works, are justified by faith in Christ, without the works of the Law, whence it follows; that justification by Faith in Christ, without the works of the Law, onely is true and solid.

Because hee saw this Argument liable to several cavils, hee is careful every way to fortifie it, and opens it in the three next Chapters.

There are three parts of the Chapter. In the first, four Objections are preve [...]ed against the Doctrine of the A­postle, touching the rejection of the Jews: In the an­swering whereof, hee exactly handles the doctrine of Predestination, to vers. 24. In the second, hee proves out of the Scriptures, the rejection of the Jews, and the calling of the Elect, of the Jews and Gentiles, to vers. 30. In the third, to confirm the Doctrine of Justifica­tion by Faith without works, hee produces the EXPE­RIENCE of the Jews, who seeking for Righteousness by works, are not justified; and the EXPERIENCE of the beleeving Gentiles, who being destitute of the pretence of works, are justified by Faith in Christ.

Vers. 1. I say the truth in Christ, I lye not, my con­science also bearing mee witness in the Holy Ghost,

In the first part of the Chapter, hee prevents those Ob­jections, which might bee moved about the rejection of the Jews: The first Objection. Some might say, Paul, whatsoever thou shalt produce about the rejection of the Jews, seems to savour of that hatred wherewith thou ha­test them. This Objection hee prevents, and rowles away the suspition, with seven Reasons.

The first Reason, I clear my self by an oath, that I speak the truth sincerely, without hatred or prejudice, as it becomes a man which is in Christ, acted and inspired by the Holy Ghost, in what hee speaks; which two wit­nesses (of the truth I shall speak) I attest with my own conscience.

Vers. 2. That I have great heaviness, and continual sorrow in my heart.

Reas. 2. Because my conscience bears mee witness, and the Spirit of Christ, who searcheth the hearts, how sor­rowful I am, and how much I am troubled for the re­jection of my Nation.

Vers. 3. For I could wish that my self were accursed from Christ, for my Brethren, my Kinsmen according to the flesh.

[Page 23] Reason 3. Because so great is my love towards the Iews, that if it might bee, I would redeem their ruine, with the loss of my own salvation; and truly, I could wish to bee as an accursed thing, (separated from Christ) out of an eager desire of their salvation, and the glory of God, if by any means the Jews might bee saved, who are now separated from Christ. With so great zeal was hee carried out to the glory of God, and the salvation of so many thousand souls, that hee did not think his own salvation to bee compared with the salvation of so many Myriads.

Kinsmen] Reason 4. Because I am bound to love them as my Kinsmen, and Brethren according to the flesh, which I do from my soul.

Vers. 4. Who are Israelites, to whom pertaineth the a­doption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the gi­ving of the Law, and the service of God, and the pro­mises.

Reason 5. Because I am bound to honour the people of the Iews, because of the priviledges wherewith God hath dignified them: Seven hee reckons up; whereof the first is, That the Israelites are pa [...]takers of the honor, which the Name of Israel (divinely imposed upon the Patri­arch Iacob) brought with it. Secondly, the Adoption in­to the people of God, before other Nations. Thirdly, the presence of the glory of God in the Ark, and other representations. Fourthly, that God had entred into Cove­nant with them. Fiftly, that the Law was especially gi­ven to them. Sixthly, that the Worship of God was set up amongst them. Seventhly, that to them in special the Promises were made.

Vers. 5. Whose are the Fathers, and of whom, as con­cerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Reason. 6. Because of their Progenitors, Abraham, I­saac, and Iacob, I think it fitting to magnifie them.

Reason. 7. Because of this people, Christ was born, ac­cording to the flesh, who in the unity of his person, is true man, and true God, blessed for evermore, and eter­nally to bee celebrated, to whom wee all say, Amen. Which Lord whoever honors, cannot maliciously detract from that people, whereof according to the flesh, hee came. Therefore there is no reason that any man should suspect mee in those things which I speak of the rejection of my Nation, or shall say.

Vers. 6. Not as though the Word of God hath taken none effect, for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.

The second objection; Some might say, But if the Iewes bee accursed from Christ, as thou teachest, the Word of God is of no effect, and the promise of Grace made to the Israelites is void, when God said to Abraham, I will bee thy God, and the God of thy Seed.

Hee answers, Although the Nation of the Jewes, for the most part is rejected, yet it cannot bee that the Word of God should fail, or the promise should bee void. The reasons of this answer are six.

The first reason, Not all that were born of Israel the Patriarch, according to the flesh, are true and elect Isra­elites, or the elect people Israel, to whom the promise of Communion with God is made: Therefore although ma­ny born of the Patriarch Israel, are rejected, it follows not, that the Word of God, or the Promise of God should fail, because it is fulfilled in the Elect.

Vers. 7. Neither because they are of the Seed of Abra­ham, are they all children, but in Isaac shall thy Seed bee called.

Reason 2. Neither doeth it follow, because the Jews are the Seed of Abraham according to the flesh, therefore they are all children, or in a Scripture sense, that promi­sed Seed: For so the Ishmaelites should bee reckoned the Seed of Abraham, contrary to the Scripture which re­strains the right of sons to Isaac and his family, saying, In Isaac shall thy Seed bee called: Therefore although the Jews for the most part are rejected, it does not follow that the Promise should fail.

Vers. 8. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God, but the chil­dren of the Promise are counted for the Seed.

Reason 3. The children of the flesh are to bee distin­guished from the elect children of God: For this God in­tended, when Ishmael was secluded, hee called Isaac the Seed of Abraham, to wit, the children of the flesh of A­braham, not that they were all the elect children of God▪ but only the children of the Promise (or those whom God out of his grace, did appoint to make children of the Faith of Abraham with Isaac,) were the children of God, and the Seed to whom the promise was made: Therefore although▪ the Jews are rejected, which are now alive for the most [...], it does not follow that the pro­mise is of no effect.

Vers. 9. For [...] the word of promise, At this time will I [...] Sarah shall have a son.

Reason 4. Confirming the former, The word of pro­mise, (which is this, At the very same time will I come, and Sarah shall have a Son) The word of promise, I say, (shewing that Isaac, not by any priviledge after the flesh, but born by virtue of the Divine Promise) proves that the Blessing was given not to the Seed after the flesh, but to the elect Seed, raised up by grace: Therefore, although the Jews are rejected for the most part, it follows not that the promise is null, because there remain Elect, which are heirs of the Promise.

Vers. 10. And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our Father Isaac,

Reason 5. After this manner; not only the former examples shew that all the children are not the true Seed, to whom the promise is made, but also more clearly, the example of Rebecca, who conceived Twins of the same Isaac our Father, viz. Esau and Iacob, whereof one only was truly a son, to whom the Promise of the Blessing was made: Therefore it follows, that some Seed of Abra­ham may bee rejected, and yet the Promise not bee void, but abide firm, and bee fulfilled in the Elect Seed.

Vers. 11. (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to Election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth)

12. It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

Hee unfolds this difference of the Seed, or of the chu­sing some, and rejecting others, from their causes, to wit, that it depends not upon works good or bad in the crea­ture, but upon the meer good pleasure of God calling. For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to E­lection might stand, not of works, [or mans merits] but of him that calleth, or solely upon the Will of God that calls; It was answered to Rebecca, concerning her Twins, upon all accounts now equal, that it should bee, that the Blessing under the type of the Birth-right, or Dominion, should accrew to the younger, but the Curse; under the type of Servitude, to the elder. Hence,

Reason. 6. The purpose wherein God hath determined concerning every man, according to the Decree of Electi­on, abides firm, not depending upon any of mans works, but upon the meer and most free pleasure of God, calling whom hee will, as from the answer given to Rebecca, it appears, touching the twins not yet born: Therefore these, or those Jews being cast off, the Promise of God might abide firm to the rest.

Vers. 13. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but E­sau have I hated.

Reason 7. Confirming and explaining the former; God loves some (of those which are every way alike) from e­ternity, and in time makes his love appear: and some hee hates▪ and in time shews that hee hates them; as in the example of Iacob and Esau it appears, Malac. 1.2. [Page 24] Therefore the Jews in part rejected, make not void the promise of God.

Vers. 14. What shall wee say then? is there unrighte­ousness with God? God forbid.

Hence ariseth a third Objection, If God chuse and love some, every waies alike and equal, and hates others pas­sing them by, what shall wee say? Is there not injustice (or unrighteousness) with God, who does not deal e­qually with those that are in the same condition? The Apostle answers with abhorrence, God forbid.

Vers. 15. For hee saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion, on whom I will have compassion.

Hee gives an account of his denial, first in Election, then in Reprobation: from which grounds being granted, hee draws conclusions: The reason why there is no un­righteousness in Election, is this: Because it is the most supream and free pleasure of God to exercise his mercy: hee hath free power to do what hee will with his own, as it appears out of the Word of the Lord to Moses, Exod. 33.19. Therefore there is no unrighteousness in God, seeing that in Election hee does with his mercy what hee will.

Vers. 16. So then, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

From hence hee draws a conclusion, to this sense, If the sole cause of shewing forth divine mercy and good­ness, bee the most free pleasure of God, then the cause thereof is not in mans will, or pleasure, nor actions or good works, but alone in God: It is not of him that willeth, saith hee; Therefore it is not from mans free will. It is not of him that runneth, saith hee; Therefore it is not from humane indeavours and actions, that any one is loved, chosen, or obtains mercy and the blessing; and by consequent it solely depends upon God that shews mercy.

Vers. 17. For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my Name might bee declared thoroughout all the earth.

In the second place hee gives an account of Reproba­tion, why there is no unrighteousness in that, from the mo [...] holy end of Reprobation: Because Reprobation tends to the illustrating the glory of God, as it appears out of the Scriptures speaking of Pharaoh, whom God raised up for this very end, that his Name might bee glorified in him: Therefore there is no unrighteousness with God reprobating whom hee will.

Vers. 18. Therefore hath hee mercy, on whom hee will have mercy, and whom hee will, hee hardeneth.

Hence hee draws a Conclusion common both to Ele­ction and Reprobation: That the cause of Reproba­tion and Election is to bee sought onely in the most free and holy Will of God, who most freely, and without unrighteousness, hath mercy on whom hee will, and most freely without unrighteousness, after most holy wayes hardens whom hee will.

Vers. 19. Thou wilt say then unto mee, Why doth hee yet finde fault? for who hath resisted his will?

The fourth Objection, arising out of what went before, If God hardens whom hee will, then hee undeservedly reprehends those that are hardened in their sins; and by consequence, undeservedly punishes, because no man can resist his will.

Vers. 20. Nay but, O man! who art thou that thou repliest against God? shall the thing formed say to him that formed it; Why hast thou made mee thus?

The Apostle gives a fourfold answer to this Objection, Because in such disputations carnal and corrupt reason pleaseth it self. The first Answer is to the person of the Objector; Nay but, O man! who art thou that replyest against God? In which words hee shews two things; First, That this Objection is made by a corrupt man, who by nature is a lyar, and from his own free will a sin­ner, whose conscience might stop his mouth, from speaking against God; Who art thou, O man!

The second is, That hee against whom the Objection is made, is God, whose waies to us are past finding out, yet alwaies holy, even then when the reasons of his Counsel least of all appear to us, who are of a short understanding: Who art thou that repliest against God?

The second Answer is from the absolute authority of God over his Creatures, in the words of Isaiah 45.9.110 unto him that striveth with his Maker, let the potsheard strive with the potsheards of the earth, shall the Clay say to him that [...]ashioneth it, what makest thou? By which answer the Apostle shews this objection to bee contrary both to Scripture, and sound reason (because it intrencheth upon the absolute and unlimited right that God hath over the Creatures) and therefore the curse and woe is pronounced upon all that after this manner dispute against God, Vers. 21. Hath not the Potter power over the Clay, of the same lump to make one Vessel to honour, and a­nother unto dishonour?’

The third Answer is propounded by way of compa­rison of the power of God over men, with the power of men over other creatures, after this manner. As much power as man hath over any creature of God, so much hath God over man, whom hee hath created: But man hath power of the same mass of Clay, to make one Vessel to honour, another to dishonour, according as hee please: Therefore God may, of the mass of man-kind, fashion some to honour, others to dishonour, as hee please; and by consequence, unrighteousness is not to bee objected against God, in the matter of Election and Reprobation.

Vers. 22. What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the Vessels of wrath fitted to destru­ction:

The fourth Answer, not onely freeing God from all unrighteousness in this his free choice of some, and the reprobation of the rest, but also shewing the wisdome, and exact justice, in this whole business, that neither the Re­probate can complain of unrighteousness, nor the Elect glory in their merits. The force of the answer (by way of question) to touch the consciences of men the more sharply, is urged thus. What if God willing to shew his wrath, or his vindicative justice, and would make known his power, in the execution of his justice (which was most just) hee hath indured with much patience the vessels of wrath, by their own wickedness, fitted to destruction, be­fore he would give up their deserved condemnation to exe­cution? What is here I say, that common reason can re­ply against God? what is here, which any man may not commend in this Counsel of God? Thus the matter was in the casting off the Jews, whom God rejected not from the grace of the Gospel, until they had refused the grace of Christ, and abused much gentleness and leni­ty; which Righteousness, in the execution of the decree, frees God from all unrighteousness, in making the dif­ference; seeing that hee executes no otherwise than hee hath decreed.

Vers. 23. And that [...]ee might make known the riches of his glory on the Vessels of mercy, which hee had afore prepared unto glory?

A question yet depends, therefore wee must repeat, What if God, that hee might render the riches of his glo­rious grace more illustrious, towards the Vessels of mercy whom hee hath prepared unto glory, will have his wrath and power manifested in the just destruction of the vessels of wrath? what is there in this decree that any one can blame, in the execution whereof there is so much Righ­teousness, and wisdome, and goodness manifested?

The second Part.

Vers. 24. Even us whom hee hath called, not of the [Page 25] Jewes onely, but also of the Gentiles.

The second part of the Chapter, wherein that hee might satisfie all, concerning the calling of the Gentiles, and the casting off the Iews, and strengthen the Faith of the Romans, that they might not bee offended with doubtful thoughts of Reprobation.

First, hee applies the Doctrine of Election to the Chri­stian Jews and Gentiles, whose election and future glo­rification God had made manifest by their effectual call­ing to Faith in Christ.

Vers. 25. As hee saith also in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people: and her beloved, which was not beloved.

26. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, yee are not my people, there shall they bee called the children of the living God.

Secondly, hee proves the calling of the Gentiles to bee fore-told by the testimony of Hos. 2. ver. 23. after this manner; Those that were not my people, I will effectually call, or make them my people, and they that were not in­dued with the gifts of my grace and love, shall partake of the same, Chap. 1.10. to this purpose; The Gospel was preached in Greece, Italy, and other places among the Gentiles, (where they lived that were alienated from the Covenant of God) that they might bee effectually called the children of the living God, or the Elect should bee converted to the true Worship of God.

Vers. 27. Esaias also cryeth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel bee as the sand of the Sea, a remnant shall bee saved.

28. For hee will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness, because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

29. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sa­baoth had left us a seed, wee had been as Sodomah, and been made like unto Gomorrah.

Thirdly, hee proves the rejection of the Jews to bee fore-told, by the testimony of Isai. 10.22. crying out on this manner; Although the people of Israel, according to the flesh, after the promise of God, should bee so multi­plyed, that they might bee compared with the sand which is on the Sea shore, yet a remnant only, i. e. a very few▪ shall bee saved; but a multitude shall bee rejected, and perish, ver. 27. For God after much abuse of his lenity, will in short time end his controversie with that people, follow­ing the exactness of Justice: because God determined quickly to execute and compleat his severity in casting off that people. And Chap. 1. ver. 9. the same Isaias fore­told, Except the Lord of Hosts had left to the people of Israel a very small remnant, in which the promised bles­sings should bee fulfilled, wee should have been wholly consumed and destroyed, as Sodom and Gomorrah.

The third Part.

Vers. 30. What shall wee say then? that the Gentiles which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of Faith:

The third part of the Chapter, wherein the Apostle o­pens this, as his scope to what went before, that the expe­rience of Believers among the Gentiles, and of Justicia­ries among the Jews, might confirm his former Doctrine of Justification by Faith, and not of Works. The first part of the experience touching the Gentiles, is this, The Gentiles (saith hee) which did not follow after the righ­teousness of works, attained true righteousness, viz. that righteousness which is by Faith: Therefore that is the only ground of Justification, which is by Faith, and not of Works.

Vers. 31. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righ­teousness.

The other part of the experience, is of the unbelieving Jews; The Israelites (saith hee) followed after the law of righteousness, that they might bee justified according to that, but attained not that righteousness which is by works, because righteousness by the Law is impossible▪ Therefore Justification is not by Works, or according to the Law, but of Faith.

Vers. 32. Wherefore? because they sought it not by Faith, but as it were by the works of the Law; for they stumbled at that stumbling stone.

That hee might further make use of this experience, hee enquires after the cause, why the Jews that followed after the Law, did not attain to righteousness: By way of answer, hee assigns a threefold cause: The first is, because they did not seek after righteousness by Faith, which is the only ground of Justification.

Another cause, in as much as they sought after righte­ousness by works, which way is impossible, not only be­cause no man could perfectly observe the Law, but also because good works, which the followers after legal righteousness, without Faith perform, are not worthy the name of good works, they have only the shew of good works, and they that affect Justification thereby, fondly desire to bee justified, as it were by works, or a shew of good works. The third cause, because they knew not Christ, by reason of his humility, and the infirmity of his flesh, in whom they should believe, that they might bee justified, but despised him, and to their own destruction set themselves against him, stumbling at him, as at a stumbling stone.

Vers. 33. As it is written; Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone, and rock of offence; and whosoe­ver believeth on him shall not bee ashamed.

Both parts of this experience hee confirms from the Prophets prediction, Isai. 8.14. and 28.16. after this manner: Behold I will lay (saith God) Christ in the Church, whose beginning is out of Zion, a tryed stone, a rock of offence (as the incredulous Jews have experien­ced) and whoever believeth in him, in the expectation of him, that is, in his righteousness and life eternal, hee shall not bee frustrated, as the believing Jews have found by experience: And thus the Apostle hath firmly proved that wee are justified by Faith.

CHAP. X.

HEE further prosecutes the argument of the Jewes temporal rejection; shewing this to bee the cause, in that the Jews foolishly and stubbornly rejected the righteousness of God in Christ.

There are two parts of the Chapter. In the first hee shews the folly of the Jews, to ver. 14. In the other, their stubbornness, to the end of the Chapter.

Vers. 1. Brethren, my hearts desire, and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might bee saved.

The Apostle being about to shew the just causes of the Jews rejection, hee prefaces, as before, from his good affection, lest any thing should bee thought to bee spoken by him, out of hatred.

Vers. 2. For I hear them Record, that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

Hee shews their preposterous zeal for God to bee the cause of his affection, which zeal was worthy of humane commiseration, though it was not to bee commended, be­cause it did not arise out of knowledge, but ignorance, therefore it was blind zeal, the zeal of fools.

Vers. 3. For they, being ignorant of Gods righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.

Hee proves the folly of the Romans, by six Arguments.

The first Argument. Out of ignorance of the righte­ousness of God, imputed to us by Faith in Christ, they affected the inherent righteousness of their own works, and proudly rejected the righteousness of Christ offered [Page 26] to them: Therefore they betrayed their folly.

Vers. 4. For Christ is the end of the Law for righteous­ness to every one that believeth.

The second Argum. Christ is the end of the Law, for righteousness, to him that believes, i. e. the whole Law is therefore given, that men acknowledging their sins, manifested by the Law, might flee unto Christ, and might obtain righteousness by Faith: Therefore the Jews did foolishly, who making a shew of the Law, did not acknowledge Christ, which is the end of the Law.

Vers. 5. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the Law, that the man which doth those things shall live by them.

Argum. 3. The righteousness of the Law, or Works, as Moses testifies, confers life upon none, but those that perform all things that are commanded in the Law, which is impossible: Therefore the Jews foolishly affect­ed such a kind of righteousness.

Vers. 6. But the righteousness which is of Faith, speak­eth on this wise; Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven▪ that is, to bring Christ down from above.

7. Or who shall descend into the deep? that is, to bring Christ up again from the dead.

Argum. 4. The righteousness of Faith (as the same Moses witnesseth) forbids those that believe in God, from being troubled for those things, which are so diffi­cult, or impossible, as to ascend into heaven, or to de­scend into the deep: Because seeing Christ hath already overcome those difficulties, descending from heaven, and rising from the dead, to bee any further troubled, how to attain righteousness, life eternal, and freedome from death, is no less than to destroy the foundations of the Christian Religion, and to enquire how it was possi­ble to descend from heaven, or rise again from the dead: Therefore the Jews betray their folly, who renounce this righteousness of Faith.

Vers. 8. But what saith it? the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that is, the word of Faith which wee preach.

Argum. 5. The righteousness of Faith, as it gives se­curity to those that believe, touching the difficulties in the way of salvation, so also it holds forth an easie way to righteousness and salvation: For the Word of God, or the Word of the Gospel, the same which the Apostles preached, is neer us, that receiving it into our hearts, wee may acquiesce in it, and confess the truth of it with the mouth; As if hee should say to us, Bee not troubled, cast your care upon God, and believe him that speaks in the Gospel, and shew forth your Faith by your works: Therefore the Jews rejecting this easie way of righteous­ness propounded, are very foolish.

Vers. 9. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Iesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt bee saved.

Argum. 6. Opening and confirming the former; The sum of the Gospel is propounded under this most sweet condition, viz. If thou applyest with sincere affection to thy self the redemption procured by Christ, and mani­fested in his Resurrection by the power of God, and stu­diest to glorifie Christ with a sincere confession, with­out doubt thou shalt obtain salvation: Therefore the Jews refusing this condition of Justification and Salvati­on, betray their folly.

Vers. 10. For with the heart man believeth unto righ­teousness, and with the mouth confession is made un­to salvation.

This hee confirms with five reasons:

The first Reason is, From the connection of Faith in the heart, and confession in the mouth, according to the order appointed by God, which is, that by Faith from the heart in Christ Jesus, wee might obtain righteousness or Justification; and that, justified by Faith, wee might proceed to the possession of Salvation, glorifying Christ, by confession of the mouth, or outward works: There­fore they ought to bee joyned, Faith in Christ from the heart, and confession of Christ in the mouth: or inward Faith, and outward works, ought to bee joyned toge­ther.

Vers. 11. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him, shall not bee ashamed.

Reason 2. Confirming the connection of true Faith and Salvation, from the testimony of Isai. 28.16. which shews, that they shall not bee frustrated in their hope, or their expected salvation, whoever believe in Christ: Therefore the connection of Faith and Salvation is firm.

Vers. 12. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord over all, is rich unto all that call upon him.

Reason 3. Confirming the generality of the connecti­on, betwixt Faith and Salvation, there is no distinction of Jew or Gentile, nor exception made with God of any that believes: Therefore every one that hath Faith, without exception, shall bee saved, as well Jew as Greek.

The same] Reason 4. Confirming the universality of the connection, between Faith, and confession of the mouth, or sincere calling upon God and Salvation: The Lord Jesus Christ is the same, and alwayes like himself, and rich in his grace to all that call upon him: Therefore all that believe, and call upon Christ by Faith, or con­fessing him with their mouth, shall bee saved.

Vers. 13. For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord, shall bee saved.

Reason 5. Confirming the connection betwixt true confession of the mouth, or calling upon Christ through Faith, and Salvation, from the testimony of Ioel 2.32. who pronounceth, All that call upon the Name of the Lord, shall bee saved.

The second Part.

Vers. 14. How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a Preacher?

15. And how shall they preach, except they bee sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

The second part of the Chapter, wherein hee shews the stubbornness of the Jews, answering the objections which might have made for their excuse.

The first objection is from the conjunction of the means ordained to the righteousness of Faith, after this sense.

Seeing it is impossible for those that believe not to call upon the Lord Jesus, or for those that hear not the Word, to believe; or those that have not the Word preached to them, that they should hear, or the Word to bee preached to whom the Messengers are not sent, (which connection is gathered from the words of Isaiah, who joyns together the Gospel and the Preachers; the send­ing of Messengers, and the Hearers rejoycing; the feer, or the coming of the Preachers with gladness in those that received them.) It follows, that the Jews are to bee excused, at least from a stubborn rejecting of Gospel righteousness, because they heard not the Gospel.

Vers. 16. But they have not all obeyed the Gospel: For Esaias saith, Lord, Who hath believed our report?

The Apostle answers, That the Jews heard and did not believe, which hee proves from the Prophets complaint, bewailing, that few believed the word of the Prophets: Therefore the Jews are not to bee excused from stubborn­ness.

Vers. 17. So then Faith cometh by hearing, and [...]earing by the Word of God.

From the same testimony hee confirms the connection [Page 27] of Faith, hearing, and the Word of God, that hee might draw on the unbeleeving Jews, and provoke those that beleeved to use the means.

Vers. 18. But I say, have they not heard? yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

Hee repeats the Objection, and answers that the al­legation, to wit, that the Jews did not hear the Gospel, was false; because the sound of the Gospel went through­out the whole world, as the voice of the day and night, as it is said, Psal. 19.5. to which place the Apostle alludes.

Vers. 19. But I say, Did not Israel know? first Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousie by them that are no people, and by a foolish Nation I will anger you.

Another Objection, But perhaps the Israelites did not know, or understand the offer of the Gospel, but through ignorance refused the doctrine they understood not: Therefore they may bee excused in point of per­tinacy.

Hee refels this Objection, by a threefold testimony of Scripture; The first is out of Moses, Deut. 32.21. who foretells, that because of the Covenant of Grace rejected, or the conjugal Covenant violated, it should come to pass that the Jews should bee rejected from the Covenant, and that the Gentiles should bee taken in, in their stead: Therefore the Jews are guilty of stubborn refusing grace.

Vers. 20. But Isaiah is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought mee not, I was made ma­nifest to them that asked not after mee.

The second Testimony from Isaiah 65.1. who boldly, i. e. not fearing persecution from his people, foretells, that, for the Jews frowardness, and stubborn rejecting of grace, it should come to pass, that God casting off the Jews, would take the Gentiles that sought him not, into communion with him by faith.

Vers. 21. But to Israel hee saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands, unto a disobedient and gain-saying people.

The third Testimony, wherein out of Isa. 65.2. hee proves in express terms, that the Jews were condemned for their rebellion: Because God all the day long, or all the time of his forbearance, did offer himself to them as a Father, with his arms spread forth, but they refused him: Therefore the Jews are guilty of rejecting his grace, and for this cause are justly cast off by God.

CHAP. XI.

THe Apostle mitigates his speech of the Jews re­jection in this whole Chapter: And that the Gen­tiles might not wax proud against the Jews, as altoge­ther abjects and lost, hee proves by eighteen Arguments that the Jews are not to bee despised.

Vers. 1. I say then, hath God cast away his people? God forbid; for I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

Argum. 1. God hath not cast off all and every one of the Jews, Hee hath not cast off his Elect people: There­fore the Jews are not to bee despised, as if they were all cast-awayes. This Argument hee backs with three Reasons.

Reas. 1. I Paul come of that Nation, and yet not a cast-away: Therefore not all and every one of the Jews are cast off.

Vers. 2. God hath not cast away his people which hee foreknew.

Reas. 2. The Elect people whom hee fore-knew is not rejected because of the Election, and the unchangeable­ness of his love: Therefore all are not cast-off.

Vers. 2. — Wot yee not what the Scripture saith of E­lias? how bee maketh intercession to God against Is­rael, saying,

3. Lord, they have killed thy Prophets; and digged down thine Altars, and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

4. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved unto my self seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the Image of Baal.

5. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of Grace.

Reas. 3. As in the times of Elias, when the whole Nation seemed to him to bee lost and cast away, God reserved to himself seven thousand of his Elect: So in this temporal rejection of the Jews, God hath reser­ved some, according to the Election of Grace: There­fore all are not cast off.

Vers. 6. And if by Grace, then is it no more of Wo [...]ks; otherwise Grace is no more Grace. But if it bee of Works, then is it no more Grace, otherwise Work is no more Work.

From hence the Apostle inferres two Conclusions; the first answering the design of this Epistle, viz. That the Election, seeing it is of Grace, not of any Works fore­seen, because in the matter of Election, Grace and Works (as causes) mutually destroy each other: For if Grace bee the cause of Election, Works are not; And on the contrary: But Grace is the cause, as hath been said: Therefore Works fore-seen are not the cause.

Vers. 7. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which hee seeketh for, but the Election hath obtain­ed it, and the rest were blinded.

The second Conclusion, shewing what was said be­fore, Chap. 9. vers. 31. of the Israelites, who sought for Righteousness by the Law, and did not attain it, is to bee understood onely of the Reprobate: For the Elect Israelites obtained Righteousness, which they sought for by Grace, in the Messiah, but the rest, that is the Reprobate, were hardened.

Vers. 8. According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear unto this day.

That the Reprobate were hardened, hee proves by a twofold Testimony: The first is of Isaiah 29.16. and 6.9. where God is said in his Righteous judgement, to have smitten this perverse people with the punishment of blindness and stupidity, or, for the contempt of his Word, to have given up to a reprobate sense, that they might not discern the Grace of God offered in the Gospel; which judgement lay upon the multitude, till the time of the preaching of the Gospel.

Vers. 9. And David saith, Let their Table bee made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling-block, and a recompence unto them.

10. Let their eyes bee darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alwaies.

Another Testimony is from David, Psal. 69.23, 24. who (as a type of Christ) praies against his enemies, that all the benefits of God, and the Gospel also tende­red to them, might bee to them an occasion of ruine, that afterwards they might savour nothing but earthly things, who being so often warned of God, would not relish heavenly things, and that in just revenge of their unthankfulness.

Vers. 11. I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid. But rather through their fall, salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to pro­voke them to jealousie.

Hee repeats the first Argument, to prove that the Jews were not to bee despised, and hee adds a second: The Jews are not cast off, that all, and every one of them should perish, that are of this Nation; but that salvation through Christ refused by the Jews, might come to the Gentiles, that the Gentiles being converted unto God, might provoke the Jews to jealousie, and by consequence to Repentance: Therefore the Jews are not to bee de­spised.

The Jews are provoked to jealousie, when they see [Page 28] themselves shut out from God, and scattered, that they might not bee a Church: But the Gentiles in their room to bee taken of God into his bosome, wherein before the Church of the Jews had been cherished.

Vers. 12. Now if the fall of them bee the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the ri­ches of the Gentiles: how much more their ful­ness?

Argum. 3. As the ruine of the Jews turned to the good of the Gentiles, so also, and much more, the restitution of the Jews, shall prove an advantage to the world, and the Gentiles: Therefore, so far should it bee from us to despise the Jews, as wholly cast away, that on the other side, their Conversion is to bee wished and hoped for.

Vers. 13. For I speak to you Gentiles, in as much as I am the Apostle of the Gentiles, I magnifie mine office:

14. If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

Argum. 4. I my self am an Apostle of the Gentiles, so much the more earnestly do I bestow my Ministery in converting as many as I can, and magnifie my office, to this end, that I might provoke the Jews, my Kinsmen, not to suffer you only to enjoy the priviledge of the Sons of God, but that they would joyn themselves unto you, and so might bee saved: Therefore it is your duty not to despise them, as altogether cast off, but to labour with mee that they may bee saved.

Vers. 15. For if the casting away of them bee the re­conciling of the world: what shall the receiving of them bee, but life from the dead?

Argum. 5. If the casting off the Jews, is through the goodness of God turned to an occasion of reconciling the Gentiles, from the conversion of the Jews, is not such a change for the better to bee expected amongst the Gen­tiles, as if it was a kind of Resurrection from the dead? Therefore the Jews are not to bee despised, as altoge­ther cast off, but their conversion is to bee desired and hoped for: For when God shall again resume his an­tient people, what wonder if hee shall powre out upon all the Churches a greater plenty of his Spirit? What wonder if hee take away those destructive Heresies and Schismes, wherewith the Christian Churches amongst the Gentiles, was almost oppressed even to death, and unite them more firmly among themselves, and with the Church of the Jews? That this hereafter shall bee the happy condition of the Churches, about the time of the Jews conversion, the Apostle would not have us despair, who propounds to us, as it were, a Resurrection from the dead, to bee hoped for by us, in the change of the Chur­ches condition.

Vers. 16. For if the first fruit bee holy, the lump is al­so holy; and if the root bee holy, so are the branches.

Argum. 6. The Nation of the Jews, by virtue of the Covenant with their Fathers, is consecrated unto God, and is honored with the dignity of Federal Holiness, de­scending from their Fathers that were in Covenant: As the lump and harvest is sanctified in the first fruits, and the branches in the consecrating of the root: Therefore the Jews are not to bee contemned as wholly cast away.

Vers. 17. And if some of the branches bee broken off, and thou being a wild Olive-tree wert graffed in a­mongst them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the Olive-tree:

Some unbelieving Jews, as branches, are broken off from the Olive-tree, (from the Church of the holy Patriarchs) and thou a Gentile, being as a wild Olive, far from the Covenant of God, art implanted in their stead, and so made partaker of the priviledges of that Church, and holy Covenant, as of the fatness of the Olive-tree: Therefore thou oughtest not to despise the Jews.

Vers. 18. Boast not against the branches: But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Argum. 8. If thou shalt boast against the Jews, as more worthy than they, thou behavest thy self no less foo­lishly, than the branches born by the root, should boast a­gainst the root which bears them: Therefore thou ought­est not to despise the Jews.

Vers. 19. Thou wilt say then, the branches were broken off, that I might bee graffed in.

20. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by Faith: Bee not high-minded, but f [...]ar.

Argum. 9. In answering the objection it is propound­ed; Its true the Jews are rejected, that upon this occasi­on thou mightest succeed them in the Church, but seeing they for their unbelief are rejected, and thou standest by Faith, thou hast no reason to insult over and despise the Jews, but rather to fear and to take heed to thy self that thou sin not, and bee punished: Therefore oughtest thou not to contemn the Jews, as if altogether cast off.

Vers. 21. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest hee also spare not thee.

Argum. 10. Confirming the former; If God spared not the proud Jews, the natural branches of the holy Church, hee will not spare the Romans, or any insulting Gentiles, to wit, branches graffed in: Therefore thou being a Gentile, oughtest not to despise the Jews.

Vers. 22. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but towards thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; other­wise thou shalt bee cut off.

Argum. 11. Unless thou continue in the Faith and o­bedience unto Christ, considering the severity of God a­gainst the Jews, and his goodness towards thee, thou also shalt bee broken off, and cast away: Therefore unless thou wilt bee rejected, keep thy self in the fear of God, and despise not the Jews.

Vers. 23. And they also, if they bide not still in unbe­lief, shall bee graffed in: for God is able to graft them in again.

Argum. 12. Even as thou, unless thou continue in the Faith, shalt bee cut off: So the Jews, if they continue not in unbelief, they shall again bee graffed into the ho­ly Church of the Patriarchs; yea, verily, the restoring of the Jews, according to the omnipotent goodness of God, is not to bee despaired: Therefore the Jews are not to bee despised by thee.

Vers. 24. For if thou wert cut out of the Olive-tree, which is wild by nature, and were graffed contrary to nature in a good Olive-tree: how much more shall these which bee the natural branches, bee graffed into their own Olive-tree?

Argum. 13. If God implant the Gentiles, (as bran­ches out of the Covenant of Grace) into the Church of the Patriarchs, much more will hee restore the Jews, which are natural branches of that Church.

Vers. 25. For I would not brethren, that yee should bee ignorant of this mystery, (lest yee should bee wise in your own conceits) that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles bee come in.

26.— And so all Israel shall bee saved, as it is written,

Argum. 14. I open a mystery unto you, and out of special Revelation declare, that this hardning of the Jews, was not universal, nor of all, but in part, or of some only, and that but for a certain time, viz. till the fulness of the Gentiles was brought in: Therefore ought you not to lift up your selves, or contemn the Jews. By the fulness of the Gentiles, hee means, that great multitude of the Gentiles, such as was not before the conversion of the Jews; with the coming in of which multitude to the true Religion, Israel shall bee provoked to return unto the Lord Jesus Christ, or to true Faith in the Messias, from whom they had departed through unbe­lief; and so all Israel, i. e. the multitude of the Jews, the body of that dispersed people, shall bee converted.

Vers. 26.—There shall come out of Sion the Deli­verer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

[Page 29] 27. For this is my Covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Hee confirms this Prophesie out of that of Isai. 29.26. and 27.3. Where hee fore-tells that the Messias should come of the Jews Church, according to the flesh, the true REDEEMER, to redeem his Nation from the guilt and bondage of sin, pardoning their sins, and that hee should take them into the Covenant of Grace, to the full abolishing of sin, which when it should bee, the Apostle hath now declared.

Vers. 28. As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the Fathers sakes.

Argum. 15. Although the rejected Jews (so much as concerns the Gospel, refused by those reprobate Jews) are accounted of God, as enemies, for your advantage: yet in respect to the election of this people, that they might above all other Nations bee esteemed the people of God; and in respect to the Elect in this Nation, the Jews are loved, because of the Covenant betwixt God and their Fathers: Therefore for the very same reason ought they not to bee despised, but loved by you.

Vers. 29. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Argum. 16. Preventing an objection; Although this Nation by just desert, may seem to fall from all its privi­ledges, yet because of the gifts of special grace bestow­ed, (and in particular, their calling according to his purpose) whether upon any Nation above others, or up­on any man above others, are unchangeable, which God will never wholly cut off, or re-call, but will in the con­version of this people make it appear that they are firm: Therefore this Nation ought not to bee contemned by you, but to bee had in honor rather.

Vers. 30. For as yee in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their un­belief:

31. Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also might obtain mercy.

Argum. 17. It is every way to bee believed, that God will manifest as much grace to the Jews, by occasion of that mercy shewed to you Gentiles, as hee hath shew­ed to you Gentiles heretofore disobedient, by occasion of the stubbornness and unbelief of the Jews: Therefore the Jews are not to bee despised, as altogether cast off, but their conversion is rather to bee endeavoured.

Vers. 32. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that hee might have mercy on all.

Argum. 18. After this manner, The most wise Provi­dence of God hath so ordered the business of saving his own, that all being found in sin and rebellion, might have no matter of boasting, and whoever should obtain Salvation, might ascribe all to Divine bounty: There­fore the Jews are not to bee despised, as wholly cast off, but the work of Divine mercy towards this people, in the time appointed, is to bee expected.

Vers. 33. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdome and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements, and his waves past finding out?

The Apostle shews a two-fold use of this argument, as also of the fore-going Doctrine, especially concerning the election of some, and the reprobation of others.

The first is, that wee may admire and celebrate the depth of the riches of the ineffable Wisdome of God: Another is, That wee seek no further than is revealed, touching the Counsels of God, but even in things re­vealed, wee bee wise to sobriety, (because the Coun­sels of God exceed our capacity, and are indeed un­searchable) glorifying God in all.

Vers. 34. For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his Counsellour?

Three Reasons hee adds of both those deductions.

Reason 1. No creature hath pierced into the mind of God, none was ever of his Counsel: Therefore the Counsels of God are past finding out, wee ought not to search after them, but admire and magnifie the riches of his Wisdome.

Vers. 35. Or who hath first given to him, and it shall bee recompenced to him again?

Reason 2. God is in no mans debt, or can bee, no man merits at his hand, no man can come forth and say, that hee hath obliged God by any act of goodness in himself: Therefore they cannot boast, any of the Elect, as if God was bound to them by any Law, that hee should appoint them unto life: neither can any of the Reprobates com­plain, as though hee paid not what hee ought, seeing hee is a debter to no man.

Vers. 36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things, to whom bee glory for ever. Amen.

Reason 3. Confirming the former; All things are of God, as the first Author; All things are upheld by him, as the Preserver; All things tend to him, as the ultimate end: Therefore when it seems good to him to promote his own glory, in the rejection of the Jews, or calling of the Gentiles, in the Election of some, and Reprobation of others, all honor and glory ought to bee ascribed unto him by all men for ever. Amen.

CHAP. XII.

WEE have had the first part of the Epistle, of the way to Iustification, the latter follows, concerning the right ordering the life of those that are justified.

There are three parts of the Chapter. In the first hee ex­horts to Sanctity in general, to ver. 3.

In the second, hee instructs Ministers of the Church par­ticularly, concerning the right use of gifts, to ver. 9.

In the third, hee gives common precepts concerning Chri­stian virtues.

Vers. 1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mer­cies of God, that you present your bodies a living sa­crifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your rea­sonable service.

By an allusion made to the typical manner of sacrifi­cing, under the Levitical Law, hee most friendly exhorts them to shew forth the fruit of free Justification granted to them by Christ.

There are three branches of the Exhortation.

First, That wee would present our bodies to God, that is, offer and consecrate our selves wholly, not onely our souls, but bodies also to God as a Sacrifice of thankfulness. The reasons of the exhortation are five, which also con­tain the properties of this sacrifice.

The first reason is contained in a vehement entreaty; because the mercies of God before rehearsed, to wit, E­lection, of his Mercy; Redemption, of his Mercy; Call­ing, of his Mercy; and Justification, of his Grace and Mercy, require of you this gratitude and thankfulness.

Living] Reason 2. Because this is a living Sacrifice, wherein nothing is to bee slain but sin; and you your selves shall live consecrated unto God, and shall bee pre­served unto eternal life.

Holy] Reason 3. This Sacrifice is truly holy, in the daily offering up whereof, Holiness it self consists.

Acceptable] Reason 4. Because this Sacrifice will not bee rejected of God, as those many legal shadows offered up by hypocrites, but accepted of God.

Reasonable] Reason 5. Because the act whereby you offer up this Sacrifice to God, is your reasonable, or spi­ritual service, pre-figured by that typical worship, and so much above that, as spiritual things are above carnal, and the bodies of Saints to bee preferr'd before the carkasses of brute beasts.

Vers. 2. And bee not conformed to this world, but bee yee transformed by the renewing of your mind, that yee may prove what is that good, [Page 30] that acceptable and perfect Will of God.

The second branch of the Exhortation, That wee take heed in life and conversation, that wee do not make the pleasure and manners of worldly men our Rule, to which wee conform our selves: This exhortation contains a Rea­son in it self; because men of the world onely savour the honours, pleasures, and profits of this present world.

Bee yee transformed] The third branch of the Exhor­tation, That wee endeavour the transforming of our car­nal mind into that which is spiritual, by the daily re­newing of our understanding and will. Two Reasons hee gives of this Exhortation.

Discern yee] Reason 1. Because the Law of God, or his Will revealed in the Word, is the Rule to which wee ought to conform. 1. Good, teaching and leading us to those things which are good, and making us good. 2. It is acceptable to God, who accepts no obedience, but what is prescribed in the Word. 3. It is perfect, comprehending all things, which appertain to the worship of God, and our salvation: Therefore indeavour after renewing your minds.

Discern yee] Reason 2. Because without a renewed mind, and spiritual, wee cannot discern the proper sense of the divine Will revealed in the Word, and knowing it, wee cannot approve, and approving it, wee can have no experimental knowledge, how good, acceptable to God, and perfect it is in it srlf: Therefore ought wee to endea­vour after renovation of mind.

The second Part.

Vers. 3. For I say, through the Grace given unto mee, to every man that is among you, not to think of him­self more highly than hee ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of Grace.

The second part of the Chapter follows; wherein ac­cording to his Apostolical authority (which hee calls Grace, because granted to him out of ineffable Grace) hee charges every one that was among them, in any publick office, or any excellency of gift, that hee would not think of himself above his fellows, or above the value of his talent, or the measure of his knowledge, but that hee would carry himself soberly, and moderately in all things, towards all. The Reasons of this Exhortation are five.

Reas. 1. God hath distributed to every one not a ful­ness, but a measure of Faith: Therefore it is fitting that every one should modestly contain himself within that measure.

Vers. 4. For as wee have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

Reas. 2. As in the natural body, divers members are deputed to divers operations; So in the Ecclesiastical bo­dy of Beleevers, or the society of the Officers of the Church, divers functions are designed to divers imploy­ments: Therefore it is fitting, that each contain himself modestly in his office.

Vers. 5. So wee being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Reas. 3. Included in the same similitude, as in the natural body, many members constitute one body, so in the Ecclesiastical body, all the faithful, in particular all Church-Officers, are one body in Christ: Therefore all ought to concurre modestly, every one for his part, to maintain the unity of the body.

In particular] Reason 4. As in the natural body, so in the Ecclesiastical body, each of the members, are not onely of the whole body, but of one another; or every member is intended to promote the benefit of another: Therefore all ought to serve each other, mutually promo­ting the benefit of each other, and not proudly and im­prudently hinder one another.

Vers. 6. Having then gifts, differing according to the Grace that is given to us, whether prophesy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith:

Reas. 5. Those divers gifts which wee have, are com­muncated through the Grace and good pleasure of God, who hath bestowed them: Therefore let us not grow proud, but modestly demean our selves.

Whether Prophesie] Hee descends to particular ordina­ry publick gifts, and to each hee prescribes their opera­tions and bounds: Hee makes two kinds of functions. The first is Prophesie; The second of a Deacon; Prophe­sie comprehends the handling of the Word; Hee saith, having Prophesie, let us prophesie, according to the propor­tion of Faith, i. e. Let us onely teach that which God hath propounded to be beleeved in the Scripture, and that which wee solidly know or beleeve to bee the sense of Scripture.

Vers. 7. Or Ministery, let us wait on our Ministring; or hee that teacheth, on teaching:

The second kind of Ecclesiastical functions, is that of Deacon, which contains all the gifts subservient to the Mi­nistry of the Word, as afterward hee declares. Concern­ing which hee prescribes, that hee which is imployed in that office, would contain himself in it, and would not aspire higher, unless orderly called.

Hee that teacheth] Hee subdivides Prophesie into the office of Teachers and Pastors: By Teachers hee under­stands those, who teach by office, and labour in informing of our minds in the knowledge of the Truth, and these hee commands that they diligently use their ability in teach­ing, and wholly give themselves to it.

Vers. 8. Or hee that exhorteth, on Exhortation: hee that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; hee that ruleth, with diligence; hee that sheweth mercy, with chearfulness.

By Pastors hee understands, those who exhort, and la­bour in moving the affections, and have ability, not onely for interpreting the sense of the Scripture, but pru­dently to apply the Word for the present benefit of hearers, with stirring up the affections. These hee commands to attend to Exhortation.

Hee that distributes] Hee reckons up three kinds as it were of Deacons, subservient to the Ministery of the Word. The first is of those that distribute, i. e. by way of Office they are set over the treasurie of the Church; the goods of the Church, and the collections of the Saints they dispence to the publick uses of the Church; hee commands these, that they distribute with simplicity, that is with good fidelity, without acception of persons, and respect to private advantage.

Hee that Rules] The second kind, is of those which are otherwise called, 1 Cor. 12.28. Ruling Presbyters, and by office were set to over-see the manners of the people, that scandals might bee avoided, and removed from the Church; These hee commands, that they diligently and carefully attend to their duty.

Hee that shews mercy] The third kind of Deacons, is of those who by office were to shew pitty, and were set to over-see the poor, the sick, those that were banished, and others that were afflicted in the Church: These hee commands, that they attend to their duty with chear­fulness; lest with their frowardness they more afflict those, whom a disease, or poverty, or banishment hath already afflicted. In all these Precepts hee distinguishes betwixt themselves divers functions by divers gifts, and divers subjects, setting several kinds of Officers over divers im­ployments; using the like way of commanding in all of them.

The third Part.

Vers. 9. Let love bee without dissimulation: abhorre that which is evil, cleave to that which is good.

The third part of the Chapter, wherein hee changes the form of command, and delivers Precepts touching Christian virtues, in number about sixteen.

Love] The first Precept, That the signs whereby wee [Page 31] express our love, should come from a sincere heart, with­out dissimulation.

Abhorring] Precept 2. That wee so abhorre evil or sin, that wee suffer not our selves to bee drawn into fel­lowship with it. And that wee so embrace goodness, or virtue, that wee suffer not our selves to bee drawn a­way from it.

Vers. 10. Bee kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another.

Precept 3. That the love of Christians among them­selves, which is founded by the bond of Grace, should bee as the love of Brethren, which is founded by the bond of nature, viz. constant and earnest.

In honour] Precept 4. That in the testifying our opi­nion by outward signs, concerning the virtue or worth of any one, wee do not expect what is due to our selves, but that wee go before others, giving them the honour which belongs to them.

Vers. 11. Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit, serving the Lord:

Precept 5. Concerning diligence in the duties, which by our Calling are due to God, and our neighbour, That wee bee not slothful, dull, and cold, as if wee had no mind to the doing of the things, but that wee undergo those offices with fervency of spirit, and intenseness of zeal, taking the occasion of doing well in the just opportu­nity; consecrating this ferventness of spirit to God, not to our own private affections.

Vers. 12. Rejoycing in Hope; patient in Tribulation, continuing instant in Prayer:

Precept 6. Concerning remedies to bee used in our afflictions. 1. That wee glory in the hope of deliverance. 2. If evils increase, that wee behave our selves patiently. 3. If help seem to bee delayed, that wee continue in prayers, and give not way to evil.

Vers. 13. Distributing to the necessity of Saints, given to hospitality.

Precept 7. That wee communicate of our goods to the necessities and want of the Saints, especially of those that live amongst us: and that wee (by our hospitality freely tendered to them) succour strangers, and those that are banished, which come unto us.

Vers. 14. Bless them which persecute you, bless, and curse not.

Precept 8. That wee do not recompence slanders and reproaches (the ordinary persecution of the world) with revilings again, but that wee dissolve them by patience, and blessing. And because this is very contrary to flesh, hee twice commands it, and the third time forbids the contrary.

Vers. 15. Rejoyce with them that do rejoyce, and weep with them that do weep.

Precept 9. Hee commends to us a brotherly sympathy or fellow-feeling, as well in the adversities, as prosperi­tie of our neighbour, as it becomes the members of the same body.

Vers. 16. Bee of the same mind one towards another. Minde not high things, but condescend to men of low estate▪ Bee not wise in your own conceits.

Precept 10. That wee promote mutual concord, and bear ordinary infirmities in those that differ from us, and that wee do not proudly lift up our selves against, or above others, but that wee condescend to men of low de­gree, so farre as the truth shall give way, alwaies be­waring that wee bee not puffed up with an opinion of our own wisdome.

Vers. 17. Recompence to no man evil for evil, provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Precept 11. That wee do not recompence injuries with injuries, and because the flesh is ready to make excep­tions, hee saith, Requite no man evil for evil.

Providing] Precept 12. That following after hone­sty, and innocency of life, wee cut off all occasion, as well from our-selves of doing evil, as from our adver­saries of [...]urting us, or reviling us.

Vers. 18. If it bee possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Precept 13. That wee follow peace with all men, Whereunto is added a limitation, if it bee possible, and as much as lies in us, that wee use all means of peace, and if any thing falls out to the contrary, let it be by ano­thers fault, not by ours.

Vers. 19. Dearly beloved, avenge not your selves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Ven­geance is mine, and I will repay, saith the Lord.

Precept 14. Forbidding in particular, more than be­fore, requiring like for like, because wee are more prone to revenge. Therefore hee friendly forbids private re­venge, and commands that wee let our anger, and the anger of our adversary to cool, exciting neither by words or deeds, adding a grave Argument, because it belongs to God, either immediately by himself, or else by the Ma­gistrate, to revenge all injuries offered unto us. What is to bee done in case of unblameable defence, is to bee in­quired amongst common places.

Vers. 20. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him, if hee thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Precept 15. Of doing good to our enemies, when op­portunity and their necessity requires it: And this Reason is subjoyned, because by this wee heap coals up­on them, that they may either bee softened (as metal is melted in the fire) if there bee any ingenuity in them; or that their conviction and condemnation might bee made so much the more heavy, and that not by ours, but their own fault.

Vers. 21. Bee not overcome of evil, but overcome e­vil with good.

Precept 16. Tending to the same purpose, but more generally, That in contending with our enemies, wee judge rightly of the victory; which is, not that wee re­quite, or overcome evil with evil; for then wee are ra­ther overcome of evil, than overcome; but this is the only victory, that by doing well we overcome evil, and this is the victory which here hee exhorts us to seek after.

CHAP. XIII.

HEe proceeds to exhort them, that they bring forth fruits worthy of their profession, towards the Magi­strate, and men of all conditions. There are two parts of the Chapter. The first of Civil Subjection, to vers. 8. The other of Love; as it respects the second Table of the Law.

Vers. 1. Let every soul bee subject to the higher powers; for there is no power but of God, the powers that bee, are ordained of God.

The Exhortation is propounded in the first words: That every soul, or every man, bee subject, or subordi­nate to the higher Powers, i. e. To the Civil Magistrate: The Arguments of the Exhortation are ten.

For there is no] Argument 1. Because the Magistrate of what kind or order soever, is from Gods institution and ordination.

Vers. 2. Whosoever therefore resisteth the Power, re­sisteth the Ordinance of God; and they that resist, shall receive to themselves damnation.

The Ordinance] Argum. 2. Because hee that is not subject, but resists and opposes the Magistrate, sets him­self against the Ordinance of God.

Damnation] Argum. 3. Because hee that resists, brings upon himself revenge, and punishment, as well from God, as the Magistrate.

Vers. 3. For Rulers are not a terrour to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not bee afraid of the Power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same.

[Page 32] Argum. 4. Because the office of the Magistrate is or­dained of God, that it may restrain the evil, and punish evil deeds, but not what is good: Therefore wee ought to bee subject unto him.

Praise] Argum 5. Because the Magistrate confers re­wards and praise upon those that do well, and observe the Law.

Vers. 4. For hee is the Minister of God to thee for good: but if thou do that which is evil, bee afraid, for hee beareth not the Sword in vain: for hee is the Mini­ster of God, a Revenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil.

Argum. 6. Because the Magistrate is the Minister of God for our good; for by the Magistrate God enjoyns us things honest and profitable, and takes away those that are evil, which is very advantagious to us.

For hee bears not the sword] Argum. 7. Because hee is armed with the sword to punish them that are evil, by that authority which is divinely given him: Therefore it behoves them that are guilty of evil, even in danger of life, to fear, and to bee subject.

Vers. 5. Wherefore yee must needs bee subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Argum. 8. Because it is necessary to bee subject, not only for avoiding the anger of the Prince, and civil punishments, but also for the sake of a good conscience, in respect to the command of God, commanding subje­ction.

Vers. 6. For, for this cause pay you tribute also, for they are Gods Ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Argum. 9. Because wee owe tribute to Magistrates, as to the Ministers of God, who are imployed in the de­fence of the publique, and solely attend that: Therefore ought you to bee subject unto them.

Vers. 7. Render therefore to all their dues, tribute, to whom tribute is due; custome, to whom custome; fear, to whom fear; honour, to whom honour.

Argum. 10. Brought in by way of conclusion: Because as it is just to give every one his due, so also to the Ma­gistrate tribute, fear, honor is to bee paid: Even as all, or some of these belong to the Supreme or inferiour Ma­gistrate, and their Ministers.

The second Part.

Vers. 8. Owe no man any thing, but to love one ano­ther: for hee that loveth another, fulfilleth the Law.

The second part of the Chapter follows, wherein hee handles holiness of life and love, as in respect to duties of the Second Table. There are six Arguments of this exhortation.

Except this] Argum. 1. Because love is a perpetual debt: Therefore alwayes to bee paid.

Fulfilled] Argum. 2. Because love to our neighbour is the fulfilling of the Law: Therefore alwayes to bee endeavoured.

Vers. 9. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery; Thou shalt not kill; Thou shalt not steal; Thou shalt not bear false witness; Thou shalt not covet: And if there bee any other Commandment, it is briefly com­prehended in this saying; namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self.

Thou shalt not] Hee strengthens this argument with two reasons: The first is taken from an enumeration of the precepts of the Second Table, all which are referred to love.

Vers. 10. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour, there­fore Love is the fulfilling of the Law.

Reason 2. Because love does no evil to our neighbour, which wee are forbidden by the Law: Therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law, and wee ought to follow af­ter it.

Vers. 11. And that knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our sal­vation neerer than when wee believed.

Argum. 3. Wherein hee urges the fruits of Faith in the loving our selves and neighbours; because this fruit­fulness hath been long enough neglected, when wee were asleep by nature, and now 'tis time, that wee shew our selves raised out of this sleep of sin, and bring forth the fruits of Regeneration.

For now] Argum. 4. Because our salvation is neerer than when wee were first converted to the Faith. Wee must endeavour so much the more to bring forth the fruits of Faith, and hope of Salvation.

Vers. 12. The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the Armour of light.

Argum. 5. The night of ignorance and darkness is past, and for the greatest part gone, so much as belongs to the state of corrupt nature, i. e. the end of this corrupt world, and the abolishing of the corruption of our na­ture: Therefore let the works of darkness and ignorance pass away.

Let us put on.] Argum. 6. The day, or state of illumi­nation, and compleat regeneration in future glory ap­proaches, and in our now begun regeneration shines forth, as in the breaking of the day: Therefore let us put on armour, that wee may with-stand the Devil, Sin, and the World, alwayes doing that which is good.

Vers. 13. Let us walk honestly, as in the day, not in rio­ti [...]g and drunkenness, not in chambering and wan­tonness, not in strife and envying:

Hence hee draws a four-fold hortatory conclusion.

Let us walk] The first exhortation is, that wee walk orderly, as it becomes children of the light, regenerate through the grace of the Gospel.

Riotousness] The second exhortation is, that wee ab­stain from intemperance and all filthiness, particularly from riotousness, and drunkenness, and adulteries, and filthy lasciviousness, (wherewith prophane men are wont to pollute themselves in their chambers) and strife, and envy.

Vers. 14. But put yee on the Lord Iesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lust thereof.

The third exhortation is, That wee put on Christ, which hee saith, rather, than let us put on temperance, and other virtues, contrary to the fore-mentioned vices; for unless in the first place wee closely imbrace Christ, and his righ­teousness imputed to us by Faith, that wee fetch virtue from this Fountain to good works; our righteousness will not exceed the righteousness of Philosophers and Phari­sees. For even then when wee perform any thing holy, it is by virtue of the Spirit of Christ. Again, wee ought to put on Christ, that his righteousness may cover our nakedness, the imperfection and pollution of our works.

For the flesh] The fourth exhortation, That being contented with the necessary and lawful use of the crea­tures, to the health of the body, wee take no care to sa­tisfie the immoderate lusts of the flesh, or indulge our selves in carnal delights; for hee that takes too much care for his body, takes too little for his soul.

CHAP. XIV.

INstructions concerning the mutual duties, in the use of Christian liberty, of the Faithful, follow: Some of the faithful, as the converted Gentiles, were perswaded of their Christian liberty, or freedome from the yoke of Moses, and did not observe legal Holy-dayes, or choice of meats. Others there were, as some Jews, somewhat weaker in this Article, not sufficiently confirmed about their liberty, who abstained from meats forbidden by Moses, out of a reverence to the Divine Law: They observed Fasts, Holy-dayes, Sabbaths, Calends: A­mongst these, there arose a dissention, which hindred [Page 33] the work of the Gospel. To both joyntly the Apostle gives precepts, to ver. 13. To them that were strong in the Faith, or in the perswasion of their liberty by them­selves, in the remaining part of the Chapter.

Vers. 1. Him that is weak in the Faith, receive you, but not to doubtful disputations.

The Apostle counsels that they mutually adjoyn them­selves to those, with whom they were perswaded con­cerning the abrogation of the Ceremonial Law; as also with those that were weak in the Faith, or in this perswa­sion, and that they would forbear contentious disputes, concerning which hee exhorts both, beginning with those that were strong in the Faith.

Vers. 2. For one believeth hee may eat all things; ano­ther who is weak, eateth herbs.

Hee shews the occasion of the difference and dispute, in the instance of meats, whilest some eat any flesh with­out any fear of the ceremonial prohibition: Others not perswaded, abstain from those meats forbidden, content with herbs, or any other sort of meat.

Vers. 3. Let not him that eateth, despise him that eat­eth not: and let not him that eateth not, judge him that eateth, for God hath received him.

The Apostle forbids discords, betwixt these, and con­demning of each others in such a case; using nine Argu­ments.

For God] Argument 1. Because God hath taken both into the fellowship of the grace of his Son; therefore it is unworthy that in such a case one should despise or con­demn another. For it was unequal that they which were weak, should bee contemned by them that were stron­ger, as superstitious, and Novices: and in like manner, that they which were strong in the Faith, should bee condemned as prophane by them that were weak.

Verse 4. Who art thou that judgest another mans ser­vant? to his own Master hee standeth or falleth; yea, hee shall bee holden up; for God is able to make him stand.

Argum. 2. It is unequal to judge another mans ser­vant, without a Call from God, because it concerns his Master, not another, whether hee perish or bee saved: Therefore in this thing one ought not to condemn a­nother.

Hee shall bee holden up] Argum. 3. Because hee that is a servant of Christ, shall bee established by him, who both can and will keep him: Therefore this Judgement is contrary to the judgement of Christ, or, mutual con­demning of each other, is a sin.

Vers. 5. One man esteemeth one day above another: a­nother esteemeth every day alike. Let every man bee fully perswaded in his own mind.

Hee propounds another instance of the occasion of this contention, in observing the dayes prescribed by Moses, which days some (to wit certain converted Jews) af­firmed to bee observed before others: But others, (to wit, the Gentiles) out of conscience of their liberty purcha­sed by Christ, equally esteemed those dayes, with o­thers, not prescribed by the Ceremonial Law. Here the Apostle prohibits contention, and condemning of each other, propounding a rule of due carriage of them­selves in such a case, to wit, that every one of them should labour after solid grounds for the supporting their Faith, either for the doing or omitting those things, which were controverted touching the Ceremonial Law; and thus hee addeth a fourth Argument; That they would not condemn one another, because in the foresaid case, some might do it with a well-grounded perswasion, and ano­ther upon the like foundation might abstain: Therefore it was not fitting that they should condemn one another. For the Apostles in the Council at Hierusalem, freed the Gentiles from the Law of Moses, for the Ceremonial Law was never imposed upon them: But the Apostles taking away from the Jews the necessity of Ceremonies, for some time left them to a free use, till after a season, the Gospel shining forth more clearly, they might plain­ly see that their Synagogue was to bee buried; wherefore the Gentiles might with a full perswasion lay aside those ceremonies, and the Jews observe them; at least so long as the favour of God suffered the Temple at Hierusalem to stand, whereunto the chief ceremonies were tyed.

Vers. 6. Hee that regardeth a day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and hee that regardeth not the day, to the Lord hee doth not regard it; hee that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for hee giveth God thanks: and hee that eateth not, to the Lord hee eateth not, and gi­veth God thanks.

Argum. 5. Because the Jew observing a day prescribed by the Law of Moses, and abstaining from meat for­bidden, in like manner the Gentile, not observing the Law of Moses, both of them acted (with Thanksgi­ving) to the glory of God: The Jew, because hee had meat enough, not forbidden: The Gentile, because hee might eat any meat, gave thanks: Therefore neither to bee condemned by the other.

Vers. 7. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

8. For whether wee live, wee live unto the Lord: and whether wee die, wee die unto the Lord: whether wee live, therefore, or die, wee are the Lords.

9. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revi­ved, that hee might bee Lord both of the dead and living.

Hee confirms the end propounded to him that did ob­serve, and to him that did not observe the ceremonies, and withall adds a sixth Argument. They that are not in their own power, but anothers, nor live to themselves, nor die to themselves, but only to Christ, they are bound to direct their actions, and omissions, to the glory of Christ, as also not to condemn their fellow-servants: But wee, or none of the Faithful lives or dies to him­self, nor is at his own dispose, ver. 7. But wee live and die to Christ, to his honor, to whom appertains the care over us in life and death, ver. 8. which hee proves, be­cause Christ died and rose again to this end, that hee might bee Lord over his Redeemed ones, living and dying: Therefore it follows, that the Faithful ought not to condemn or contemn one another.

Vers. 10. But why doest thou judge thy Brother? or why doest thou set at nought thy Brother? for wee shall all stand before the Iudgement Seat of Christ.

Argum. 7. The Faithful are Brethren, whether Jews or Gentiles: Therefore they ought not to judge or con­temn one another.

Wee shall appear] Argum. 8. All are to bee judged at the Tribunal of Christ: Therefore all ought to take heed that they do not rashly condemn one another.

Vers. 11. For as it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to mee, and every tongue shall confess to God.

That hee confirms by the testimony of Isaias, fore­telling, Chap. 45.23. that Christ shall bee Judge of all, and that all shall acknowledge subjection to him, as to God.

Vers. 12. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

13. Let us not therefore judge one another any more.

Argum. 9. Drawn from the former, Every one is to give an account of himself to Christ, ver. 12. Therefore every one ought to prepare himself for the Judgement Seat of Christ, and not to judge his Brother.

The second Part.

Vers. 13. But judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block, or an occasion to fall in his Brothers way.

The second part of the Chapter follows, wherein after the conclusion of his general Exhortation, hee begins a [Page 34] special, properly belonging to them that are strong, that they abuse not their liberty, with offence to the weak, vers. 13.

Vers. 14. I know and am perswaded by the Lord Ie­sus, that there is nothing unclean of it self: but him that esteemeth any thing to bee unclean, to him it is unclean.

Hee prevents an Objection: Some might say, I am perswaded by the Grace of Christ, that no meat is im­pure or prohibited under the Gospel: Therefore I may eat any meat indifferently: Hee answers by denying the consequence, because pure meat, is made impure to him that eats, after two sorts: First, if hee that eats thinks it unlawful.

Vers. 15. But if thy Brother bee grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou uncharitably; Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

Secondly, Meat is impure, if any one (perswaded of his liberty) eat to the offence of his Brother: In which case, hee proves that hee must not eat with scandal, or that hee must take heed, that hee abuse not his liberty, and that by eleven Arguments.

Argum. 1. It fights against charity, to act in things indifferent to the offence of the weak: Therefore wee must not abuse our liberty.

Destroy] Argum. 2. To lay a stumbling block before the weak, from the nature of the deed, tends to the de­struction of a Brother for whom Christ dyed, and hee that puts an offence in his Brothers way, in a judicial sense, de­stroies his Brother: For as much as in him lies, hee is the cause of bringing destruction upon him: Therefore wee must not abuse our liberty.

For whom] Argum. 3. Hee that eats with offence, thereby opposes the merit of Christs death, and the intent of it, for hee died that the weak might bee saved: but hee that eats with offence, doth what is in him, to destroy him that is weak: Therefore wee must not abuse our li­berty.

Vers. 16. Let not then your good bee evil spoken of.

Argum. 4. Eating with offence causeth the Christian Faith to bee evil spoken of, and to bee brought into con­tempt, and that Christian liberty bee evil reported of, by those that are weak, and without: Therefore wee must not abuse our liberty.

Vers. 17. For the Kingdome of God, is not meat, and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Argum. 5. Because (as it is, 1 Cor. 8.8.) meat and drink nothing promote the spiritual Kingdome of Christ, but righteousness, peace, and joy, and the other fruits of the Spirit: Therefore wee are bound to abstain from meats, or things indifferent, when there is danger, that by an unseasonable use of our liberty wee should disturb the Kingdome of Christ.

Vers▪ 18. For hee that in these things serveth Christ, is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

Argum. 6. They that use these, as meat, drink, and the like indifferent things, wisely to the service of Christ (taking them by his leave, and abstaining, that the work of Christ may bee promoted) are acceptable to God and men: Therefore wee are to use our Christian liberty without offence.

Vers. 19. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edi­fie another.

Argum. 7. By way of Consequence from the former Argument, drawn by way of Exhortation. So must wee use our liberty, that, by peace and edification of others, the Kingdome of Christ may bee promoted: Therefore wee must not use our Christian liberty, but so far as it may bee most serviceable to peace and edification.

Vers. 20. For meat, destroy not the work of God: all things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

Argum. 8. The work of God ought not to bee destroy­ed, or the salvation of thy Brother brought into danger, for a light matter (as the use of a certain kind of meat at a certain time:) Therefore wee must not eat with of­fence.

All things] Hee prevents an Objection: Some might say, all things are lawful, i. e. those meats whereof wee speak. Hee answers, It is true, considering the things by themselves, but they are unlawful (in case of scandal) to him that eats with offence, to them that are weak.

Vers. 21. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink Wine, nor any thing whereby thy Brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

Argum. 9. It is good to abstain from all meat and drink, when there is danger that our Brother, in the mat­ter of Religion, may bee made worse, by our using meats and drinks: Therefore in such a case wee ought to ab­stain.

Vers. 22. Hast thou Faith? have it to thy self before God. Happy is hee that condemneth not himself in that thing which hee alloweth.

Hee here meets with an Objection: I have Faith con­cerning my liberty, and it is necessary that I profess it. Hee answers, by denying that profession is necessary, by way of fact, in matter of scandal, because liberty consists no less with abstinence, than the use of the thing; where­fore hee commands that the Objector bee content in such a case, concerning the liberty of his Faith, by an inward professing of it towards God.

Blessed] Hee confirms his assertion by an Aphorism, wherein the tenth Argument is contained. Hee is blessed, who (in that hee certainly knows to bee lawful for him, that hee may use it, or refrain from it) so using his liberty, that by abusing of it to the offence of others, hee make not himself guilty of condemnation: Therefore in such a case wee must refrain.

Vers. 23. And hee that doubteth, is damned if hee eat, because hee eateth not of Faith; for whatsoever is not of Faith, is sin.

Argum. 11. There is danger, lest a weak and doubt­ful person, should bee drawn by the meer example of him that eats, to eat with a doubting conscience, and sin, running headlong into the guilt of condemnation: There­fore in such a case wee must abstain.

By this Argument hee deters the weak, from eating with a doubtful conscience by the example of any man; and hee deters the strong from unseasonable eating, lest hee bee the cause of another mans sin and guilt.

Whatsoever] Hee proves him to sin that eats with a doubting conscience, because hee eats not of Faith, or out of perswasion, that the deed is lawful; and whatever is not done of Faith, that it may bee a lawful deed, hee pronounceth it to bee sin.

CHAP. XV.

THere are two parts of the Chapter: In the former part the Apostle proceeds in his Exhortation to them that are weak in the Faith, touching Christian Liberty, how they should carry themselves towards the weak, to vers. 13. In the other part is contained the conclusion of the Epistle, to the end.

Vers. 1. Wee then that are strong, ought to bear the in­firmities of the weak, and not to please our selves.

That which concerns the first, Because no agreement in differences about the use of things indifferent can pro­bably bee expected without sin, unless they that are strong carry themselves decently towards them that are weak in the use of their liberty: Therefore hee exhorts, that they would so do, and bear the infirmities of the weak, patiently bearing with them, and by prudent counsel, par­doning them as those that are weak in that matter. The Arguments of his Exhortation are seven.

[Page 35] To bear] Argum. 1. It's the duty of the stronger, both by the Law of Nature, and by Divine Law, to bear the burdens of the weak: Therefore the strong in Faith in these things indifferent ought to bear with the infirmities of the weak.

Please] Argum. 2. The stronger which refuse to per­form this duty towards the weak, will bee found guilty of self-love, onely minding their own private advantages: Therefore the weak are to bee born with.

Vers. 2. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

Argum. 3. Because every man is bound to please his neighbour, when it may bee done to his edification, and for his good. Hee addes to Edification, lest wee fall into sin for the sake of any one.

Vers. 3. For even Christ pleased not himself, but as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee, fell on mee.

Argum. 4. Whereby the former is confirmed, from the example of Christ: Christ not respecting his own profit, but our infirmity, and salvation, pleased not himself, but us: which hee proves, because our sins (which in their nature are injuries unto God) Christ bore, that hee might free us from deserved punishments, and hee put his shoulders to bear our burthen: Therefore for the sake of them that are weak, wee ought to depart from our right, at least in things indifferent, that they may bee saved.

Vers. 4. For whatsoever things were written afore­time, were written for our learning, that wee through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

Hee proves that this example is to bee imitated, from the general scope of the Scriptures, which is our edifica­tion (in faith and obedience) by promises, precepts and examples: that wee in all our tribulation, patiently o­beying the Will of God, might have consolation and hope through the Scriptures.

Vers. 5. Now the God of patience and consolation, grant you to bee like-minded one towards another, ac­cording to Christ Iesus.

Hee concludes the Argument with prayer, that God, who is the fountain of patience and comfort, would give unto them the same affection one towards another, ac­cording to the example of Christ, i. e. that they might think the same thing, according to the doctrine of Christ, and might love one another, for if love abounded, there would bee agreement in things indifferent.

Vers. 6. That you may with one mind, and one mouth, glorifie God, even the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ.

The end of his prayer is, that all strife and discord be­ing removed, with one heart and mouth they might glori­fie God, even the Father of Christ, who hath given us the adoption of Sons, and joyned us amongst our selves, by the bond of Brethren, with Christ.

Vers. 7. Wherefore receive yee one another, as Christ al­so received us to the glory of God.

Argum. 5. In like manner by the example of Christ, drawn from what was abovesaid, by way of exhortation, Christ had compassion on us, took us weak ones, and un­worthy into fellowship with him, to the glory of God, par­doning our sins: Therefore wee ought to take into our fellowship of love and peace, those that are weak, and (as they may seem) unworthy, passing by their infirmities.

Vers. 8. Now I say that Iesus Christ was a Minister of the Circumcision for the truth of God to confirm the promises made unto the Fathers.

Argum. 6. Again also from the example of Christ; Christ was a Minister of the Circumcision, or to the Jews, preaching amongst them, and undergoing all the offices of a Minister, by reason of the Covenant that was made with their Fathers: Therefore it behoves all Christians, to bee of the same mind with Christ, to­wards the Jews (which are weak in the Faith) even be­cause of the Covenant with their Fathers.

Vers. 9. And that the Gentiles might glorifie God for his mercy, as it is written, For this cause I will con­fess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy Name.

Argum. 7. Again from the example of Christ, who preached among the Jews, not onely that hee might pro­mote the completing of the Truth of God, and the pro­mises made to the Patriarchs, but also to this end, that the Gentiles converted by and with the Jews, might glo­rifie God together: Therefore it is most unworthy that the Jews and Gentiles should contemn one another for things indifferent.

Wherefore] As concerning the Gentiles, hee proves out of the Scripture, that Christ intended to call them into the fellowship of the Jews, by a fourfold testimony: first, out of Psal. 18.50. Wherein Christ under the type of David, promiseth that hee will preach the Name of God amongst the Gentiles.

Vers. 10. And again hee saith, Rejoyce yee Gentiles, with his people.

The second proof is taken out of Deut. 32.43. wherein the Gentiles are commanded to rejoyce, with the Jews, as the people of God: Therefore the Gentiles are joyned with this people.

Vers. 11. And again, Praise the Lord, all yee Gentiles, and laud him all yee people.

The third proof is taken out of Psal. 117.1. The Gen­tiles are commanded to praise God: Therefore they shall obtain mercy.

Vers. 12. And again, Isaiah saith, There shall bee a root of Jesse, and hee that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in him shall the Gentiles trust.

The fourth proof is taken out of Isaiah 11.10. Christ shall reign as King over the Gentiles, and the Gentiles shall beleeve in him: Therefore they shall bee conver­ted.

Vers. 13. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in beleeving, that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Hee concludes this whole Exhortation, concerning ab­staining from the unseasonable use of our liberty, about meats, in case of scandal, with a most ardent prayer: That God would recompence this their Christian abstinence from meats, with the abundance of spiritual gifts, which would create to them more joy, from the comfort of Faith, and the holy Spirit of Peace, than they could otherwise finde in all the delights of what meats soe­ver.

Vers. 14. And I my self also am perswaded of you, my Brethren, that yee also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one ano­ther.

15. Nevertheless, Brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you, in some sort, as putting you in mind, of the grace that is given to mee of God:

16. That I should bee the Minister of Iesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministring the Gospel of God, that the of­fering up of the Gentiles might bee acceptable, being sanctified of the Holy Ghost.

The other part of the Chapter, containeth the conclu­sion of the Epistle: wherein hee first shews the cause of his writing, and of his not comming yet unto them, that although hee was perswaded, that the Romans abounded in grace, and knowledge, whereby they were able to ex­hort, and instruct one another in all those things whereof hee had spoken before; Yet notwithstanding hee shews that hee hath written the more freely and fully to them; First, Because the advice which hee gave them was pro­fitable unto them: Furthermore, because of his Apostoli­cal authority given him by the Grace of God, it behoved him so to attend to his Ministery among the Gentiles, that they being converted and crucified according to the [Page 36] old man, by his Gospel, might bee offered unto God, as a Sacrifice sanctified by the Spirit of holiness, and accept­ed of God through Jesus Christ.

Vers. 17. I have therefore whereof I may glory through Iesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.

That by what is said before his authority might appear, hee commends his Apostleship upon a seven-fold account.

First, from the spiritual effects produced by the power of Christ, which with God is highly esteemed, however men undervalue it.

Vers. 18. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by mee, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed.

Secondly, From the conversion of the Gentiles, where­of hee durst not speak more than was truth, neither could hee say how much hee hath done, or what Christ had effected by his Ministery, to the conversion of the Gentiles.

Vers. 19. Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusa­lem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ.

Thirdly, From the signs of his Apostleship, viz. the power and miracles of the Holy Ghost, by which the Gentiles were convinced, touching the certainty of the Doctrine of the Gospel.

So that] Fourthly, From the multitude of the Gen­tiles which hee conquered by his Ministery, amongst which were all those which lye betwixt Ierusalem and Dalmatia, containing as it is thought the space of about a thousand four hundred miles, besides the Provinces adjacent.

Vers. 20. Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build up­on another mans foundation.

Fifthly, From his founding the Churches of God in those places, the bringing in of whom, as Christ was the only Author, so was it only by Pauls Ministery, and not by any other of the Apostles.

Vers. 21. But as it is written, To whom hee was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard, shall understand.

Sixthly, Because in his Ministery was most evidently fulfilled what was fore-told by the Prophet.

Vers. 22. For which cause also I have been much hin­dered from coming to you.

23. But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire this many years to come unto you;

24. Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you, for I trust to see you in my journey, and to bee brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I bee somewhat filled with your company.

Laying a foundation for his excuse in what hee said before, that hitherto hee had not come to the Romans, ver. 22. and 23. hee gives them hopes of his coming, and tarrying a while with them, in his journey, which hee intended for Spain: After hee should have been refresh­ed with their company, as with Aromatick odours.

Vers. 25. But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the Saints.

26. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia, to make a certain contribution for the poor Saints which are at Hierusalem.

Hee expresses the time of his coming, after hee had been at Ierusalem, and had brought the charitable bene­volences of the Greek Churches for the relief of the poor Saints in Iudea.

Vers. 27. It hath pleased them verily, and their deb­tours they are; for if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is al­so to minister to them in carnal things.

Hee proves that this benevolence was to bee bestowed upon the Jews, because the Gospel came from the Jews to the Gentiles.

Vers. 28. When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you in­to Spain.

29. And I am sure that when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ.

After hee had delivered this collection to the Saints, and had sealed to them this fruit without diminution, hee promiseth that hee would come unto them. In the mean time hee gives them hopes of spiritual blessings by his Ministery to bee conferred upon the Romans at his com­ing, which hee speaks, that his coming might bee more acceptable, and more fervently desired and expected by them.

Vers. 30. Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Ie­sus Christs sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with mee, in your prayers to God for mee.

Lastly, hee earnestly entreats their prayers to God, that they would bee importunate for him in three requests.

Vers. 31. That I may bee delivered from them that do not believe in Judea, and that my service which I have for Jerusalem, may bee accepted of the Saints.

The first is, that hee might bee delivered from the snares of those that did not believe in Iudea, which ve­hemently thirsted after his blood.

My Ministery] The second Petition is, that the contri­bution which hee was carrying to Ierusalem, might bee acceptable to the Jews his Brethren.

Vers. 32. That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you bee refreshed.

The third Petition is, that hee might come with joy to Rome, and rejoyce together with them.

Vers. 33. Now the God of peace bee with you all. A­men.

In the mean while, he prays that God would keep them in peace, that the work of the Gospel might not bee hin­dred amongst them.

CHAP. XVI.

THe parts of this Chapter chiefly are two. In the first, after the commendation of Phebe, who, as it seems, carried this Epistle to the Romans, Some Saints hee salutes honorably of tried fidelity, to ver. 17. In the second part, after exhortations to them that they would beware of Schismaticks, hee adjoyns to his own salutations, the salutations of certain Saints by name, who were with him when hee sent this Epistle, and con­cludes the Epistle with earnest prayers.

Vers. 1. I commend unto you Phebe our Sister, which is a servant of the Church which is at Cenchrea:

2. That yee receive her in the Lord, as becometh Saints, and that yee assist her in whatsoever business shee hath need of you, for shee hath been a succourer of many, and of my self also.

At Cenchrea there was a Haven neer to Corinth, in which little Town a Church collected, the charge which this Church could not bear, it seems Phebe sustained, whose house was freely set open as a common receptacle for Christian strangers, and therefore shee is called the Servant of the Church: For it does not seem that shee was of the company of poor Widows, which the Church maintained at their publique charge, (1 Tim. 5.) but it is likely, that shee supplyed the office of them, and su­stained them at her own cost, because shee succoured both the Apostle, and many others: And that shee took so great a journey from Greece to Rome, having the care of secular affairs at Rome, (which deserved the cognizance and assistance of the whole Church, and to that end, A­postolical intercession) are not the signs of a poor, but wealthy famous woman, whom therefore hee would [Page 37] have received by the Romans in the Lord, i. e. with Christian affection, and for the Lords sake, and treated fairly by the Saints, i. e. as became the outward conditi­on of the Romans and Phebe, adorned with holiness.

Vers. 3. Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Iesus:

4. (Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the Churches of the Gentiles.)

The salutations, with the names and commendations of the Saints, are so clearly distinguished, that here is no need of any Analysis, some observations shall suffice for our purpose.

How could Priscilla and Aquila bee helpers to the A­postles? It appears, Act. 18. that although they were private persons, yet as much as could bee privately done by them, keeping themselves in their calling, they did vigorously labour in propagating the Doctrine of Christ, according to their knowledge, and with singular zeal; in which business, as the wife is named before the husband, so shee seems to precede him [in piety.]

Their necks] It appears that Priscilla and Aquila cou­ragiously stood up in the defence of the Apostle in some dangerous persecution or tumult, and that they rescued his life with hazard of their own lives; upon which account, all the Church which regarded the welfare of the Apo­stle, ought to render thanks to them.

Vers. 5. Likewise greet the Church that is in their house, salute my well-beloved Epenetus, who is the first fruits of Achaia unto Christ.

By Church, hee seems to understand only their family, (piously instructed, and daily imployed about holy things, amidst their manual labours) by reason of its resemblance to a Church; because hee saith not the Church which met in their house, but which is, or dwells in their house, unless wee suppose them to have given en­tertainment also to the whole Church, as Gaius, of whom ver. 23.

Epenetus is said to be the first fruits of Achaia, because he was converted to the faith amongst the first, as 1 Cor. 16.15. the family of Stephen also, upon that account is commended amongst those that are of chief note, and ap­proved Christians in the faith.

Vers. 6. Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.

The pains of Mary toward the Faithful, and the Apo­stles, hee would have the Church take notice of and ac­knowledge, that hee might encourage or exci [...]e the like pains in others.

Vers. 7. Salute Andronicus, and Junia, my Kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note amongst the Apostles, who also were in Christ before mee.

Andronicus and Iunia of the Apostles Kindred, are said to bee of note among the Apostles, because they were known and approved of by the Apostles, and highly ac­counted of among them, who also were converted to the Faith before the Apostle Paul, and were partners of his sufferings for the Gospel, in prison and bonds.

Vers. 8. Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord.

Amplias is said to bee worthy of love in the Lord, for the faith and piety which was vouchsafed of the Lord.

Vers. 9. Salute Urbane our helper in Christ, and Star­chys my beloved.

Urbane seems to bee one of the Pastors of the Church at Rome, and an helper of the Apostle in his labours in the Gospel.

Vers. 10. Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus houshold.

Apelles hee calls approved, because hee gave certain evidences of his faith and constancy.

Vers. 11. Salute Herodion my Kinsman. Great them that bee of the houshold of Narcissus, which are in the Lord.

Hee doth not salute Aristobulus and Narcissus, be­cause they continued unbeleevers, as wee may safely con­jecture, but their Christian houshold servants, that they might bee confirmed in the Faith, and continue their o­bedience towards their Masters, though unbeleevers.

Vers. 12. Salute Traphena and Tryphosa, who la­bour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.

Hee salutes the approved Matrons, which contributed their labours, zealously and successefully for the pro­moting of the Gospel.

Vers. 13. Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his Mother and mine.

Hee salutes Rufus an eminent young man, whose Mo­ther very much respected Paul, even as much as shee did Rufus her own Son.

Vers. 14. Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patra­bas, Hermes, and the Brethren which are with them.

15. Salute Philologus and Julia, Nerius and his Sister, and Olympias, and all the Saints which are with them.

Because hee could not insist upon the rehearsal of all, setting down some Saints by name, the rest hee salutes in general.

Vers. 16. — Salute one▪ another with an holy kiss.

Because in those times, amongst the signs of mutual love, a kiss was, (as now the shaking of right hands a­mongst us) hee commands that they salute one another holily, without fraud and deceit.

Vers. 16. — The Churches of Christ salute you.

Salute] The second part of the Chapter follows, where­in the Apostle salutes the Romans in the name of the Churches amongst which hee was conversant, who un­derstood his purpose of writing to the Romans.

Vers. 17. Now I beseech you, Brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which yee have learned, and avoid them.

Hee interposes (as it were in a Parenthesis) his admo­nition to observe, restrain and excommunicate those which should move any thing against the Apostolical do­ctrine, or discipline (already received by them) to the renting of the Church, and commands to avoid fellow­ship, viz. after they were excommunicated by the Church.

Vers. 18. For they that are such serve not our Lord Iesus Christ, but their own belly, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the people.

Hee adds four Reasons of this his admonition; First, because such men whoever they bee, serve not God, but their own belly, minding worldly things, i. e. their own lusts, and advantages, but not the welfare of the Church.

Reason second; Because unless they bee observed by the wiser sort, the more simple are easily deceived by their feigned words, by which means they make a schism in the Church.

Vers. 19. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men, I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

Reason the third; Because there was danger, le [...]t the commendable readiness of the Romans to beleeve the Preachers, might bee exposed to some impostures, unless they were wary, viz. except they tempered that simplici­ty with prudence, respecting simplicity onely as to mis­chief, but in other things, following after prudence, lest they bee wronged by the subtilty of others.

Vers. 20. And the God of Peace shall bruise Satan un­der your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ bee with you. Amen.

The fourth Reason; Because although wee must con­flict with Satan, the author of contentions, yet the Go [...] of Peace will give victory to us, when wee have a while combated with those that trouble us: which Argument the Apostle concludes with an Apostolical benediction.

Vers. 21. Timotheus my work-fellow, and Lucius and [Page 38] Jason, and So [...]ipater my kinsmen salute you.

The Parenthesis being shut up, hee subjoyns the salu­tations of other Saints with him to the Romans, the first of wh [...]m is Timothy the Evangelist, after him Lucius ▪ who as it seems is that Cyrenean, Act. 13.1. Iason, of whom, Act. 17.5. Sosipater, of whom, Act. 20.4.

Vers. 22. I Tertius, who wrote this Epistle, salute you in the Lord.

Tertius Pauls Secretary who wrote this Epistle, in ho­nour of his Ministery, hee receives this mentioning of himself from the Holy Ghost, as it were in reward of his faithfulness.

Vers. 23. Gaius mine Host, and of the whole Church, saluteth you. Erastus the Chamberlain of the City saluteth you, and Quartus a Brother.

24. The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ bee with you all. Amen.

Gaius, of whom Act. 20.4. and 1 Cor. 1.14. com­mends himself to the Romans, and in the mean while is commended by Paul to the Romans, that his house did not onely give entertainment to Paul, but also the whole Church in which they met for the performance of re­ligious duties.

Erastus, the Chamberlain of the City of Corinth, to whom is added Quartus a Brother by name; hee shuts up these salutations, repeating his Apostolical wish.

Vers. 25. Now to him that is of power to establish you, according to my Gospel, and the preaching of Iesus Christ, according to the revelation of the my­stery, which was kept secret since the world be­gan:

In the three last verses hee concludes this excellent Epistle with a solenm thanksgiving, in which hee asserts the Faith, and the certainty of the Romans salvation, a­gainst all fear, which dangers, persecutions, Impostors, Schismaticks, or their own infirmities, or any other temptations might cause in them, and that by reason of the power and good pleasure of God, which God by the Gospel set down in this Epistle, as it were holds forth his arms for their salvation; and also hee commends his Gospel upon a sixfold account; First, Because it is the preaching of Jesus Christ, 2. Because it is the Revela­tion of the Grace of God which was kept secret: for al­though Grace was made known to the Fathers, yet in comparison of the present light, which hath shined in the world by the doctrine of the Apostles, it may bee termed secret and hidden.

Vers. 26. But now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the Prophets, according to the comman­dement of the everlasting God, made known to all Nations for the obedience of Faith.

27. To God onely wise, bee glory through Iesus Christ for ever. Amen.

Because 3. This Gospel is agreeable to the Old Te­stament, and is confirmed out of that. 4. Because it hath Gods command, and appointment for its authority. 5. Because it is not contained, as the Old Testament, in the narrow bounds of the Jews, and one people, but shines forth for the use of all Nations. 6. Because it tends to the obedience of Faith, that is, that the hearers being brought to the Faith of Christ, may bee made obedient subjects to the Grace of that Kingdome: Withall hee ascribes the glory of all these to God, as the onely wise, in himself, and of himself, who owes his wisdome to none; To him, through Christ, bee glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Analytically expounded.

The Contents of the Epistle.

COrinth is a famous Mart-Town of Achaia, in the narrow straight of Peloponnesus, situate be­tween the Egean and Ionian Seas, in which City the Apostle taught a year and half, where hee founded a Church with great difficulty. This Church Satan endeavoured by many waies to rend, infect, and corrupt, of which crafts of Satan the Apostle being assured, that hee might produce a seasonable remedy to so great evils, hee writes this Epistle to the Co­rinthians.

The heads of this Epistle are ten. The first is concerning the removing of Schism, which arose amongst them, by the vain kind of preaching of their Teachers, and to that end, hee largely handles the right manner of preaching the Gospel, Chap. 1, 2, 3, 4.

Secondly, Concerning the excommunication of the incestuous person, Chap. 5.

The third, about the avoiding of strifes, with which they vexed one another even before Infidel Iudges.

The fourth, of keeping chastity, or avoiding fornication, Chap. 6.

The fifth, of prudence to bee used in cases of marriage and single life, and secular imployments, Chap. 7.

The sixth, of avoiding things dedicated to Idols, Chap. 8, 9, 10.

The seventh, of the order, and decency to bee observed in the worship of God, and chiefly in the Supper of the Lord, Chap. 11.

The eighth, of the right use of spiritual gifts, Chap. 12, 13, 14.

The ninth, of the certainty of the resurrection to come, which some amongst them called in question, Chap. 15.

The tenth, of charitable contribution to bee collected, for the relief of the Saints in Judea▪ Chap. 16.

CHAP. I.

THere are three parts of the Chapter; The first is the preface of the whole Epistle, to vers. the 10th.

The second, is the beginning of his disswasion from Schism, which was the disease of the Corinthians, to that end bee propounds five Arguments, to vers. 17.

The third is an illustration and confirmation of the fifth Argument, to the end.

The whole Preface is laid down, to prepare the minds of the Corinthians, for ready obedience to the doctrine and admonitions of the Apostle: And in this or the like conclusion, the scope of the Preface may bee represented: It is your duty, O yee Corinthians, with a ready and sub­missive [Page 39] mind to obey my Doctrine and Admonitions, or to believe and obey.

Eleven Arguments to this end are sub-joyned, whereof some shew forth the Apostles authority, others his fa­vourable respect towards the Corinthians.

Vers. 1. Paul called to bee an Apostle of Iesus Christ, through the will of God, and Sosthenes our Brother,

An Apostle] The first Argument: I Paul, who write these things unto you, am an Apostle of Jesus Christ: Therefore ought you to obey my Doctrine, and receive my Counsels.

By the will of God] Argum. 2. I perform my Embas­sage by the special command and will of God, not by my own usurpation, so I write these things unto you: There­fore [...]nless you will bee disobedient to the will of God, you ought to obey my admonition and teaching.

Sosthenes] Argum. 3. I have taken in Sosthenes as a witness to my admonition, (touching whom, Act. 18.17.) that by two witnesses this testimony might bee confirmed: Therefore ought you to obey my admonition and Do­ctrine, unless you will have the witness of us two against you.

Vers. 2. Unto the Church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Iesus, called to bee Saints, with all that in every place call upon the Name of Iesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.

Argum. 4. In the description of those to whom hee writes: you are the Church of God, called out of the world, consecrated unto God, brought into communion with Christ, called unto holiness: Therefore if you will bee accounted worthy of your priviledges, you ought to hearken and obey mee in my doctrine and admonitions, which make for holiness.

With all that call upon] Argum. 5. My Apostleship, and the authority of this doctrine, the use, and fruit of it, is not extended only unto you, but to the Church of God universally, and all the Saints which adore Jesus Christ, the true God, and our Lord: Therefore ought you to hearken and obey my doctrine and admonitions.

Vers. 3. Grace bee unto you, and peace from God the Father, and from the Lord Iesus Christ.

In this salutation is the sixth Argument. I acknowledge you, to whom (with the rest of the Saints, living in any place, according to the authority committed to mee) I may apply the blessing of the Gospel, as also grace and peace, i. e. all things that pertain to virtue and glory, to holiness and happiness, that being made more certain by mee of the favour of God, you may expect the same things with a stronger faith, through the Mediator Jesus Christ: Therefore ought you cheerfully to obey my do­ctrine and admonition.

Vers. 4. I thank my God alwayes on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Iesus Christ,

5. That in every thing yee are enriched by him, in all ut­terance, and in all knowledge.

In the other verses of the Preface, because hee was a­bout to reprove many vices among the Corinthians, hee commends what was good in them, confirming their faith in God, lest being sharply reproved they should faint; withall hee shews what opinion hee had of them, and what good will towards them, whereby hee might better reach the end which hee aimed at.

Argum. 7. I do not envy you, but rather rejoyce and render continual thanks to God, for the rich grace of God towards you, especially in your reconciliation to him by Jesus Christ, ver. 4. I rejoyce much for the abun­dance of spiritual gifts bestowed on you, pertaining to the knowledge and preaching of the Gospel, ver. 5. Therefore ought you readily to obey mee, advising you concerning the right using of that grace, and those gifts.

Vers. 6. Even as the testimo [...] of Christ was confirmed in you.

Argum. 8. Those gifts are conferr'd upon you for the confirmation of our testimony, and your faith, concern­ing this Gospel of Christ: Therefore yee ought (that you might more abound in the gifts of the Spirit) to give credit, and yeeld obedience to mee, admonishing and teaching the things which are sound, from the same Au­thor, Christ.

Vers. 7. So that yee come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Iesus Christ,

Argum. 9. You want no kind of Ecclesiastical and Spiritual gifts, which are necessary for those that are tra­vellers in the way, yet notwithstanding you are not per­fect, you must expect your fulness at the coming of Christ: Therefore that you may with joy receive Christ at his coming to Judgement, you ought to yeeld obedience to my admonitions and doctrine, which may promote your perfection.

Vers. 8. Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that yee may bee blameless in the day of our Lord Iesus Christ.

Argum. 10. I am perswaded (I speak concerning the Elect, such as in charity it is fitting I should think you to bee) that Christ will confirm you, and cause you to persevere in grace, and will purge you from all spot, and at length will present you without blemish in the pre­sence of God: Therefore to this very end ought you to hearken to my teaching and admonition.

Vers. 9. God is faithful, by whom yee were called unto the fellowship of his Son, our Lord Iesus Christ.

Argum. 11. Confirming that hee had said before: Your effectual calling into communion with Christ, which is a lasting and saving gift, as also the faithfulness of God, (who hath promised perseverance and confirmation in grace to that very end, to those that are effectually called into the fellowship of his Son) are pledges of this my perswasion of you: Therefore that you may answer my expectation, and your calling, you ought to obey my counsel and doctrine.

The second Part.

Vers. 10. Now I beseech you, Brethren, by the Name of our Lord Iesus Christ, that yee all speak one thing, and that there be no divisions amongst you, but that yee bee perfectly joyned together in the same mind, and in the same judgement.

The second part of the Chapter follows, wherein hee endeavours to re-call them from Schism, exhorting, that if Christ was dear unto them, laying aside their making of parties, they would follow after unity in Doctrine, and the manner of reaching, and to this end, that they might bee knit together in the same affections, in the same mind, and the same judgement.

Vers. 11. For it hath been declared unto mee of you, my Brethren, by them which are of the house of Cloe, that there are contentions among you.

That hee might not exhort them in vain, hee shews that hee heard of their Schism, from Authors of cre­dit.

Vers. 12. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollo, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.

Now hee comes to the Schism; they contend concern­ing their Teachers, preferring some before others, as if they were more perfect, denominating themselves from them, with envy and contempt of each other: Which Teachers hee names not, but by concealing them, hee pacifies the minds of the Schismaticks, that the Schism might more easily bee laid aside: And as it were for ex­ample sake hee names himself, and Apollos, and Cephas, although in the following part of the Epistle, it is plain, that their own vain babling Teachers were the Authors and furtherers of Schism, who also brought Paul himself so far into contempt amongst the Corinthians, that hee could scarcely keep his own place amongst them, they [Page 40] were so far from having their denomination from him.

Vers. 13. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were yee baptized in the name of Paul?

Hee strives now to cure and take away this Schism, the arguments of dehorting and reproving, are five.

The first argument is this; By this Schism, the mysti­cal body of Christ is rent, and its unity divided into so many parts, as there are Sects: Therefore Schism is to bee cured, and abolished.

Crucified] The second argument. None of your Teach­ers purchased the Church to himself by death: There­fore this honour is due to none, that the Church should have its name from him, and bee rent in pieces for his sake.

In the Name] The third argument: You were bapti­zed in the name of none of your Teachers, that you should take your denomination from them: Therefore for the sake of your Teachers, you are not to bee divi­ded into parties.

Vers. 14. I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius,

15. Lest any should say, that I had baptized in mine own name.

16. And I baptized also the houshold of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

The fourth argument. Schismatick Teachers among you are to bee blamed, who by affecting the baptizing of many confusedly, endeavour to challenge to them­selves the Disciples taken away from others, as if they had been baptized into their name; and that God by his Providence using my help but to the baptizing of few, I give thanks unto him who hath freed mee from the suspition of this evil: Therefore you are not to bee divided in parties for the sake of your Teachers.

Vers. 17. — For Christ sent mee not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel, not with wisdome of words, —

Hee adds another reason, why so few were baptized by him, because hee endeavoured to exercise his chief parts in the discharging of the trust committed to him, i. e▪ by preaching, to convert one after another, com­mitting the care of those that were converted, to bee baptized by others, lest hee himself should bee distract­ed, because Christ sent him not to baptize, viz. chiefly, to hinder his preaching, but specially to preach the Go­spel.

Not with wisdome of words] The fifth argument. Those Schismaticks, your Teachers, who endeavour to draw Disciples after them by their specious eloquence, do not follow my example in the spiritual manner of teaching; for I preach not with the wisdome of words, or the elegancy of speech, or acuteness of wit, with set form of speech (as the Precepts of Oratorie injoyn) but in the plainness and simplicity of speech, ordered for edification, I preached according to the mind of our Lord: Therefore for the vain eloquence of such Teachers, your Church is not to bee rent in pieces.

Vers. 17. Lest the Cross of Christ should bee made of none effect.

Lest of none effect] The third part of the Chapter, wherein hee confirms his practice in the manner of preaching, and also his duty, viz. that hee might not preach with the wisdome of words, but in the simplicity of the truth, to the capacity of all his Auditors, and to their edification, not to please their ears; and hee proves that it was no wonder that Christ sent him to preach the Gospel, not with wisdome of words; to this end hee brings twelve arguments in this Chapter, adding more in the following.

Lest of none effect] The first Argument is from the rule of contraries; if I compose my speech in preaching rhe­torically, to the rules of Eloquence, the Cross of Christ had been made of none effect, or (as it is, Chap. 2.5.) the Faith of my hearers, had rather stood in the wis­dome of men, than in the power of God, i. e. the plain Doctrine concerning Christs humiliation to his Cross, had wanted its glory of mens conversion, and Humane Eloquence had carried away the Garland: Therefore it is no wonder that Christ sent mee to preach not with the wisdome of words.

Vers. 18. For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish, foolishness: but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God.

By answering an objection, hee adds a second argu­ment. Some might say, but the Doctrine of the Cross shall bee made contemptible, and exposed to scorn, as foolishness, if it shall not bee commended to us with the splendour of wisdome. Hee answers, its true in re­spect of the reprobate, and those that abide in the way of perdition, but not so in respect of the Elect, and con­verted, who highly esteem plain preaching, finding it to bee the effectual means of God to Salvation. Hence the Argument riseth why the Apostle used simplicity of speech, and not artificial flourishes in preaching of the Gospel. God is wont powerfully to convert, and to pro­mote the salvation of the Elect, by this plain manner of preaching: Therefore its no wonder that Christ sent mee to preach not with wisdome of words.

Vers. 19. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdome of the wise, and will bring to nothing the under­standing of the prudent.

Argum. 3. God will curse those wise ones, who despi­sing the simplicity of Divine Truth, dare in the place of it, substitute their own wisdome in the preaching of the Gospel, which hee proves by the testimony of the Prophet Isaiah, Chap. 29.14. Where God threatens that hee will turn their wisdome into foolishness, who mind only words in his Worship, and not the power of godli­ness, to inward sanctification: Therefore its no won­der that Christ sent mee to preach not with wisdome of words.

Vers. 20. Where is the Wise? Where is the Scribe? Where is the Disputer of this World? Hath not God made foolish the wisdome of this World?

Argum. 4. Is taken from experience, because God in the calling of his Church, rejected the works and the persons of the most wise amongst the Jews and Gen­tiles, by suffering the greatest part of wise Politicians, and Scribes, or Interpreters of the Law, the Disputers of this World, or Phylosophers, to walk in their own ways, for hee suffered almost the whole multitude of the wise men of this world, to wallow like fools in the mire and dirt with their worldly wisdome and learning, with­out the bounds of his Church, or the Kingdome of Hea­ven. In this Argument the Apostle alludes to the Pro­phesie of Isaiah 29.14. For if you ask, Where are the Wise, &c? they are not to bee found in the Church, for their wisdome not directing them to the true knowledge of their misery, and their only remedy in Christ, is foolishness. This is the force of the argument; in the calling and building up of the Church, neither did God use the wise men of this world, nor their eloquence: Therefore it is no wonder that Christ sent mee to preach not with wisdome of words.

Vers. 21. For after that, in the wisdome of God, the world by wisdome knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Argum. 5. Which is for confirmation of the former: Because afterward in the wisdome of God, which shines forth in the works of Creation, and daily providence, worldly men, neither by that natural knowledge remain­ing in them, nor by the help of Philosophy, nor by any wisdome of their own, have known God aright; but ha­ving neglected all means of knowledge, shutting their eyes, God hath revealed another way of Salvation, by the plain, and as it were foolish way of preaching the Gospel (as it seems to unregenerate men) that hee might save [Page 41] the Elect through Faith: No wonder therefore that Christ sent mee to preach the Gospel, not with wis­dome of words.

Vers. 22. For the Iews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdome.

23. But wee preach Christ crucified, unto the Iews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness:

Hee adds a sixth Argument, illustrating what hee had said before, not onely from his own practice, but of the other Apostles, who, neither for the Jews sake (seeking after miracles) nor of the Gentiles (seeking after wis­dome) studied to satisfie the curiosity of men, with a polished stile; but following the plain manner of preach­ing the Gospel, prescribed by God himself, they preached redemption by the humiliation of Christ, nothing re­garding that the Jews would bee offended at the mean­ness of the Cross, nor that the Gentiles would account this kind of preaching foolishness. No wonder therefore that Christ sent mee to preach the Gospel, not with wis­dome of words.

Vers. 24. But unto them which are called, both Iews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wis­dome of God.

Hee excepts some of the Jews and Gentiles, and an­nexeth the seventh Argument; from the judgement and experience of the Elect, powerfully called out of Jews and Gentiles, who had experienced and acknowledged Christ preached in plainness of speech, to bee the evidence of the power of God, above all miracles; and the manifestation of the wisdome of God, above all (which the Gentiles seek after) worldly wisdome. No wonder therefore that Christ sent mee to preach the Gospel not with wisdome of words.

Vers. 25. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Argum. 8. By which hee confirms that this judgement of the faithful is true; because the Institutions of God, (however they may seem most foolish and weak to the world) are more prevalent than all the wisdome and power of men, as wee may see in the Sacraments. No wonder therefore that Christ sent mee to preach the Gospel, not with wisdome of words.

Vers. 26. For yee see your calling, Brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh; not many mighty, not many noble are called.

Argum. 9. Whereby hee shews that God made choice of this plain manner of preaching, but not lofty and spe­cious, by his like good pleasure, in the selecting of per­sons by his calling: Hee chose not many wise, mighty, noble, according to the flesh, or outward condition and degree in the world, but men, for the most part, of no wisdome, power, or greatness of birth, as to the world, yea not at all accounted of: No wonder therefore if God chusing also the like manner of preaching hath sent mee to preach the Gospel not with wisdome of words.

Vers. 27. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world, to confound the things which are mighty;

28. And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.

With this Argument hee brings in the tenth, from the subalternate end of this Counsel of God, viz. that hee might shew that hee nothing esteemed those things which were highly valued by men, that so whoever swel­led with pride because of these things, might bee asha­med, confounded, and looked upon as vile, and of no ac­count; neither is it therefore to bee wondred at, that God hath chosen this plain manner of preaching, and that I should stick to it, that the vain wisdome of words might bee shamed, seeing that all the pomp of words is found only to tickle the fancies of men, and avails no­thing to the conversion of the heart.

Vers. 29. That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Argum. 11. From the ultimate end of Gods good plea­sure in chusing, things, and persons, and weak means to salvation, which end is here negatively propounded, lest any should glory in himself: No wonder therefore that God hath sent mee to preach not with wisdome of words, lest I should glory in my self when any are converted by my preaching.

Vers. 30. But of him are yee in Christ Iesus, who of God is made unto us wisdome and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

In the mean time hee comforts the Corinthians against this their abasement and mean condition, before the World, granting to them by way of recompence of noble­ness of stock in regeneration, riches in wisdome and righ­teousness, and finally freedome from all sin and misery in Christ: and for the greater confirmation of their faith, hee discovers that Christ was appointed by God, and given to them for righteousness and life, for Christ is made all these things by merit, imputation, application, and effectual accomplishment to the use of all the faith­ful.

Vers. 31. That according as it is written, Hee that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Hee sets down affirmatively the ultimate end of Gods good pleasure in chusing weak means and persons, and in debasing all men in themselves, that (as it is, Ier. 9.23.) all the glory might bee given to God; from whence a­rises the twelfth Argument, God so orders all things, that no man should glory save in the Lord: Therefore it's no wonder, that God sent mee not to preach the Gospel with wisdome of words, that in the success of the Gospel wee might all glory in God alone.

CHAP. II.

HEe goes forward to confirm the same doctrine which hee delivered in the foregoing Chapter, viz. That in the preaching of the Gospel he rejected Rhetorical Ele­gance, but was pleased with plainness, and spiritual de­monstration, not that the Apostle defends the rashness or rawness of any in preaching, as if wee might speak what­soever comes to the tongues end, without Method, or sense, in a rude stile, and contemptible kind of speaking; for the right way of preaching hath it's excellency, which neither approves of dissembling, or sordidness, but con­demns the affectation of eloquence (which causes the hearer more to admire him that speaks, than that which is spoken:) for the truth thought upon, and rightly un­derstood (when the Preacher delivers it out of Faith and Love) the simple willingly follow it, and a speech fit­ted to the building up of all auditors, which relishes better with the wisest hearers, than all the flourishes of Rhetoricians. This plain kind of preaching hee proves more excellent than artificial eloquence, by eight Argu­ments, the former of which are taken from the experience of Paul himself, and the Corinthians to whom hee writes.

Vers. 1. And I, Brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdome, de­claring unto you the testimony of God.

The first Argument. I Paul, when I came to you Co­rinthians to preach the Gospel, by which you were con­verted to the Faith, did advisedly abstain from the emi­nency of eloquence: Therefore plainness of speech in preaching the Gospel is better than artificial Rhe­thorick.

Vers. 2. For I determined not to know any thing a­mong you, save Iesus Christ, and him crucified.

Argum. 2. I did not at all value it, to shew amongst you, or discover of my self the knowledge of any thing, save of the person, offices, efficacy, and vertue of Jesus [Page 42] Christ, and specially of his Passions and Humiliation: Therefore this way of preaching is most excellent.

Vers. 3. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling;

I, being mindful of humane infirmities, in the midst of dangers, composing my self to humility without pride, preached amongst you, and carried my self pen­sively and tremblingly in my duty: Therefore the preach­ing of the Gospel plainly is the excellentest way.

Vers. 4. And my speech, and my preaching, was not with entising words of mans wisdome, but in demon­stration of the Spirit, and of power.

My speech and preaching never glistered with the a­cuteness of wit, or humane Philosophy, nor with fine­ness of words fitted for perswasion, but in the evidences of Scripture, and sound truth, in which the Spirit shewed himself powerfully, and worked in your hearts: Therefore this kind of preaching is most excellent.

Vers. 5. That your faith should not stand in the wis­dome of men, but in the power of God.

Giving a reason of his practice, why hee refrained himself from Humane Eloquence in his speeches, hee adds the fift argument: If I had made use of artificial expressions to convert you to the Faith, Humane Elo­quence had been the cause of believing the Gospel a­mongst you Corinthians, and not the naked truth, (which is said to bee the power of God, because God works powerfully by it in his people) and so the Faith of the Corinthians had been grounded upon the deceitful foun­dation of Humane Eloquence; but when any one by E­loquence is moved to believe, hee may bee moved also by greater Eloquence to forsake the truth of Faith: There­fore it follows, that this plain way of preaching is most excellent.

Vers. 6. Howbeit, wee speak wisdome amongst them that are perfect; yet not the wisdome of this world, nor of the Princes of this world, that come to nought.

Argum. 6. From the comparing the Gospel and Hu­mane Wisdome together: That the Gospel hath its own proper wisdome, eloquence and lustre (in this plain kind of preaching) any one of years may bee judge; nei­ther can it more admit of the dressing of Humane Wis­dome, than the most beautiful face admits of painting. In those that undertake to preach the Gospel, the help of Humane Wisdome is requisite, not the splendour of it in preaching.

Wisdome] His comparison of Divine Wisdome in its plainness of speech, with worldly wisdome, is eight­fold.

The first Comparison; They that are perfect, or grown up in the School of Christ, which have their senses exer­cised, to discern good and evil, this Wisdome of the Go­spel they apprehend, admire, and magnifie; but that which is Humane, they suspect, and only they that are Novices, and ignorant altogether of Divine things, admire it.

Not of this world] Comparison 2. Humane Wisdome is only of this world, or temporary; but the wisdome of the Gospel is of the world which is to come, or Eter­nal.

Of the Princes] Comparison 3. Humane Wisdome is of men, who although they are accounted by the world for Princes, yet they perish with their wisdome, and come to nought.

Vers. 7. But wee speak the wisdome of God in a my­stery, even the hidden wisdome which God ordained, before the world, unto our glory.

The other part of the Comparison; The Wisdome of the Gospel, is the wisdome of the Living and Eternal God, because it was wisely contrived of God, and because in it the wonderful Wisdome of God is revealed, touch­ing the Salvation and Redemption of men.

In a mystery] Comparison 4. Humane Philosophy is common and obvious to every one that is indued with the gifts of Nature; but the Wisdome of the Gospel is a Mystery, or hidden wisdome, because it is not under­stood by natural reason, as Humane Philosophy, but by Supernatural Revelation.

Before the world] Comparison 5. In the antiquity of it, the Wisdome of the Gospel is not of yesterday, but ordained of God before the world: But Humane Phi­losophy is an invention lately found out, and not yet per­fected or finished.

Glory] Comparison 6. The Wisdome of the Gospel appertains to Glory and Salvation, especially of us who live under grace: But Humane Wisdome, compared with this, appertains not to salvation, but vain specu­lation.

Vers. 8. Which none of the Princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.

Comparison 7. Humane Wisdome may consist with the not knowing of Christ, but Divine Wisdome cannot. This comparison is confirmed by experience, because the chief heads of the Jews, and the Rulers of the Gen­tiles, (who in respect to their wisdome, seemed to get a name in the world) understood nothing of the Wisdome of the Gospel, which hee proves by this instance, be­cause had they known any thing of the Gospel, they had either out of reverence to the Divine Power, or out of fear been wary of Crucifying the Lord of Glory so igno­miniously.

Vers. 9. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entred into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Comparison 8. By which hee confirms and illustrates the fourth and sixth comparison: The object of Humane Wisdome, is apprehended by the external senses, and the understanding, or the natural light of reason; but the object of that Wisdome which is unfolded in the Gospel, containing those things which Christ hath procured for us, (to bee enjoyed in this present, and in the world to come) cannot bee apprehended, either by the outward senses, or the understanding, founded in sensible things, or by the discourse of reason, without revelation, be­cause the knowledge of it, (as Isaiah speaks, Chap. 64.14.) cannot come into the heart of man naturally. From all the parts of this comparison arises

Argum. 6. The Wisdome of the Gospel, which the plain way of preaching it, best opens, far excells all hu­mane wisdome, which only the wisdome of words (used for preaching) opens, and that with obscuring the wis­dome of the Gospel: Therefore the preaching of the Go­spel in simplicity, is for the best. The sum of all is, plain­ness of speech shews to the hearers the depth of the wis­dome of God; but wisdome of words, shews how learned the Preacher is in humane wisdome.

Vers. 10. But God hath revealed them to us by his Spi­rit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Hee illustrates this Doctrine, by answering two Obje­ctions.

Objection 1. From whence therefore do you know the Gospel? Hee answers, From the revelation of the Spirit through Faith, wee understand the subject of the Go­spel, which hee confirms from the end and properties of the Holy Spirit, which is given unto us; because the Holy Ghost, as it were by searching, perfectly knows all things, even the hidden things of God, and reveals to us these mysteries.

Vers. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

This property of the Spirit, hee proves by way of comparison; As the Spirit of a man can best know the [Page 43] things which are in man, so the Spirit of God only can know the deep things of God, and by consequence re­veal them.

Vers. 12. Now wee have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that wee may know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Objection 2. But if the Spirit only knows, what have you to do with the Spirit? Hee answers, That the Spirit is given to us that believe, not that common spirit of the world, not the gift of Eloquence, or worldly wisdome, but the Spirit, or the gift of spiritual grace, to this end, that wee may know those spiritual gifts, viz. Christ with his benefits freely bestowed upon us, through the grace of God.

Vers. 13. Which things also wee speak not in the words which mans wisdome teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spi­ritual.

Argum. 7. Confirmed by the practice of the Apostles: Spiritual things ought to bee manifested (if the Apostles practice bee to bee imitated) not with the painted lan­guage of mans wisdome, but in a spiritual stile, and in words which the Holy Ghost teaches: Therefore this is the best manner of preaching: This heavenly business cares not to bee adorned, but is content to bee taught: Hee that speaks (saith Peter) let him speak as the Ora­cles of God, that is, let him use pious language, reverend, sanctified, speaking of divine things, as becomes the O­racles of God.

Spiritual things] Confirming this argument, hee sub­joyns the eighth: Because to spiritual things, and spiri­tual men, or men indued with the Spirit of God, a spi­ritual stile, and manner of speech ought to bee fitted, u­sing spiritual arguments taken out of the Scripture, which will not bee, if the preaching of the Gospel bee cloa­thed with Rhetorical flourishes, and Philosophical sen­tences, with painted speeches; for such kind of speech is as much unbecoming the Gospel, as Herods Purple Gar­ment was unbecoming Christ: Therefore this manner of preaching is the most excellent.

Vers. 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him: neither can hee know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Hee illustrates this Doctrine, by occurring to an Ob­jection: Some man might say, This Doctrine of the A­postle cannot bee admitted by humane reason, for there is no man but accounts it folly, not to set out the most excellent and spiritual things with the most elegant man­ner of speech: Hee answers, by distinguishing men, or the same man, into Rational, and Spiritual; because hee is called rational, as hee is considered in his meer natu­rals, or so far as in any particular act, being destitute of the Spirit, hee judgeth of divine things by the wisdome of the flesh, as also of this spiritual manner of preach­ing: And hee is called the spiritual man, so far as re­newed in his mind and affections, hee attends to the di­ctate of the Spirit. Concerning the former, i. e. The rational man, (not regenerated) or any one not born a­gain, hee grants what is objected, shewing the reasons why hee cannot apprehend nor approve this Doctrine, nor any other spiritual matter. The reasons are three. 1. Be­cause they are foolishness unto him, and ridiculous, even those things which are the very wisdome of God. 2. Be­cause so far as hee is so, for want of light, as also the en­mity of his natural wisdome against God, hee cannot ap­prehend spiritual things. 3. Because spiritual things are discerned only spiritually, i. e. by a spiritual light, and the Spirit within actually manifesting the object, of which the rational man is destitute: For so great is the blindness of our mind, the deceit, perverseness, and un­aptness to spiritual things, that unless wee are regene­rated, and illuminated actually in every thing by the Spi­rit of Christ, wee discern nothing in spiritual things.

Vers. 15. But hee that is spiritual, judgeth all things, yet hee himself is judged of no man.

The other part of the distinction lies thus; The spiri­tual man, so far as hee is spiritual, knows all the things of God, (viz. concerning whom wee speak) and discerns the spiritual and saving manner of handling these mysteries of God, and acknowledges them according to his measure: But hee himself, in his spiritual state and a­ctions, can bee discerned or accounted spiritual, by no man which is not spiritual, or so far as hee is not spiritual.

Vers. 16. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that hee may instruct him? but wee have the mind of Christ.

Hee proves the answer given, by a sentence borrowed from Isai. 40.13. Because no man knows the counsel of God, but they to whom hee hath given his Spirit: And therefore no natural (or rational) man can judge con­cerning the mysteries of Salvation, and the spiritual man­ner of handling them, but only they that are spiritual, so far as they have the mind of Christ revealed to them by his Spirit, such as were the Apostles, and the rest of the Faithful, every one in his own measure.

CHAP. III.

TO the former Arguments in the Chapter foregoing, (proving plainness of speech in preaching the Go­spel) hee adds one, ver. 1, & 2. and in the remaining part of the Chapter passes to the reproving of their Schism.

Vers. 1. And I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto Babes in Christ.

2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto yee were not able to bear it, neither yet now are yee able.

Hee takes an argument from the necessity of the hear­ers, amongst whom are found some less knowing, to whom the height of spiritual things is not only to bee tempered and seasoned with simplicity of speech, but to bee brought down to a familiar and plain manner of speaking; which hee confirms by his own experience, and the example of the Corinthians, amongst whom, as a­mongst those that were carnal, and Babes in Christ, the Apostle is compelled to descend from his manly kind of speech, and, as with children, to stammer, as it were, a­bout divine things: Wherefore hee fed them with a more easie and familiar kind of speech, as children are fed with milk.

For yee were not] Hee gives three reasons of this his doing: The first is, because you could not then bear a more perfect manner of Preaching, as stronger meat.

Nor yet] Reason 2. Because neither as yet, when hee wrote these things, were they able to bear it.

Vers. 3. For yee are yet carnal; for whereas there is a­mong you envying, and strife, and divisions, are yee not carnal, and walk as men?

Reason 3. Because yee are carnal, comparatively, viz. in respect to spiritual perfection, after which you ought to strive; which that hee might prove, hee passes to a reproof of the Schism which sprung up amongst them: First in general, because among them the works of the flesh were manifest, a preposterous ambition, and from that arose contentions, and thence divisions, or Schismes, which was to walk in the wayes of unregenerate and car­nal men.

Vers. 4. For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollo, are yee not carnal?

Furthermore in particular hee proves the Corinthians to bee carnal, and more specially taxes them of Schism, because they chose to themselves certain Teachers, from one of whom one would call himself, and from another, another. In the mean time hee forbids them making any [Page 44] Schism about their Teachers, laying down fourteen Ar­guments, all which prove, that they ought not to nourish the Schism which was grown up amongst them, neither the Teachers, nor the people.

Are yee not] Argum. 1. This contending about your Teachers, argues that you are carnal: Therefore Schism is not to bee nourished.

Vers. 5. Who then is Paul? and who is Apollo? but Ministers by whom yee beleeved, even as the Lord gave to every man.

Argum. 2. The prime Apostles and Evangelists, not your ordinary Teachers (whose names hee mentions not) are onely the Ministers of your conversion and Faith: Therefore they are not so highly to bee magnified, that you should name your selves from them, and because of them should bee rent into factions: Therefore this Schism is not any further to bee maintained.

Vers. 6. I have planted, Apollo watered, but God gave the encrease.

7. So then, neither is hee that planteth any thing, nei­ther hee that watereth, but God that giveth the increase.

Argum. 3. The Ministery and labour of the Apostles and Evangelists, whether in conversion, or edification of those that are converted, profits no more (without the blessing of God) than planting or watering of the Gar­diner, if God give not the increase: Therefore so much honour (that you should glory in them) is not to bee ascribed to men, but God.

Vers. 8. Now hee that planteth, and hee that watereth are one, and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

Argum. 4. All teachers in office, labour, and inten­tion ought to bee one: Therefore neither by them, nor for them is the Churc [...] to bee rent by Schisms.

Reward] Argum. 5. Every one shall receive his re­ward according to his work: Therefore it lies upon the Teachers, that they rather attend to their work, and their reward, than to the fomenting of factions.

Vers. 9. For wee are labourers together with God: yee are Gods husbandry, yee are Gods building.

Argum. 6. All Teachers ought to work together with God, and to minister together with him: Therefore Schisms ought not to bee by, or for them.

Husbandry] Argum. 7. They that are the people of God, as a field, or building, ought to bee closely united to one another in the service of God: Therefore ought they not to bee rent into parties one from another.

Vers. 10. According unto the Grace of God which is given unto mee, as a wise Master-builder I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon: but let every man take heed how hee buildeth thereupon.

Argum. 8. Is propounded under the form of an ad­monition, whereby hee more sharply wounds their am­bitious Teachers, the authors of Schism, which strove by their boasting of Philosophy and Eloquence, every one to gain Disciples after them: This is the Argument: It is dangerous, lest while each of these ordinary Teachers, serve their own ambition, they build some kind of do­ctrine upon the Apostles foundation, which agrees not with the foundation: Therefore Schism is not to bee fomented.

Vers. 11. For other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Iesus Christ.

Hee gives a Reason, why hee directs his admonition onely to their ordinary Teachers, about superstructures, because the summe of all saving doctrine concerning Je­sus Christ, as the sure and onely foundation, is laid by the Apostles, from which it is not lawful for ordinary or ex­traordinary Teachers to depart.

Vers. 12. Now if any man build on this foundation, Gold, Silver, precious Stones, Wood, Hay, Stubble:

Therefore hee compares the doctrine of the Gospel to a building, the Apostles to builders, laying the foundation of all saving doctrine: Those Teachers that follow after, hee compares to those that build the walls upon the foun­dation laid by the Apostles; of whom some taught [...]ound doctrine agreeable to the foundation, for the truth of it, and the spiritual manner of handling it; others stuffed their preaching with Philosophical flowers, and the wis­dome of words, building as it were, Wood, Stubble, Hay, not solid matter, nor tending to salvation.

Vers. 13. Every mans work shall bee made manifest, for the day shall declare it, because it shall bee re­vealed by fire, and the fire shall try every mans work, of what sort it is.

That they might here know their danger, hee fore-tells the tryal of every ones work in his preaching the Gospel (no less exact, than that of Gold-smiths in trying their metals by fire) at leastwise in the last day, wherein God will judge of all persons and works.

Vers. 14. If any mans work abide which hee hath built thereupon, hee shall receive a reward.

In which day at least, whosoever hath built solid and precious doctrine, agreeable to the foundation, shall re­ceive a reward of his faithfulness, according to the promi­ses of God.

Vers. 15. If any mans work shall bee burnt, hee shall suffer loss: but hee himself shall bee saved; yet so, as by fire.

But if any one shall mingle Philosophical speculations, the hay of humane wisdome, the stubble of wordy elo­quence, with his preaching; or shall add any other devi­ces of his own, which cannot indure the sentence of di­vine judgement, hee shall suffer loss of all his labours, but the Preacher shall bee saved, but so as by fire, i. e. if so bee hee is able to abide the fiery and exact tryal of God, whereby hee wi [...]l accurately separate the sincere from Hypocrites, as the fire purges the rust from the metal: the summe of all is: The Preacher himself shall bee sa­ved, if otherwise hee bee found sincere in the Faith of Christ.

Vers. 16. Know yee not that yee are the Temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Argum. 9. Appertains to preachers, as also hearers, because when they know themselves to bee the Temple of God, it is a wicked thing to defile and do violence to the Church or Temple of God, even their own conscience be­ing witness: Therefore this Schism is not further to bee fomented, unless they will do injury to the Spirit of God dwelling in them.

Vers. 17. If any man defile the Temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the Temple of God is holy, which Temple yee are.

Argum. 10. From the pernicious effect: It is to bee feared lest God destroy you with your vanities and dissen­tions, while you defile his Temple: Therefore this Schism is not to bee fomented any further.

Vers. 18. Let no man deceive himself: if any man a­mong you seemeth to bee wise in this world, let him become a fool, that hee may bee wise.

Argum. 11. Propounded by way of prevention of an Objection, in maintaining this Schism you seem wise to your selves, but your self-confidence deceives you: This is the cause of Schism, and therefore you are to beware of it, and that you may beware of the Schism, hee prescribes the way how they should beware, which is this, that hee which seems to excel in humane wisdome, renounce this vain opinion of his own wisdome, and yeeld up himself in obedience unto God, following the plain manner of Preaching, which though it seem foolishness to men, yet it alone is able to make us wise.

Vers. 19. For the wisdome of this world is foolishness with God: for it is written, Hee taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

20. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

Hee confirms the counsel that hee had given, from the [Page 45] judgement of God, concerning carnal wisdome, that God accounts it foolishness, especially when carnal wis­dome rejects the institutions of God, and despises the sim­plicity of them, which hee proves by the testimony of the Scriptures, the first is of Iob 5.13. The sense where­of is, However vain men may seem wise to themselves and the world, yet God so frustrates their devices, and turns them into snares, that they may fall by their own Counsels, rather than by others; and thus hee convinceth them of folly. Another Testimony is in Psal. 94.11. Where God declares the thoughts of the wise to bee vain, which savour onely humane things, for those things which they imagine to make most for their happiness, contribute least.

Vers. 21. Therefore let no man glory in men, for all things are yours.

22. Whether Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours.

Argum. 12. Propounded by way of dehortation from the Schism, which hee reprehended: Because Schism, and making parties concerning their Teachers, is unholy boasting in men: Therefore this Schism is not to bee fomented: They gloried in their Teachers, when they a­scribed too much to them, depending upon them, and made them (as it were) Masters of their Faith, when they ought onely to depend upon God, who speaks by his Ministers, when, and as much as hee please.

All things] Confirming this dehortation, hee adds Argum. 13. Because all your Teachers, the least and the greatest, even the Apostles themselves, and all things in the world, things present, and things to come, life and death, and whatsoever else can bee reckoned up, are ap­pointed of God, that they may bee serviceable to the sal­vation of the faithful: Therefore you ought not for the vain glory of your Teachers, to rent your selves into parties, or boast in your Teachers, as if you were the flock of learned men.

Vers. 23. And yee are Christs, and Christ is Gods.

Argum. 14. The last Argument is in the last verse, wherein calling their Teachers as also the people, and the gifts and dignity of all, to the fountain, hee reduceth them into order, that they might depend upon Christ, and God alone, and in him might make their boast: for as the world is ours, and all things in the world, are designed as it were to our good, so wee are of Christ, re­deemed by him, that wee might bee his f [...]ock: For Christ personally considered, is of God, as the most be­loved Son of the Father, in the work of redemption, humbling himself to the office of a Mediatour, and that to the glory of God, essentially considered. To whom bee glory. Amen.

CHAP. IV.

AS amongst the Corinthians, their glorious Teachers were magnified by their followers, so the Apostles were meanly thought of, and the other faithful Mini­sters of Christ, as if they had not been to bee compared with these eloquent Ministers, either in gifts, or suc­cess: The Apostle teaches that this judgement is to bee rectified, and the Schism not to bee fomented any fur­ther.

There are two parts of the Chapter: In the first, hee corrects this corrupt judgement of theirs, to vers. 14. In the second, hee shuts up all hee had to say by way of reproof touching their Schism, to the end. Hee laies down nine Arguments (why hee corrects their rash judgement concerning the Apostle, and his companions, and other faithful Ministers of Christ, and of their un­equal comparing of these with their Teachers.) Which prove that wee must beware of making unbecomming comparisons of the Ministers of the Gospel, neither ought wee rashly to judge of any ones gifts.

Vers. 1. Let a man so account of us, as of the Mini­sters of Christ, and Stewards of the mysteries of God.

Argum. 1. Which is propounded in a similitude taken from Stewards: Wee, whom you despise, although wee are not Masters of your Faith, yet wee are the Ministers of Christ, from whose hands you ought to receive the treasure of salvation, and the bread of life: Therefore you ought to beware of comparing the gifts of Teachers.

Vers. 2. Moreover, it is required in Stewards, that a man bee found faithful.

Argum. 2. That which commends the Ministery of the Gospel, is not the excellency of gifts, but a faithful dis­pensation of their gifts, and the mystery of salvation, whereof God alone is the just Judge: Therefore wee must beware of this unequal comparing of the gifts of Teachers.

Vers. 3. But with mee it is a very small thing, that I should bee Iudged of you, or of mans judgement: yea, I judge not mine own self.

Argum. 3. Because neither yee, nor any men, nor I Paul am a competent Judge of my own dignity: There­fore yee are to take heed of this unequal comparing of Teachers: For if Paul could not determine in what e­steem hee himself ought to bee had, the Corinthians were rash, who determined concerning the dignity of Paul and the rest of their Teachers.

Vers. 4. For I know nothing by my self, yet am I not hereby justified; but hee that judgeth mee is the Lord.

Argum. 4. Confirming the former: I an Apostle, though I am not conscious of ill mannaging my office, yet I dare not acquit my self, or determine of my own dignity to the injury of others, but I leave the judgement wholly to God: Therefore this unjust comparing of Teachers from their gifts, is to bee taken heed of.

Vers. 5. Therefore judge nothing before the time, un­til the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts, and then shall every man have praise of God.

Argum. 5. Propounded by way of dehortation; To judge, especially by way of comparison, concerning the dignity [or worth] of men, is not seasonable, before the coming of the Lord: Therefore wee are to take heed of this unfitting comparing of men, from their gifts.

Counsels] Argum. 6. Confirming also the former: The secret intentions of the heart, and the hidden purpo­ses of men in the Ministry, shall not bee manifested be­fore the day of judgement; neither can judgement bee made by any touching the excellency of men, but by God himself onely, who will distribute in that day to every man, praise or dispraise according to their dignity: Therefore wee are to take heed of the comparing of men from their gifts.

Vers. 6. And these things, Brethren, have I in a figure transferred to my self, and to Apollo, for your sakes, that yee might learn in us, not to think of men, above that which is written, that no one of you bee puffed up for one against another.

Argum. 7. It is not fitting upon the account of the most excellent gifts (such as are in mee Paul the Apostle, and Apollos the Evangelist) to e [...]oll any Minister, above what is written in the first verie of this Chapter ▪ i. e. to lift him up above the dignity of a Steward, and much less out of prejudice, to discredit faithful Ministers, because of this or that Teacher, whom wee admire: Therefore this comparing of men from their gifts, is to bee taken heed of: That hee might evidence the force of this Argu­ment, hee opens how hee used his prudence in this bus [...] ­ness viz. That concealing the names of these [...] Teachers, hee transfers the whole matter upon [...] and Apollos, to this very end, that the Corinthians might [Page 46] learn in the person of these, who excelled in extraordi­nary gifts and dignity, to think soberly of all Ministers, and not to pride themselves in the name of any Teacher, against another, so as to entitle themselves from any man.

Vers. 7. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, Why doest thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

Argum. 8. God differenceth one from another, giving more or less gifts to this or that man, according to his pleasure, no man makes himself to differ: Seeing then whatsoever gifts one man hath, hee hath received them of God, hee ought not to boast in what hee hath re­ceived, but to think modestly of himself and others: Therefore this unjust comparing of men from their gifts, is to bee taken heed of.

Vers. 8. Now yee are full, now yee are rich, yee have reigned as Kings without us, and I would to God yee did reign, that wee also might reign with you.

Argum. 9. This unfitting comparing of men, hath in it foolish self-pleasing, therefore wee must beware of it: By a most grave Irony the Apostle checketh this their self-pleasing: Because the Corinthians did not less please their selves in common gifts, and worldly prosperity, than if they had obtained a perfection of gifts, a full felicity, and the enjoyment of a Kingdome, wanting in the midst of their fulness, [...]eing unmindful of the Cross of Christ, and unacquainted with those afflictions wherein the A­postle was involved: Hee taxes this vanity thus, that hee wishes them the happiness which they dream't they had, that their happiness might comfort the Apostles, who lay in many afflictions.

Vers. 9. For I think that God hath set forth us the Apostles, last, as it were appointed to death, for wee are made a spectacle unto the world, and to Angels, and to men;

Hee shews the afflictions of himself and Barnabas, (which are called the last of the Apostles, because they were called after the Ascension of Christ, and by a spe­cial command sent to the Gentiles) (as it is, Act. 13.2. & 14.14.) shewing that they were set forth of God in the sight of all, as those that conflicted with all kind of troubles.

Vers. 10. Wee are fools for Christs sake, but yee are wise in Christ: wee are weak, but yee are strong: yee are honourable, but wee are despised.

Further, hee compares his afflictions with their pro­sperity, and their unequal opinion concerning them­selves and the Apostle, hee shews in three particulars. 1. In Wisdome, wee are accounted fools, both by the world, and perhaps by you, that wee run into so many hazards for Christ: Yee seem to yourselves and others wise, because you enjoy the Gospel, and prosperity with­all. 2. In strength, wee appear weak, broken with di­stresses: you seem strong and powerful, living out of the reach of any the darts of tribulation. 3. In honor, you shine forth in glory and authority: wee in the mean time, are ignominious, and despicable both to you and o­thers.

Vers. 11. Even unto this present hour wee both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place;

12. And labour, wo [...]king with our own hands: being reviled, wee bless; being persecuted, wee suffer it;

13. Being defamed, wee entreat: wee are made as the filth of the world, and are the off-scouring of all things unto this day.

Hee rehearses other sorts of his troubles, Wee are (saith hee) exposed to want, and injuries, ver. 11. It is not by our fault that wee are poor, for wee labour with our hands, wee suffer injuries, but not by our own desert; for wee are so far from giving occasion either by word or deed, that on the other side, wee patiently requite good for evil, ver. 12, 13.

Vers. 14. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons to warn you.

In the other part of the Chapter, hee concludes his re­prehension of their Schism: First by way of exhortation to obedience, and the following of him, to ver. 18. Se­condly, by threatning a severer discipline, unless upon his admonition they repent. As for the first, hee pro­pounds four Arguments, by way of perswasion to obedi­ence.

Argum. 1. By way of preventing an objection; I have not writ these things to shame you, but to admonish you: Therefore bee obedient to mee.

Children] Argum. 2. I account you, and love you as Sons: Therefore taking in good part these my admoniti­ons, bee obedient to mee.

Vers. 15. For though you have ten thousand Instructers in Christ, yet have yee not many Fathers; for in Christ Iesus I have begotten you through the Gospel.

16. Wherefore I beseech you, bee you followers of mee.

Argum. 3. After a special manner (in comparison with your other Teachers) I am a Father unto you, be­cause you have been converted by my Ministery: There­fore bee obedient to mee, and follow mee, rather than your ambitious Teachers: for I was the Minister of your Regeneration, not those ambitious teachers, which are at the most but Instructers, not Fathers.

Vers. 17. For this cause have I sent unto you Timothe­us, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my wayes which bee in Christ, as I teach every where in every Church.

Argum. 4. To this end have I sent Timothy unto you, that I might the more easily procure your following of mee: Therefore bee obedient unto mee, and follow mee in those things wherein I shine forth to all the Churches, by reason of my Apostleship, both in doctrine and holi­ness of life.

Vers. 18. Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.

19. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.

As to the other part of the conclusion, because some amongst them were puffed up, in hopes to escape cen­sure, as if the Apostle would not come unto them,

Hee threatens 1. That hee would come. 2. That hee would try, whether in those Teachers there bee that Power of the Spirit, or meerly the eloquence of words, without the demonstration of the Spirit.

Vers. 20. For the Kingdome of God is not in word, but in Power.

Hee gives an account why hee esteemed nothing of their meer eloquence, or their boasting in human wisdom, because the Kingdome of Christ, and the Salvation or e­dification of men, is not promoted with words, or the wis­dome of words, but by the Power of God.

Vers. 21. What will yee? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

Lastly, lest any of the Corinthians, whether Teachers or their Followers should foment Schism, hee propounds this choice to them, Whether they would that hee should come to their correction, with the authority of Church-censures, which hee resolved to do, if they fur­ther made Parties, and fomented Schism; Or whether they would that hee should come to their comfort, in the spirit of love and meekness, which hee intended, if they repented.

Thus hee passes to the Excommunication of the Ince­stuous Person.

CHAP. V.
THE SECOND ARTICLE CONCERNING THE INCESTUOUS PERSON.

LEst they should think his Commination vain, (whereof hee speaks toward the end of the former Chapter) he commands that the Incestuous Person be Ex­communicated, propounding to that end, eleven Argum.

Vers. 1. It is reported commonly, that there is fornica­tion among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his Fathers Wife.

The first Argument; because the Incestuous Person is defiled by an hainous wickedness, which the Gentiles will not so much as speak of without detestation: There­fore hee is to bee Excommunicated.

Vers. 2. And yee are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that hee that hath done this deed might bee taken away from among you.

The second Argument is joyned with the reproof of the Corinthians, because you ought long since to have grieved for the great offence, and to have excommunicated the wicked person, and not to excuse his fault by lessening of it, or making a jest at it, or glorying in it, as if you were taken with the fact.

Vers. 3. For I verily as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I was present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

4. In the Name of our Lord Iesus Christ, when yee are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Iesus Christ,

5. To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the Spirit may bee saved in the day of the Lord Iesus.

Argum. 3. Because now besides that ordinary power which you have in the Ecclesiastical Senate, viz. you are instructed and obliged also by an extraordinary Power to excommunicate him; for truly you have my mind, or spirit, judgement, opinion and authority concerning that wicked person (as much in my absence as if I was pre­sent:) Therefore when you are gathered together, being fortified by this Apostolical Epistle, (in which the spi­rit, or mind, or opinion of mee an Apostle is contained) and by the authority of Christ, (in whose name the cen­sures of the Church are to bee made) that you deliver that wicked one to Satan, or excommunicate him. Hee sayes, Deliver him to Satan, because hee that is rejected and cast out of the Church by Excommunication from the Church-dignity of the Saints, as to the outward condition of a man, the same also is declared to bee (as to his outward condition) in the Kingdome, bondage and power of Satan; for to bee a Citizen even in the outward state of the Church, (which is said to bee the Kingdome of God) is a greater honour than to reign without the Church: Therefore hee that is Excommu­nicated, hee loses much of his repute, and honour, and dignity, and is reckoned amongst the subjects of the devil.

Destruction of the flesh] Argum. 4. From the end of Excommunication, by way of preventing an objection, because Excommunication is a means of Repentance and Salvation; for truly by this censure the pride of the flesh may bee mortified, and the new creature bee saved in the day of judgement: Therefore hee is to bee excom­municated.

Vers. 6. Your glorying is not good: know yee not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

Argum. 5. Lest the whole Church should bee infected and polluted by the contagion of so great a wickedness, as by a little leaven the whole lump is leavened: There­fore the Incestuous Person is to bee Excommunicated. This Argument is enforced by repeating his reproof of the Corinthians.

Vers. 7. Purge out therefore the old leaven, that yee may bee a new lump, as yee are unleavened: for even Christ our Passeover is sacrificed for us.

Argum. 6. Propounded by the continuing of the Alle­gory; because the Christian Church is to bee purged from scandals, yea, and the hearts of Christians, from all the corruption of their old nature, with no less dili­gence than heretofore the houses of the Jews, under the Law, were purged from common leaven, before the Passeover was sacrificed: Therefore the Incestuous Per­son is to bee Excommunicated.

That yee may bee] Argum. 7. From the profitableness of it. Yee must endeavour, that yee may bee a new and holy society, an holy lump, or that yee may bee found new creatures, really and in deed, as yee are unleavened by your obligation and profession, or as you are Saints: Therefore the Incestuous Person is to bee Excommuni­cated.

Passeover] Confirming this Argument, hee adds the eighth, because the thing signified in the Passeover, to wit, the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, doth not less engage Christians to their duties, (represented by the celebrati­on and ceremonies of the Feast) that is, to bee careful, that holiness may flourish in us, and in the Church; than it did oblige the Jews heretofore, to observe the ceremo­nies of the Feast, in which the Paschal Lamb, being a type, sacrificed was set before them.

Vers. 8. Therefore let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice, and wick­edness, but with the unleavened bread of sincere truth.

From hence hee infers, (as it were by a perswasive conclusion) the ninth Argum. That malice and wicked­ness being put away, both from themselves, and from the Church, and by consequence, that Incestuous Person be­ing excommunicated, they might worship and serve the Lord cheerfully, and holily, in sincerity and truth: The force of this Argument is this, Wee cannot live holily and righteously (as the signification of the Feast of the Paschal Lamb typified, requires of us) unless the leaven of our former life, and wicked practices, be purged away out of us, and the House of God, or the Church; and un­less wee endeavour to keep sincerity and truth in us and the Church: Therefore hee is to bee Excommunicated.

Vers. 9. I wrote unto you in an Epistle, not to company with fornicators.

Argum. 10. Because he before forbad them by his Epistle to have fellowship with Fornicators, and by consequence they might understand, that Fornicators were to bee Ex­communicated from the Church, and much more ince­stuous persons: Therefore that Incestuous Person is now to bee excommunicated.

Vers. 10. Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the Covetous, or with Extorti­oners, or with Idolaters; for then must you needs go out of the world.

Lest they should excuse themselves, hee shews them that that Precept concerning vicious persons, was not to bee understood by them▪ of those that were in the world, or without the Church; because thus the Apostle had commanded a thing impossible, because they must eithe [...] necessarily live amongst such wicked persons, or go out of the world; for they lived at Corinth, the Citizens where­of (with whom the Faithful necessarily must have civil commerce) remained for the most part Infidels.

Vers. 11. But now have I written unto you, not to keep company, if any man that is called a Brother, bee a Fornicator, or Covetous, or an Idolater, or a Railer, or a Drunkard, or an Extortioner, with such a one, no, not to eat.

Argum. 11. If you have not been heretofore sufficient­ly instructed in this business, at least yee now have my [Page 48] mind, which you have heard out of this Epistle, that you must not ea [...] with a Professor, or Brother, that is a Fornicatour; and by consequence that Brother is to bee excommunicated, who being convinced of his faults by the Church, remains still wicked without repentance: Therefore now you ought much more to conclude that the incestuous person is to bee excommunicated.

Vers. 12. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not you judge them that are within?

13. But them that are without, God judgeth; therefore put away from among your selves that wicked per­son.

Another reason of the Exposition is given, by urging the twelfth Argument, for excommunicating the ince­stuous person, because from thence (that neither the A­postle, nor the Church, had right to exercise Church Censures upon those who were without the Church, but they were left to the judgement of God onely) they ought to conclude, that to judge of the members of the Church belonged to them: Therefore that wicked incestuous per­son, was to bee taken away from amongst them by ex­communication, which is the scope of the whole Chap­ter.

CHAP. VI.
THE THIRD AND FOURTH ARTICLE CON­CERNING LAW SUTES, AND A­VOIDING FORNICATION.

IN this Chapter the third and fourth Article of the E­pistle is handled, concerning the avoiding of going to Law before the judgement seat of Infidels, to vers. 12 and of shunning Fornication, to the end.

Vers. 1. Dare any of you, having a matter against a­nother, go to Law before the unjust, and not before the Saints?

By eleven Arguments hee proveth that Christians ought not to contend before Heathen Judges: Argum. 1. It is a shameful thing, when there are holy Judges, to go to Law under Infidel Judges: Therefore wee must not con­tend before Infidel Judges.

Vers. 2. Do you not know that the Saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall bee judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

Argum. 2. The Saints which shall judge the World, are much more worthy of judging matters pertaining to this world: Therefore wee must not contend under Infidels.

Vers. 3. Know yee not that wee shall judge Angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Argum. 3. The Saints shall judge Angels, viz. Evil Angels, in the day of judgement; therefore they are much more fit to judge of temporal things: Therefore wee must not contend under Heathen Judges: The Saints are said to judge Angels and the world, Because they being now acquitted in judgement, as assessors in judgement with Christ, shall consent to the sentence of the Judge against the enemies of God and the Church.

Vers. 4. If then yee have judgements of things pertain­ing to this life, set them to judge who are least e­steemed in the Church.

Argum. 4. Those that are of least esteem in the Church, are rather to bee appointed Judges, than that wee should betake ourselves to Infidels: Therefore, &c.

Vers. 5. I speak to your shame, is it so, that there is not a wise man amongst you? no not one that shall bee able to judge between his Brethren?

Hee corrects himself in this Argument, by shewing that hee would have appointed Judges, not simply those that are least esteemed in the Church, but this hee would have done by a comparative concession, from what they practised, that hee might with shame restrain them.

Is it so] Argum. 5. You have amongst you those that are wise men, and yet you betake your selves to prophane judicatories, as if there were not wise men amongst you, which might decide controversies: Therefore it behoves you not thus to behave your selves.

Vers. 6. But Brother goeth to Law with Brother, and that before the unbeleevers.

Argum. 6. Seeing that you are Brethren, yee ought not to contend one with another in going to Law: There­fore much less under Heathens.

Vers. 7. Now therefore, there is utterly a fault among you, because you go to Law one with another; why do yo not rather take wrong? why do you not rather suffer your selves to bee defrauded?

Argum. 7. Strivings and contentions, discover your weakness, infirmities, and sin: Therefore you must not contend, especially before Infidels.

Wherefore] Argum. 8. I [...] would bee better to suffer injury and wrong, than with scandal to contend: There­fore wee ought not to contend, especialy under In­fidels.

Vers. 8. Nay, you do wrong, and defraud, and that your Brethren.

Argum. 9. Those that are active in contending a­mongst you, joyn it with injury, and defrauding of your Brethren, inasmuch as the actors are full of revenge, pride, and covetousness: Therefore your contending is unjust, and especially under Infidels.

Vers. 9. Know yee not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdome of God? bee not deceived: neither Fornicators, nor Idolaters, nor Adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with man­kind,

10. Nor Theeves, nor Covetous, nor Drunkards, nor Revilers, nor Extortioners, shall inherit the King­dome of God.

Argum. 10. These unjust contendings, as well as o­ther kinds of wickedness, and abominable impurity, which are here reckoned up, keep men out of the King­dome of Heaven: Therefore you ought not to contend, &c.

Vers. 11. And such were some of you; but yee are washed, but yee are sanctified, but yee are justifi­ed in the Name of the Lord Iesus, and by the Spi­rit of our God.

Argum. 11. And last: Seeing you Corinthians have been defiled with all, or most, or at least with some of these fore-said vices, and now, so far as in charity wee may judge of you, yee have obtained remission of sins, and are sanctified through the Spirit, and cloathed with the Righteousness of Christ; you ought to beware (re­ceiving power from the Grace of Christ) le [...]t you fall a­gain into the same filthiness, either by stirring up con­tentions with others, or defiling your selves any other way.

Vers. 12. All things are lawful unto mee, but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful for mee, but I will not bee brought under the power of any.

The other part of the Chapter containing the fourth Article of the Epistle followes, concerning the avoid­ing simple Fornication (as it is called) which the Co­rinthians accounted a thing indifferent, as other Gentiles did: Hee proceeds to reproof, by preventing their A­pology which they were ready to make: The Corin­thians might say, All indifferent things are lawful for us, but as meat, so also Fornication is indifferent: Therefore it is lawful for us. First, Hee answers in ge­neral, by limiting of the Major, viz, that all indifferent things are lawful, so far as they are convenien [...], and law­ful, so that wee bee not brought into bondage to our af­fections, by the intemperate use of our liberty, for in those and the like cases▪ hee sins in the use of indifferent things.

[Page 49] Vers. 13. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord: and the Lord for the body.

Further hee answers in special to the minor, shewing the difference betwixt meats and fornication, granting that it is lawful to use any kind of meat, because God hath ordained to the good of nature, meats for the belly, and the belly for meats, but yet with a temporary con­junction; for as God will destroy meats, so hee will de­stroy the belly, as to the use it now hath; so that for the sake of the belly, wee ought not to endanger our eter­nal Salvation, or the Salvation of others, eating with of­fence: As to that which concerns fornication, hee denies it lawful upon any necessity, as meat is lawful, but sim­ply to be a sin, and to be avoided; and that he proves by six Arguments.

Argum. 1. Because the body is not made for fornicati­on, or ordained to that end, as the belly for meats, and meats for the belly, but that it should bee a member of Christ our Lord, who is ordained to bee the head of the man, to govern the whole body, that it may bee kept holy: Therefore Fornication is no way lawful.

Vers. 14. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

Argum. 2. Our bodies shall bee raised glorious in the Resurrection, as the Body of Christ was raised: There­fore they ought not to bee defiled with fornication.

Vers. 15. Know you not that your bodies are the mem­bers of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an Harlot? God forbid.

Argum. 3. The Faithful which are members of Christ, are not by fornication to bee made the members of an Harlot, which argument hee sharpens with an Interro­gation: Therefore, &c.

Vers. 16. What, Know yee not, that hee that is joyned to an Harlot, is one body? For two (saith hee) shall bee one flesh.

That hee may confirm this argument, hee proves from the Analogy of Marriage, that fornication with an har­lot, makes the fornicators one flesh; and by consequence the fornicator is made the member of an harlot: There­fore fornication is unlawful.

Vers. 17. But hee that is joyned unto the Lord, is one spirit.

Further hee proves that Believers are members of Christ, because joyned by Faith, and are one Mystical Body with Christ, one Spiritual Body, or one Spirit.

Vers. 18. Flee fornication: every sin that a man doth, is without the body: but hee that committeth forni­cation, sinneth against his own body.

Hee turns the Position into a Dehortation, and adds the fourth Argum ▪ by way of comparison with other sins; other sins abuse the object without, chiefly and principal­ly, but fornication abuses its own body, and more dis­honors the body than any other sin: Therefore it is un­lawful.

Vers. 19. What, know yee not that your own body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which yee have of God, and you are not your own?

20. For yee are bought with a price: therefore glorifie God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods.

Argum. 5. Our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in us, given us of God: Therefore they are not to bee polluted with fornication.

Neither are yee] Argum. 6. The Faithful are not their own, but purchased with the Blood of Christ: There­fore they ought to take heed, that they defile not them­selves with fornication, but rather endeavour by an holy conversation, both of body and soul, to glorifie God their Redeemer, whose they are.

CHAP. VII.
THE FIFTH ARTICLE OF CASES TOUCH­ING MARRIAGE.

THe Apostle being enquired of by the Corinthians, concerning Marriage-Cases, in this Chapter hee answers five of their demands.

Vers. 1. Now concerning the things whereof yee wrote unto me; it is good for a man not to touch a woman.

2. Nevertheless to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

The first enquiry is of men unmarried, who lived a sin­gle life, whether it were best for them to marry: The reasons of this demand were two, the fear of troubles, and the fear of defilement in Marriage. That which belongs to the first reason, wee are to remember that the Corinthians had been a long time in danger of persecution; although now they lived prosperously; and the most part feared no­thing. The Apostle answers those that are in such a case, if no necessity lyes upon them to marry, it is good and profitable not to marry, but where there is danger of sinning by incontinence, wee are rather to eschew for­nication and sin, than the danger of troubles in Mar­riage.

Vers. 3. Let the husband render to the wife due benevo­lence: and likewise also the wife unto the hus­band.

That which concerns the scruple▪ le [...]t any one should think his conscience by Matrimonial Society defiled, hee declares not only the conjugal bed to bee undefiled, but also the right of the Marriage-bed ought to bee granted to him that seeks a wife, whereto hee subjoyns four rea­sons.

Due] Reason 1. Because that benevolence is due by the Law of Marriage.

Vers. 4. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath no power of his own body, but the wife.

Reason 2. Because by conjugal agreement, the husband hath power over the wives body, and the wife over the husbands, chiefly to avoid fornication.

Vers. 5. Defraud you not one another, except it bee with consent for a time, that you may give your selves to fasting and prayer, and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

Reason 3. Because otherwise there would fall out an unjust defrauding of each others part, if commerce should bee denied without reason.

That you may give your selves] Hee limits what hee had said with a special exception▪ unless it bee agreed by consent on both parts, that for a time they might give themselves to fasting and prayer.

Le [...]t Satan tempt] Reason 4. Because after the set time, if benevolence desired bee denied, it is dangerous lest Satan tempts the party defrauded, for his incontinency, to commit adultery.

Vers. 6. But I speak this by permission, and not of com­mandment.

7. For I would that all men were even as I my self: but every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, another after that.

Hee explains this his opinion touching contracting Marriage, and using conjugal society, that it is not an u­niversal precept, as if here commanded Marriage to all, but that the granting or permission is universal, only in case of incontinency; for plainly, if by the will of God it might bee, the Apostle could with the Corinthians (who moved the question) both continence, and the advantages of single life, which God had bestowed upon him; but because the gift of Continence is not given to [Page 50] every one, hee saith, that hee spake this by permission, which hee hath granted.

Vers. 8. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them, if they abide even as I.

9. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

From hence hee gathers up the sum of what hee had said, that hee might plainly answer those who lived un­married, or Widows, it was convenient that they should abide in that state, if they could contain, if not, that they marry.

For it is better] Hee gives a reason, because it behoved them rather to beware of burning lusts, which defile the conscience with sin, than of the troubles of Marriage, even those troubles which accompany a married state in times of persecution.

Vers. 10. And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, let not the wife depart from her hus­band.

The second thing they enquire of, is concerning Di­vorce, the parts whereof are two: The first is, concern­ing both being Believers, whether it is lawful for marri­ed Christians to make a Divorce, unless the case bee for adultery? Hee answers, that it is not lawful; which an­swer that hee may confirm, hee denies that hee command­ed any thing new, or from special revelation, but that hee repeats an old command by the authority of the Lord, who in the Institution of Marriage, established, that the married should bee one flesh, whereupon that separation and divorce is unlawful.

Vers. 11. But if shee depart, let her remain unmarried, or bee reconciled to her husband, and let not the hus­band put away his wife.

But if the wife, (pretending necessary causes of de­parting, as danger of life, or such like) shall depart, hee commands that either shee bee reconciled to her husband, or abstain from new Marriage, and by consequence much more from fornication; and that hee commands both for the punishment of frowardness and impatience, and the tryal of sincerity, lest this liberty should bee drawn into licentiousness: In the mean time hee commands the hus­band that hee put not away his wife, or give her cause to depart.

Vers. 12. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord, If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and shee bee pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

13. And the woman which hath an husband that be­lieveth not, and if hee bee pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

The other part of their enquiry follows, wherein the question is concerning those that are married, where the one is an Infidel, whether Divorce is lawful? Hee saith that hee will answer to this part, from the authority of special revelation, because God had not determined it in the Law, what Christians should do in that case; this is it which hee saith, The Lord hath not determined it in the old Law, but I, viz. by special revelation from the Lord, will determine it. In the first part of his answer, hee forbids that the unbelieving party should bee put a­way, if shee desire not to leave him.

Vers. 14. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean, but now are they holy.

Hee lays down five Reasons. First, Because an unbe­lieving person is sanctified, though not in it self, yet to the use of the Believer; although not simply, yet so far, that Marriage is sanctified to the believing party, and to the children brought forth: Therefore let not the unbe­lieving wife bee put away, if shee desire to tarry.

Else] Reason 2. Confirming the former, from the consequent absurdity, because otherwise the children of Christians, in such a case, would not bee born under the Covenant, they would not bee born Christians, and de­dicated to Christ in holiness; the contrary to which is true: Therefore let not the unbelieving wife bee put a­way, if shee desire to tarry.

Vers. 15. But if the unbelieving depart, let him de­part: A brother or a Sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

Before hee adds the reasons that are behind, hee pro­pounds another part of the answer: If the unbelieving party will not co-habit, but depart, in this case, hee de­clares the Marriage to bee void, and the party believing to bee free.

To peace] Reason 3. Proving that the unbelieving party is not to bee put away, being willing to stay, be­cause Believers are called to maintain peace with all: Therefore if the unbelieving party admits of equal terms of peace, shee is not to bee put away.

Vers. 16. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

Reason 4. Because by dwelling together the unbeliever may bee gained.

Vers. 17. But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk, and so I ordain in all Churches.

Reason 5. Because every one, in what condition soever, ought to abide in that honest and lawful calling, in which God by his Providence hath set them, as the Apostle taught in all Churches: Therefore wee must also abide in Marriage with an unbeliever, being willing to stay: For whereas Marriage hath been contracted in Hea­thenism, God would not that the calling of one to the Grace of Christ Jesus, should defraud the party not yet converted: The Apostle prescribes the same Law to be­lieving servants, that they shake not off the yoke of an unbelieving Master, who desired not to put away the ser­vant converted to the Faith.

Vers. 18. Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised: Is any called in un­circumcisian? let him not bee circumcised.

19. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is no­thing, but the keeping of the Commandments of God.

Hee confirms the Reason fore-going by an Induction. First, of Circumcision and Uncircumcision, neither where­of was to bee stood upon by a Christian, but this only, that in both states, they observed the Moral Command­ments of God.

Vers. 20. Let every man abide in the same calling, wherein hee was called.

From hence, because in one example of the Inducti­on, the fulness of it might easily bee apprehended, hee infers a general position of abiding in that state wherein God had called him.

Vers. 21. Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayst bee made free, use it ra­ther.

Further, hee adds another member of the Induction, concerning bondage, in which hee adviseth them to a­bide, unless God had opened a door to their liberty.

Vers. 22. For hee that is called in the Lord, being a ser­vant, is the Lords Free-man: Likewise also hee that is called, being free, is Christs servant.

Hee gives a reason, Because bodily servitude is no diminution to the spiritual liberty of Christians, from the guilt of sin and wrath, neither doth bodily liberty ex­empt and free us from the service of Christ.

Vers. 23. Yee are bought with a price, bee not yee the servants of men.

By the way hee admonisheth them, that (whether bond or free, as to the body) that they take heed they do not things unlawful in themselves, by the command or will of men, because that would bee, to serve men against Christ, who had bought them with a price, that in all things they should do the [Page 51] Will of their Redeemer, not of men.

Vers. 24. Brethren, let every man wherein bee is cal­led, therein abide with God.

That no man might rashly depart from his Calling, hee further inculcates a general Precept of abiding with God in the present condition of life, in obedience unto God, until it should seem good to him to change their condition.

Vers. 25. Now concerning Virgins, I have no comman­dement of the Lord; yet I give my judgement as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to bee faithful.

The third inquiry which the Corinthians made to Paul, concerning Virgins, Male and Female, whether they might marry or not? To which being about to give answer, hee premiseth, that hee had no special command, whereby the state of Virginity was either injoyned, or prohibited, but that hee would faithfully give his advice, and his o­pinion of the convenience, as it became him, to whom God had vouchsafed mercy to bee faithful.

Vers. 26. I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to bee.

27. Art thou bound unto a Wife? seek not to bee loosed; art thou loosed from a Wife? seek not a wife.

There are three parts of the answer: First, In the present necessity, or the danger of persecution, as hee for­bids those that are married, to put away their Wives, so hee saith it is more convenient, that they that are single should continue unmarried, viz. if they have the gift (as hee said before) of continency.

Vers. 28. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned, and if a Virgin marry, shee hath not sinned: never­theless such shall have trouble in the flesh.

The other part of the answer follows, wherein hee teacheth, that to marry is not sinful, but incident to se­veral troubles, concerning which hee will not any fur­ther treat, lest hee should seem to disswade them from marriage, more than was safe.

Vers. 29. But this I say, Brethren, the time is short, it remaineth, that both they that have Wives, bee as though they had none:

30. And they that weep, as though they wept not, and they that rejoyce, as though they rejoyced not, and they that buy, as though they possessed not:

The third part of the answer follows, wherein hee commands, that whether they married or not, they should take heed to themselves that they bee not much moved with the advantages, or disadvantages, the plea­sures or troubles of this short life, but moderately bear­ing prosperity and adversity, they should provide for the life which is to come, alwaies prepared to suffer sor­rowful things, and to leave a joyful condition, according to the Will of God, for this is as much as if they had not Wives, as if they wept not, &c. whilst they using a mar­riage-state, are not hindred in their race to the King­dome of Heaven, but they go forward with all expedi­tion, through sorrow and joy, through the convenien­ces and inconveniences of this life, all occasions, all changes.

Vers. 31. And they that use this world, as not abu­sing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

The reason of this is laid down, Because the good and evil things of this life, as a shadow, pass away: There­fore ought wee to use the things of this life, as it were in our passage, that they hinder us not in our race.

Vers. 32. But I would have you without carefulness; hee that is unmarried careth for the things that be­long to the Lord, how hee may please the Lord:

33. But hee that is married, careth for the things that are of the world, how hee may please his Wife.

Hee laies down two Reasons of his counsel about the keeping themselves unmarried, First, That they might bee freed from trouble, which the fear of persecution, and of the present condition, might cast those that are mar­ried into. Reason 2. Because hee that is unmarried, more conveniently is at leisure for divine imployments, or to attend upon the exercises of Religion, and more imme­diately to please God: But hee that is married is forced by his Calling▪ to lay out much of his time about earth­ly businesses, and houshold-cares, and so in lawful things to please his Wife, which care, although it may bee o­bedience, where it is performed in the fear of God, yet it is not so immediate obedience, and so near to God, as that which is placed in the exercises of Religion.

Vers. 34. There is difference also between a Wife, and a Virgin, the unmarried Woman careth for the things of the Lord, that shee may bee holy, both in body, and in spirit: but shee that is married, careth for the things of the world, how she may please her Husband.

Hee shews the same difference to bee betwixt the con­dition of Virgins, and Women that are married: That a Virgin may with fewer avocations, and less difficulty, more holily (both in body and soul) attend to holy im­ployments, because shee hath no family to take care of; This is called Holiness, not as it is opposite to sin, but as opposed to Civil or Common: So▪ the Ministery of the Gospel may bee called more holy, than any civil Calling: But a Wife is usually incumbred with houshold-cares, and an indeavour to please her Husband, nor can shee so free­ly have leisure for holy exercises.

Vers. 35. And this I speak for your own profit, not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that you may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

The Apostle expounds all this his advice, that it tends onely to this, that they may more conveniently and fitly bee composed, to attend upon God without distraction in the exercises of Religion, if they have the gift of conti­nency, not that hee might cast upon them a snare of ne­cessity to abstain from marriage, if they had not the gift of continency.

Vers. 36. But if any man think that hee behaveth him­self uncomely towards his Virgin, if shee pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what hee will, hee sinneth not; let them marry.

The Fourth matter that is inquired of, is, Concerning the duty of Parents, in whose power are Daughters mar­riagable, whether advisedly they may give their Virgin Daughters to marriage or not? The Answer hath two parts; The first upon a threefold supposition. 1. If any one is suspected to detain his Daughter from Marriage longer than is expedient. 2. If his Daughter have passed the flower of her age, i. e. hath attained to the twentieth year of her age, and begins to bee more than of ripe years. 3. If hee see the mind of the Virgin in­clinable to Marriage, let him follow the will of the Vir­gin, and his own. Let the Daughter, and the Son in Law, whom the Father shall chuse, bee joyned in Mar­riage, the Parent sins not in it.

Vers. 37. Nevertheless, hee that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart, that hee will keep his Virgin, doth well.

The other part of the Answer, also upon a threefold sup­position, 1. If the Parent bee perswaded that hee wrongs not his Daughter, if hee with-hold her from Mar­riage. 2. If his Daughter have the gift of continence▪ and out of no necessity the Father is moved to seek an Husband for her, so that the Parent may determine of his Daughter as hee please. 3. If hee purpose to keep his Virgin unmarried, hee hath done well, saith hee, for the advantage of his Daughter.

Vers. 38. So then, hee that giveth her in Marriage, doth well; but hee that giveth her not in Marriage, doth better.

Whereupon hee concludes in the first case, that the Pa­rent does well, or for the benefit of his Daughter▪ And in the other case, that the Parent does better, or, that [Page 52] hee more consults the benefit of his Daughter: in the mean time hee asserts that there is sin in neither.

Vers. 39. The Wife is bound by the Law, as long as her Husband liveth: but if her Husband bee dead, shee is at liberty to bee married to whom shee will, onely in the Lord.

The fifth thing that is inquired of, is this, Whether se­cond Marriages of Widows are lawful or not? The An­swer hath two parts. 1. Hee saith it is lawful with a li­mitation, if so bee they marry with pious affections, and with a person that is a beleever, and to one whom shee may by the Law of God: for this it is to marry in the Lord, so to marry, that the blessing of God may bee expected.

Vers. 40. But shee is happier if shee so abide, after my judgement; and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

Secondly, Hee answers, although it bee lawful, yet it is not expedient for the most part, especially when in danger of persecution, or in present necessity: Because shee shall bee more happy, if shee abide in her Widow­hood, i. e. shee shall live in more tranquillity, and void of troubles, which second Marriages might create to her. Modestly insinuating this his advice concerning the conveniency of it, to bee divine, hee strongly asserts that it most certainly conduceth to convenience; for more is said, than if hee had spoken this without ex­tenuation.

CHAP. VIII.
THE Sixth ARTICLE CONCERNING THE AVOIDING OF THINGS offered to Idols.

THe sixth Article of the Epistle follows, concern­ing the avoiding of things offered to Idols, Chap. 8, 9, 10,

Vers. 1. Now as touching things offered unto Idols, wee know that wee all have knowledge: knowledge puffeth up; but charity edifieth.

The disputation which is contained in this Chapter con­sists in the answering of three Objections, from whence it appears, that it is not simply lawful to feed upon things offered to Idols.

The first Objection; wee are sufficiently instructed by knowledge, concerning the lawful use of things offered to Idols: Therefore wee may lawfully eat of them. Hee answers by way of concession, and correction, to this sense, although any one knows his liberty in using things offered to Idols, yet a bare knowledge is not sufficient, unless it bee joyned with charity in use and practice; be­cause knowledge without charity puffeth up, and makes them proud despisers of the Brethren that know but little; but joyned with charity if edifies, i. e. accommo­dates it self for the good of others.

Verse 2. And if any man think that hee knoweth any thing, hee knoweth nothing yet as hee ought to know.

3. But if any man know God, the same is known of him.

Hee explains what hee had spoken, by distinguishing betwixt him that knows with pride, and him that knows with charity to God and his neighbour. The one, who hath knowledge joyned with pride, knows nothing so­lidly, because hee is puffed up with a vain opinion of his own knowledge, but the other who hath knowledge joyn­ed with love, as hee is taught by God, so hee is approved of by God that hee is truly knowing.

Vers. 4. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto Idols, wee know that an Idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God, but one.

The second Objection; wee know that an Idol hath no divinity in it, either externally or internally, which is conceived to bee in him by those that offer things to the Idol, or is feigned to bee represented in him. Wee know also that there is no God but one: Therefore seeing the Creatures of God may not bee polluted by us from the fictions of men, it is not lawful to feed upon things offered to Idols.

Vers. 5. For though there bee that are called Gods, whether in Heaven or in Earth (as there bee gods many, and Lords many:)

6. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and wee in him, and one Lord Iesus Christ, by whom are all things, and wee by him.

Hee answers first by concession and confirmation of the antecedent laid down by the opposers. For although they may bee in the words and opinion of men, and may bee called caelestial and terrestial Gods, and many Lords, yet there is but one God, and Lord, viz. the Father (by which name wee are brought to the other persons, to wit, the Son and the holy Spirit, who are one God, the begin­ing of all Creatures from whom; and the end of all to whom, chiefly in respect of us, who are beleevers, and de­dicated to his glory) and one Mediatour Jesus Christ, the same God with the Father, by whom, as by the Word of the Father, all things were created; and wee beleevers redeemed by him, who therefore is said to bee Lord, both in respect of creation and redemption.

Vers. 7. Howbeit, there is not in every man that know­ledge: for some with conscience of the Idol unto this hour, eat it as a thing offered to an Idol, and their conscience being weak, is defiled.

Secondly, Hee answers by way of limitation, denying that this measure of knowledge is in all that are con­verted; because some have not yet manifestly laid down their old opinion concerning Idols, but are touched with a certain reverence of the Idol, whilst they eat things offered to Idols, and so their weak consciences are de­filed, doubting whether they do well: Therefore it is not simply lawful to feed upon things offered to Idols.

Vers. 8. But meat commendeth us not to God: for nei­ther if wee eat, are wee the better, neither if wee eat not, are wee the worse.

Objection 3. But the eating of meats is in indiffe­rent things placed without Religion, in which, liberty is granted to us: For our eating, and our not eating are both alike pleasing to God, so far as it is for our health, whether wee eat this or that meat: Therefore wee are not here to bee barred of our liberty.

Vers. 9. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.

Hee answers, that this is true indeed, unless in case of scandal, yet that hee sins, who uses his liberty to the offence of his weak Brother.

Vers. 10. For if any man see thee, which hast know­ledge, sit at meat at the Idols Temple, shall not the conscience of him that is weak, bee emboldened to eat those things which are offered to Idols?

This hee proves by four Reasons. First, Because in the praesupposed case, the weak one is encouraged and ill in­structed by the example of him that eats in the Idols Temple with knowledge, without charity, to the pollu­ting of himself by eating things offered to Idols: There­fore it is not simply lawful to eat things offered to Idols.

Vers. 11. And through thy knowledge shall the weak Brother perish for whom Christ died?

Because by so doing hee is destroyed, for whom Christ died, to wit, as much as can bee by the intention and procurement of the practice of them that eat: There­fore it is not simply lawful to eat things offered to Idols.

[Page 53] Vers. 12. But when yee sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, yee sin against Christ.

Reason 3. Because in so doing wee sin not only against the Brethren, whose conscience is wounded, but also a­gainst Christ, because it tends to the frustrating of the end of Christ death, viz. so far as hee whom Christ hath redeemed, that hee might bee saved, hee that eats with offence, endeavours what in him lies, that he should perish: Therefore, &c.

Vers. 13. Wherefore if meat make my brother to of­fend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

Reason 4. Because it is better to bee deprived for ever of our liberty of eating flesh, than to eat with offence, which the Apostle shews in the instance of his own vow: Therefore, &c.

CHAP. IX.

HEE proceeds to treat concerning things offered to Idols; hee propounded his own example, in the for­mer Chapter: In this Chapter hee exhorts them fur­ther by his own example, that they would moderate the use of their liberty, chiefly in those things which ap­pertained to gluttony: And by name, in the eating of things offered to Idols: The sum of the Argument is this, I being an Apostle, and no less free than any other, do not only abstain from things lawful and profitable, but also I conform my self to the infirmities of all, yea, I keep under my self by continence for the good of the Gospel; therefore in like manner do yee also: The An­tecedent is carried on to ver. 23. The Consequence is an Exhortation, to the end.

Vers. 1. Am I not an Apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Iesus Christ our Lord? Are not yee my work in the Lord?

2. If I bee no [...] an Apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine Apostleship are yee in the Lord.

3. Mine answer to them that do examine mee, is this:

The Antecedent hee prosecutes by parts; and proves by three reasons, that the first, not the last place was due to him in Christian liberty. 1. Because hee was an Apostle. 2. Because hee was honoured with the [...]ight of his Lord, and immediately called. 3. Because hee had the testimony of his Apostleship in the conversion of the Corinthians, ver. 1. Which fruit, as a seal, confirmed his Apostleship, at least among the Corinthians, ver. 2. and afforded a defence to the Apostle against them, (who called his Apostleship into question) at least amongst the Corinthians.

Vers. 4. Have wee not power to eat and to drink?

5. Have wee not power to lead about a Sister, a Wife, as well as other Apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

6. Or I only and Barnabas, Have not wee power to forbear working?

Afterwards hee applyes this his liberty, first, to things that are to bee eaten and drunk, which hee (if any one) might lawfully make use of, ver. 4. Secondly, to Marri­age, and wee ought to use that benefit, which hee proves from the example of other Apostles, ver. 5. Third­ly, to forbear working with his hands, and by conse­quence, to require maintenance from the Churches, (which hee proves that hee might lawfully do, by seven Arguments.)

The first Argum. From the example of other Apostles, and Ministers; it is lawful for other Apostles: Therefore it is lawful both for mee and Barnabas.

Vers. 7. Who goeth a warfare at his own charges? Who planteth a Vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?

Argum. 2. From the Law of Nations, propounded in a threefold example, of Souldiers, of Vine-dressers, and Shepherds: Souldiers, Vine-dressers, and Shepherds, are nourished by the fruit of their labours, every one in his calling: Therefore also wee Ministers ought to bee maintained by the fruit of our labours in the Gospel.

Vers. 8. Say I these things as a man? or saith not the Law the same also?

9. For it is written in the Law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the Oxe that treadeth out the corn; doth God take care for Oxen?

10. Or saith hee it for our sakes? For our sakes no doubt this is written, That hee that ploweth, should plow in hope: and that hee that thresheth in hope, should bee partaker of his hope.

Argum. 3. From the testimony of the Law, of giving food to the Oxe that treads out the corn, which shews that it was spoken for the sake of those that labour for the use of others, especially in the Ministery. The Oxe is fed with the corn which hee did beat out with his feet; therefore all labourers, plowers, threshers, and by conse­quence the Labourers in the Gospel ought to bee main­tained with the fruit of their own labours. For if hee that plows and threshes in the hope of reward, is parta­ker of his hoped-for reward, Why should nor they also that labour in the Gospel bee partakers of the fruit of their own labours?

Vers. 11. If wee have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if wee shall reap carnal things?

Argum. 4. From the rule of Justice; If wee have administred spiritual things to you, will not you let us in­stead thereof reap your carnal things?

Vers. 12. If others bee partakers of this power over you, are not wee rather? Nevertheless, wee have not used this power: but suffer all things, lest wee should hinder the Gospel of Christ.

Argum. 5. From the like example of the Teachers, who preached at Corinth, whose example hee alledges in point of lawfulness, but denies that hee would follow them in the doing of any such thing, that hee might pro­mote the Gospel. Your Teachers are maintained at your charges: Therefore it is fitting that wee also should bee maintained, although wee are resolved not to use our right.

Vers. 13. Do not you know that they which minister a­bout holy things, live of the things of the Temple? and they which wait at the Altar, are partakers of the Altar?

Argum. 6. From the example of the Levites, to whom maintenance, and part of the Sacrifices was given for their Ministery: The Levites lived of the Altar: There­fore wee that are the Ministers of the Gospel ought to live of the Gospel.

Vers. 14. Even so hath the Lord ordained, that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel.

Argum. 7. Christ hath given a Command for main­taining the Ministers of the Gospel: Therefore they ought to live of the Gospel.

Vers. 15. But I have used none of these things; nei­ther have I written these things, that it should bee so done unto mee: for it were better for mee to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.

Hitherto hee hath asserted his own right; Now hee shews his moderation in the use of his foresaid liberty; First, in the business about maintenance, hee shews his re­solution for the future to forbear; from which his re­solution hee will not bee removed with hindrance to the Gospel, chusing rather to die by famine; the reason whereof hee gives, from the end, that hee might glory a­gainst those that spake evil of him, who perhaps might say that the Apostle Preached for hire.

Vers. 16. For though I preach the Gospel, I have no­thing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon mee, yea, [...]o is unto mee, if I preach not the Gospel.

[Page 54]Hee explains himself, that this boasting was not meer­ly in the Preaching of the Gospel, because hee was ob­liged to that by the necessity of his office, and the Com­mand, as also the fear of Gods displeasure.

Vers. 17. For if I do this thing willingly, I have a re­ward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the Gospel is committed unto mee.

My Preaching (saith hee) if it bee voluntary, it shall have a reward, but if against my will, yet I must discharge it, because of the dispensation committed un­to mee, by the Command of God, and that would bee without the glory of my voluntary Preaching, If I should unwillingly preach the Gospel, as they do, who exercise their Ministery, not out of any love to God, and desire of converting Souls, but for filthy lucres sake, or out of vain-glory.

Vers. 18. What is my reward then? Verily, that when I preach the Gospel, I may make the Gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the Go­spel.

Now hee saith, that hee hath matter whereof to boast against his Reproachers, as a reward of his not receiving any stipend from them, in as much as hee Preached the Gospel to the Corinthians without charge unto them: whereunto hee sub-joyns another reason, That if hee had exacted a maintenance there where his Reproachers endeavoured to bring an evil report upon him, then hee had abused his liberty.

Vers. 19. For though I bee free from all men, yet have I made my self servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

Hee extends the moderating of his liberty to all sorts of things indifferent, wherein hee served not himself, but others, that hee might gain them.

Vers. 20. And unto the Jews, I became a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the Law, as under the Law, that I might gain them that are under the Law.

That hee explains particularly in three things: First, that hee did conform himself to the Jew, bound (as they thought) under the Ceremonial Law, observing the Mosaical Ceremonies for time and place, as the mat­ter required, as if hee had been under the yoke of Ce­remonies; and that hee did by the opinion of the Coun­cil at Ierusalem, which left to the Jews (born under that yoke) whereof the Apostle was, a free use of Ceremo­nies for a time, but in no wise to the Gentiles, Act. 21. 21, 25.

Vers. 21. To them that are without Law, as without Law, (being not without Law to God, but under the Law to Christ) that I might gain them that are without Law.

The second is, That conforming himself to the Gen­tiles which were without Law, hee laid aside the use of Ceremonies, as one that was without Law; but in the mean time, hee intimates that hee did not understand the Moral, or the law of love, which is the perpetual Law of God and Christ, from which hee could not bee freed; but the Ceremonial Law, from which indeed hee was freed, that hee might freely, for the advantage of the Gospel, use Ceremonies, or might abstain from using them.

Vers. 22. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

The third, That hee conformed himself to those that doubted of their liberty, abstaining from things lawful, as they did; finally, hee accommodates himself in all things indifferent to all men, for three causes.

First, That hee might gain as many as possible, or at leastwise some.

Vers. 23. And this I do for the Gospels sake, that I might bee partaker thereof with you.

The second cause, That the Doctrine of the Gospel might bee better esteemed of amongst all, by his mode­rate carriage.

The third cause, That serving the advantages of the Gospel, hee might bee saved, being made partaker of the Gospel with other Believers.

Vers. 24. Know you not that they which run in a race, run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that you may obtain.

Hitherto hee hath insisted upon his own example, as the Antecedent of the Argument, the force of this exam­ple follows, or the hortatory conclusion, viz. That the Corinthians would labour after temperance, and not so mind their meat, as to eat with offence that which was offered unto Idols; To this end hee shews them, that they must run in their Christian Race, in which all (not one only, as it was usual in their sports) that run according to the Laws of God, were to bee crowned.

Vers. 25. And every man that striveth for the Maste­ry, is temperate in all things. Now they do it to ob­tain a corruptible Crown, but wee an incorruptible.

And how that comes to pass hee shews, viz. If after the example of those that contended in those Noble Games, (whether running or combating) usually celebrated neer unto Corinth, they should not indulge themselves in gluttony and pleasures, but temperate in all things, bear­ing all things, whereby the conquering Crown might bee won. In their Isthmian or Corinthian Games, the Run­ners and Wrestlers inured themselves to a most temperate diet, by way of Preparation for the Race, as now horses are fitted for running: The Conquerours in these Games were crowned with Lawrel, or Ivy, or were honoured with some such like reward: After the same manner, the Apostle would have Christians most moderate in their u­sing the things of this world, and abstinent from what­soever may stop their course, or hinder them in their war­fare, and that they might obtain an incorruptible, that is, an Eternal Crown, (laid up in heaven for all those who strive lawfully, and finish their course.) Hee adds three Hortatory Arguments.

Argum. 1. Because you Christian Wrestlers may ex­pect a more noble Crown than that corruptible one, of those that sport in those Gymnastick Games.

Vers. 26. I therefore run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the ayr:

27. But I keep under my body, and bring it into sub­jection: lest that by any means, when I have preach­ed to others, I my self should bee a cast-away.

Argum. 2. From his own example running, and acting the part of a Champion, and smiting his adversary cer­tainly and seriously. I earnestly keep down the body of sin, and the old man, and the lusts of the flesh, that they may bee slain; and I compel my body properly so called, (by virtue of Spiritual Discipline) to bee subject to my Spirit: Therefore do you the same thing: For so the A­postle nurtured his body, that in labours, and watchful­ness, and fastings, it might hold out in its duty, that it might not wax wanton against the Spirit: and the body of sin (as much as lay in him) bee destroyed.

Lest by any means] Argum. 3. From the end of it, I keep under the body of sin, or the old man▪ lest if I should live otherwise than I advise others to live, I should bee a cast-away, or as an hypocrite, should bee blotred out of the number of the Saints: Therefore do you the same thing that I do, and to the same end.

The Apostle here does not oppose Reprobate to one that is Elect, but to one that is Approved; for as the Scri­pture calls Reprobate silver, that which is not true and genuine, and that Approved, which is sincere; so the A­postle calls him Reprobate, who answers not [...] professi­on, and is not sincere, and as hee ought to bee: If wee should imagine that here hee takes Reprobate in an abso­lute sense, wee are to take notice of nothing but the ne­cessary connection betwixt a prophane life, (if it bee supposed to continue to the end) and Reprobation: For [Page 55] whoever dies in his sins, shews himself to bee a reprobate. For it is absurd, and no waies agreeable to the writings of this our Apostle to affirm, that hee made any doubt of his Election, or thought the decree of his Election changeable. For on the other side, Because hee was per­swaded of his Election and Regeneration, the demon­stration whereof hee gave in the holiness of his life, ta­king all heed, lest by an evil life, hee should shew forth in himself the signs of Hypocrisie, not in any wise of Re­probation.

CHAP. X.

HItherto hee hath spoken of things offered to Idols, by way of Concession, as if they were indifferent. In this Chapter, hee sets down a twofold use of things of­fered to Idols: The one publick in the Idols Temple, simply unlawful, to vers. 23. The other private in their houses, which (without the case of scandal) was law­ful, but in case of scandal unlawful, from which hee de­horts, to the end. That which pertains to the publick eating of things offered to Idols in the Idols Temple, hee disswades from, by five Arguments.

Vers. 1. Moreover, Brethren, I would not that you should bee ignorant, how that all your Fathers were under the cloud, and all passed thorough the Sea:

2. And were all baptized to Moses, in the Cloud, and in the Sea:

Argum. 1. There is danger, lest you fall into those sins and punishments, into which the Israelites fell, if you proceed to participate of, and bee present at Idola­trous Banquets, and covet after things offered in Sacri­fice to Idols: Therefore you ought not to eat things sa­crificed to Idols, in the Idols Temple.

That the likeness of the Israelites example may ap­pear, hee shews that they had the like priviledges with us (because the Iseaelites were our Fathers) not of the Israelites onely, but also of the Christians amongst the Gentiles, viz. in the profession of the true Religion, and propagation of them to us their posterity; for as they are wont to bee called Fathers, who lived in ancient times, with some certain relation of propagating Religion to us; So hee calls the Israelites our Fathers; because they went before us in the partaking of the same Religion, the same Covenant, and like Sacraments: For the walking under the cloud, and the Sea which was over their heads, as if they had with us been bapized into the doctrine and outward profession of Moses, of obtaining salvation by the Messias.

Vers. 3. And did all eat the same spiritual meat:

4. And did all drink the same spiritual drink: (for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ.)

5. But with many of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

They did also as it were partake of the same Supper of the Lord with us, eating Manna, and drinking out of the Rock, or waters gushing out of the Rock, which followed the Camp of the Israelites (which are called spi­ritual meat and drink, because they had a spiritual mean­ing, figuring the same Grace of Christ, which the Sup­per of the Lord doth) yet notwithstanding many of those Israelites (because they displeased God) perished in the wilderness.

Vers. 6. Now these things were our examples, to the intent wee should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

Furthermore, hee reckons up the sins for which God in­flicted punishments, and death it self upon them, for an example to posterity; from which sins the Apostle de­horts the Corinthians, lest they also perish; and first, hee exhorts them in general, lest they covet evil things as they did, i. e. lest they indulge their fleshly lusts, as those ancient Israelites did, who by their lusts were hurried beyond the bounds appointed by God.

Vers. 7. Neither bee you Idolaters, as were some of them, as it is written, The people sate down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

8. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them commited, and fell in one day three and twenty thou­sand.

9. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of Serpents.

10. Neither murmure yee, as some of them also murmu­red, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

More especially hee admonishes them, that they bee not Idolaters, or Fornicators, or Tempters of Christ (try­ing how true and just Christ is, and that by unlawful waies) or murmurers against the providence of God, as the Scripture witnesses of the Israelites. The meaning of this dehortation is this: That you bee not amongst a­ny Idolatrous Banquets made in the honour of any Idol, lest yee suffer that which the Israelites did, sacrificing to the honour of the Golden Calf, whose indulging their glut­tony and sport, was in stead of Religion, vers. 7. Bee not taken with the desire of pleasing Idolaters, that for their sakes you bee mixed with them in Idolatrous Banquets, lest God also deliver you to your hearts lusts, that toge­ther with the pollution of your souls, you defile also your bodies by Fornications, Adulteries, and so perish with those Israelites, vers. 8. Tempt not Christ, by a­busing of his knowledge, and pretending Christian liber­ty for your lusts, which is nothing else, than to provoke Christ to anger. As the Israelites in the wilderness pro­voked the Angel of the Covenant, or Christ, who went before them in the wilderness, and perished by Serpents, vers. 9. Lastly, Murmure not, because it is not lawful to you by Christian Religion, to bee present at the Ido­latrous feasts of your friends in the Idols Temple, lest you perish with the murmuring Israelites.

Vers. 11. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

12. Wherefore let him that thinketh hee standeth, take heed lest hee fall.

Further hee shews that the use of these examples be­long unto all men living, and those that shall live here­after; hee declares the danger of falling into the same sins, and the same punishments, if they shall mix them­selves with Idolatrous Feasts; rebuking in the mean time their vain confidence, who feared not the danger, but fed securely upon things offered to Idols in the Idols Temple.

Vers. 13. There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to bee tempted above that you are able: but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that yee may bee able to bear it.

Hee prevents an Objection, from the fear of evil things, which did hang over them, from the Idolaters, their fellow Citizens, if they should so much abhorre their society, that they would not bee at their publick Religious Feasts. Hee answers, that that temptation was no other than what was ordinary to men, for which they might hope for an end, for the faithfulness of God who will not permit, that they should bee tempted above mea­sure, who indeavour to keep themselves from impurity, chiefly in the case of confessing of him, but lest they should fall with the temptation, hee is wont to discover a way of freedome from danger, or at least from sin; out of these things precedent from the first verse, it follows: Therefore wee ought not to feed in the Idols Temple, up­on things offered to Idols;

Vers. 14. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from I­dolatry.

Argum. 2. Of disswading from things offered to I­dols in the Idols Temple. Idolatry is joyned with the publike eating of things offered to Idols, from which Ido­latry yee ought to fly: Therefore wee ought not to eat things offered to Idols in the Idols Temple.

[Page 56] Vers. 15. I speak as to wise men: judge yee what I say.

Being about to confirm this Argument, hee calls his Hearers or Readers wise, and commands that they weigh both the argument now spoken, and the confirmation of it, which hee sub-joyns, adding five reasons, by which hee proves, that this publike eating of things offered to Idols in the Idols Temple, doth render them guilty of Idolatry.

Vers. 16. The Cup of Blessing which wee bless, is it not the Communion of the Blood of Christ? The bread which wee break, is it not the Communion of the Bo­dy of Christ?

The first reason, from the like example of Christians, whose fashion is this: The partaking of the Elements in the Supper of the Lord, is the profession of our Com­munion with Christ, and other Christians in the true Religion: Therefore the partaking of things offered to Idols, in the Feast of the Devil together with Idola­ters, is the profession of Communion with the Devil and Idolaters, in Idolatry, or their false Religion.

But hee urges this reason and the rest, by often questi­oning; The Cup of Blessing ▪ hee sayes, Is it not a sign, a powerful token, and real profession of that saving Com­munion which wee have in the Blood of Christ shed for us? Also that holy bread which wee break in our Assem­bly, is not it a sign, and real profession of that Com­munion, which all of us have in the Body of Christ crucified for us? Therefore it follows from the like, that the partaking of the Sacrifice in an Idolatrous and de­villish Feast, is no less a sign and real profession (in it self, and out of the intention of the deed) of Commu­nion with Idolaters, and the Idol, to whom the Sacrifice was offered.

Vers. 17. For wee being many, are one bread, and one body: for wee are all partakers of that one bread.

Hee unfolds this reason to this sense. As wee Chri­stians, although many, yet by virtue of our Society in the same worship, Sacramentally sealed, grow together, as it were into one bread, i. e. into one Mystical Body, in this that wee communicate of one and the same Sacra­mental Bread: So those that communicate with Idola­ters, in the participation of Idolatrous Sacrifices, by vir­tue of their society in the same worship, sealed by their Idolatrous feasting in the Idols Temple, grow up into one Mystical body with them, in this, that together with them, they communicate of one and the same Sacra­mental Sacrifice.

Vers. 18. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the Sacrifices, partakers of the Al­tar?

Reason 2. From the like example of the Israelites, the Israelites eating of the Sacrifices, by thus doing testi­fied themselves to bee partakers of the Altar and Jewish Religion: Therefore they who eat of the Idol-Sacrifices in the Idolatrous Feast, witness that they communicate with Idolaters in their Idolatry.

Vers. 19. What say I then? That the Idol is any thing? or that which is offered in Sacrifice to Idols is any thing?

20. But I say, That the things which the Gentiles Sa­crifice, they Sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that yee should have fellowship with devils.

Reason 3. Propounded by way of answer to an objecti­on: Although an Idol hath nothing of Divinity (as was said before) nor things offered to Idols is any thing of the Worship of God, which possibly the Idolater supposeth and intends; yet in the nature of the work, an Idolatrous Sacrifice is the worshipping of Devils, 2 Chron. 11.15. Therefore partaking of that which is offered unto Idols, is the most gross Idolatry, from which you ought to abstain.

Vers. 21. Yee cannot drink the Cup of the Lord, and the Cup of Devils: yee cannot bee partakers of the Lords Table, and of the Table of Devils.

Argum. 3. By way of dehortation from things offered to Idols in the Idol Temple; The partaking of the Sa­cramental Feast of Idols, or Devils, cannot consist with a lawful and saving partaking of the Supper of the Lord; because this was to do homage to two Lords, God and the Devil, and to profess publike service to both: Therefore wee must not eat of things sacrificed to Idols in the Idol Temple.

Vers. 22. Do wee provoke the Lord to jealousie? Are wee stronger than hee?

Argum. 4. By way of dehortation from things offered to Idols: God is provoked to jealousie, if any one profess himself a Christian, and yet publikely partakes of things sacrificed to Devils: Therefore must wee not eat of things sacrificed to Idols.

Stronger] Argum. 5. Because to persist in this so ma­nifest a sin, is to proclaim war with God, and to try whe­ther any bee stronger than hee: And therefore unless any be so mad, as to think himself stronger than God, we must abstain from things offered to Idols in the Idol-Temple.

THE SECOND PART.

Vers. 23. All things are lawful for mee, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for mee, but all things edifie not.

The other part of the Chapter follows, wherein hee propounds a general Doctrine, (that hee may come to the private use of things offered unto Idols) which is this. All things (to wit, indifferent) are lawful, un­less when it is not expedient to use them, or they edifie not.

Vers. 24. Let no man seek his own, but every man ano­thers wealth.

That they are not lawful, when not expedient, and e­difie not, or are hurtful to edification, hee gives a reason hereof, by way of Precepts, because in the use of our li­berty wee must regard rather the Salvation of another, than our own temporal profit.

Vers. 25. Whatsoever is sold in the Shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

Premising the general Doctrine, hee answers con­cerning things offered unto Idols, when they are out of religious use (as for example, when they are sold in the Shambles) any one may eat them without any scruple of conscience. For it was a custome to set to sale in the Shambles flesh that was sacrificed, the gain whereof was returned to the Priests.

Vers. 26. For the earth is the Lords, and the fulness thereof.

The reason is, Because in that common condition they are the creatures of God, sanctified to the use of the faithful, and they were allowed a free use of them, by the Lord of Heaven and Earth, &c.

Vers. 27. If any of them that believe not, bid you to a Feast, and yee bee disposed to go, whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

In like manner, if any Believer bee invited to a Feast in the private house of an Unbeliever, hee saith, the Christian may eat without scruple, of any meat that is set before him.

Vers. 28. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in Sacrifice unto Idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake. The earth is the Lords, and the fulness thereof.

Hee excepts in case of scandal, when either an Unbe­liever, or a weak Brother, shall intimate that that mea [...] was sacrificed to Idols, in which case hee wills them to forbear, and sub-joyns seven Reasons.

Reason 1. Lest if thou eat after warning given, thy weak brother who warned thee bee offended, or lest the unbeliever bee hardened in his Idola­try, [Page 57] if happily hee gave thee warning.

Is the Lords.] Reason 2. Other meats besides that, wherein there is danger of offence, God hath sanctified; and because the Lord of the earth hath not granted pow­er of using his creatures indifferently with the offence of any one: Therefore in this case wee must not eat.

Vers. 29. Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the others: for why is my liberty judged of another mans conscience?

Reason 3. If any one eats with offence, Christian Li­berty in eating will bee condemned of another mans conscience, as prophane licentiousness: Therefore in this case wee may not eat.

Vers. 30. For if I by grace bee a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

Reason 4. Hee should sin against the Grace of God, if hee should abuse the gift of God, (for every kind of meat is the gift of God, as in the giving of Thanks be­fore or after meat wee acknowledge) so as to give occa­sion of speaking evil of him, as if hee had no regard of another mans Soul: Therefore wee must not eat in this case.

Vers. 31. Whether therefore yee eat, or drink, or what­soever yee do, do all for the glory of God.

Reason 5. Propounded by way of Precept: In all our actions (and therefore in eating and drinking) wee must endeavour that God may bee glorified, which is not done when wee eat with offence: Therefore, &c.

Vers. 32. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God.

Reason 6. Wee must give offence to none, whether they profess the true Religion or not: Therefore in case of scandal wee ought not to eat.

Vers. 33. Even as I please all men in all things; not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may bee saved.

Reason 7. All are bound to imitate the Apostles exam­ple in all indifferent things, who served not his own tem­poral profit, but the Eternal Salvation of others: There­fore as hee, in such a case, would not eat, so are all bound not to eat this or that meat, in case of scan­dal.

CHAP. XI.
THE SEVENTH ARTICLE CONCERNING ORDER AND DECENCY.

THe seventh Article of the Epistle concerning the observation of Order and Decency, in the publike meetings of the Church.

There are two parts of the Chapter. 1. About the comely habit of men and women in religious performances, to vers. 17. The other part, concerning the right Admini­stration of the Sacrament, to the end.

Vers. 21. Bee yee followers of mee▪ even as I also am of Christ.

2. Now I praise you, Brethren, that you remember mee in all things, and keep the Ordinances as I delivered them unto you.

As concerning the first part, hee premises a command to imitate him, so far as hee followed Christ: Hee also commends the Corinthians, that for some time they obser­ved the Doctrine and Precepts delivered to them, partly by letter, partly by his lively voice [...] concerning Religion, and things which appertain thereunto, so far at least, that they deserved some commendation.

Vers. 3. But I would have you know, That the head of every man is Christ: and the head of the woman is the man, and the Head of Christ is God.

Furthermore hee sub-joyns to the following▪ admoniti­on a maxim concerning order divinely stablished in the mystical body of the Church, viz. that Christ is nearest subordinate to God, as hee is God-man, the Mediator and the Head of the Church, and that the man next succeeds in dignity unto Christ, and the woman to the man, which so far as it appertains to the honour of the sex, shee is made subordinate to the man as Head; whereupon they may understand that order in Church-Assemblies is to bee observed.

Vers. 4. Every man praying, or prophecying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

It is apparent that the Corinthians did not sufficiently observe this order, because their women in the publike Assemblies (after the manner of Heathens) laid aside their veils, and the men covered their heads and faces; (they are said to pray and Prophesie, who met publike­ly, and consented to promote this publike Worship of God.) This uncomeliness hee reproves both in the men and women, by nine Arguments.

Dishonours] Argum. 1. The covering of the man is not agreeable to the dignity of his sex, and against the honour of Christ, whom hee ought to represent: There­fore it is uncomely.

Vers. 5. But every woman that prayeth, or Prophesieth with her head uncovered, dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if shee was shaven.

6. For if the woman bee not covered, let her also bee shorn: but if it bee a shame for a woman to bee shorn or shaven, let her bee covered.

Argum. 2. It is dishonourable to the Female Sex to lay aside her veil, and against the dignity, as well of her na­tural head▪ as of her metaphorical head, to wit, the man to whom shee ows subjection for the honour of the Mascu­line Sex; the reason whereof hee gives, because it was not less unseemly for the woman to bee without her veil, than to bee shorn: Here therefore the woman is repro­ved for undecency, which shee ought to amend.

Vers. 7. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as hee is the Image and Glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.

Argum. 3. The man (seeing hee is the Glory of God, and the representation of his glorious Excellency in re­spect of the woman over whom hee is appointed head) ought to shew forth the Glory of God in his manly de­portment: Therefore hee must beware of this unseemli­ness in the use of a veil.

The woman.] Argum. 4. The woman is the glory of the man; or the image of his dignity, in whom (as in a Glass) the excellency of the man (for whose sake shee was created) is seen, to whom shee ought to profess sub­jection by the covering of herself: Therefore seeing the woman behaves herself otherwise amongst you, shee is blamed for uncomeliness. This does not any whit hin­der but the woman is created, in respect of her Soul and spiritual state, to the glory and Image of God, as well as the man.

Vers. 8. For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.

Argum. 5. The man is the material principle of the woman, because shee was made out of the ribs of man: Therefore it becomes the man and the woman to testifie the priviledge of their original, in the observation of the aforesaid decency: Therefore you are guilty of undecen­cy which do otherwise.

Vers. 9. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man.

Argum. 6. Seeing the man hath the respect of the end, and the woman is destined for the end; it is fitting that this difference of their excellency should bee expres­sed by the observance of decency: Therefore when it is not observed, you are deservedly to bee reproved.

Vers. 10. For this cause ought the woman to have pow­er on her head▪ because of the Angels.

Argum. 7. Even because of the Angels, who behold and are witnesses of comely and uncomely deportment [...] in the Church▪ although you would not regard that me [...] [Page 58] look upon you, yet it [...] Women to te [...]ifie the sub­jection of their Sex, [...] power of the M [...]n, by put­ting a veil over their [...] a sign of it? Therefore you are guilty of indecency [...] your behaviour [...] otherwise.

Vers. 11. [...] neither is the [...] without the Woman: [...] Woman without [...] Man in the Lord.

12. For as the Woman [...] of the Man, even [...] is the Man also by the Woman; but all things of God.

That this comparing of the Man and the Woman, may not bee drawn out further to the despising of the Woman, in a threefold respect hee equals the Woman to the Man. First, In respect to Christ our Lord, or in respect to our state of Grace in Christ: The Man and the Woman are equal, bought with the same price, and alike ordained to the service of Christ. Secondly, In respect to the same O­riginal; for as in the Creation the Woman is of the Man, so by ordinary propagation the Man is by the Woman. Thirdly, In respect to the first and principal efficient cause, i. e. God; (who hath made the Man and the Wo­man, and all things else) the Man and the Woman are equal.

Vers. 13. Iudge in your selves, is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

14. Doth not even nature it self teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

15. But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given her for a covering.

Argum. 8. Common sense, and nature it self, or na­tural inclination (so hee calls setled custome, and a­greeable to nature, in respect to what is comely) dictates that it is unseemly for a woman to pray uncovered, or that a man should wear long hair, and the contrary is decent: Therefore you observe no decorum when you be­have your selves otherwise. Hair is said to bee given to the woman for a covering, because it is given to that end, that shee may know her head ought to bee covered.

Vers. 16. But if any man seem to bee con [...]entious, wee have no such custome, neither the Churches of God.

Argum. 9. If any perhaps should not bee moved by these Arguments, but should contend, the Apostle oppo­seth to their contentious Apologies, the received and e­stablished custome of the Jews, and the rest of the Churches: Other Churches have no such custome, that women should bee present at publick assemblies, with their heads uncovered, and the man with his head cove­red: Therefore your custome not agreeing with decen­cy, either according to natural use, or of the Churches, is altogether unseemly.

The second Part.

Vers. 17. Now in this that I declare unto you, I praise you not, that you come together, not for the better, but for the worse.

The second part of the Chapter follows: concerning the right administration of the Lords Supper, in which hee doth not commend, but discommend the Corinthians; First, In general, that their comming together was not for the better, but for the worse.

Vers. 18. For first of all, when you come together in the Church, I hear, that there bee divisions among you, and I partly beleeve it.

Secondly, More specially, that they came together to [...]oment Schisms, as hee heard, and did in part beleeve.

Vers. 19. For there must bee also Heresies among you, that they which are approved may bee made manifest unto you.

Hee gives a Reason, why hee beleeved Schisms to bee amongst them, viz. Because by the malice of the Devil and men, out of the just judgement of God, not onely Schisms in their affections arose, but also Heresies or Sects, which must bee, and to that end are they per­mitted of God, that approved and sincere Christians, (maintaining that which is right in the contending for parties) may bee manifestly known; and to the greater glory of God, and the conservation of true Religion, in purity, they might appear sincere to the whole world.

Vers. 20. When yee come together therefore in one place, this is not to eat the Lords Supper.

Thirdly, Hee most specially dispraises their propha­ning the Holy Supper, as if it had not been the Lords Sup­per: for when they met together in one place, they be­haved themselves in the assembly of the Saints so irreli­giously, as if they had not celebrated a Religious Supper.

Vers. 21. For in eating every one taketh before other his own Supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

This hee demonstrates in four notable faults amongst them, in the celebration of the Lords Supper; The first is, That every one of them with his faction (excluding the other members of the Church) did take the holy Supper Schismatically. Secondly, They mixed with the Sa­crament of the Lords Supper, their own Supper, or their common Feasts, which were called Love-Feasts. Thirdly, The poorer sort were excluded, whilst the rich feasted. Fourthly, In their feastings they drank to drunkenness.

Vers. 22. What, have yee not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise yee the Church of God, and shame them that have not? what shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

Therefore hee reproves that fashion among them, of celebrating their Love-Feasts publickly in the Church, as unbecomming the publick Assembly, thinking fitter to send them back to their private houses; adding a re­proof, that they had a low esteem of that grave Assem­bly of the Saints, and exposed those to contempt that were given to riotousness, when they ought to have at­tended onely to Religion; As also, Because in those their feastings, the poorer sort (which could not bee at that cost) were shamed.

Vers. 23. For I have received of the Lord that which al­so I delivered unto you, that the Lord Iesus, the same night in which hee was betrayed, took bread,

24. And when hee had given thanks, hee brake it, and said, Take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of mee.

That hee may correct these errours; First hee sets down the institution of the Sacrament, to vers. 27. and then hee exhorts them to, and teaches them the lawful use of this Sacrament, to the end. As for the institution of the Supper, hee shews that the Lord Jesus being about to suffer, by way of Testament, set his seal to the Cove­nant of Grace, which by his mediation hee entred into between God and the Church: Whereby the glorious memory of his death might bee celebrated in the world, till his second comming, and might bee delivered to the faithful, and being delivered, it might judicially con­firm a right to his person, and the benefits of his suffe­rings, and a living virtue flowing from his death, resur­rection, and exaltation, to the sanctification and salva­tion of Beleevers, and that by the symbols of this holy Banquet, and holy Communion with God, and amongst themselves. To which end Christ sitting at Table with his Disciples, after the eating of the Paschal Lamb; First, Took Bread, and sanctified it by giving of thanks, brake, and gave it to his Disciples, commanding them to take and eat; further, hee declared the Bread received and eaten, to bee his body represented after a Sacramen­tal manner, that i [...] being given for our Redemption, and after a judicial manner, applied to us; and last [...]y, hee commanded that his Disciples, or all the faithful should imitate this his action in the Church, in remembrance of him, who had paid the price of Redemption by the suffe­rings of his body.

Vers. 25. After the same manner also hee took the Cup, when hee had supped, saying, This Cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do you, as oft as yee drink it, in remembrance of mee.

[Page 59]That which concerns the other part of the Supper fol­lows: In the same Supper, (viz. after the Paschal Sup­per) when the Bread was distributed, Christ took the Cup with Wine, sanctified by the giving of thanks, gave it to the Disciples to drink; further concerning the Cup hee declared, That it being taken and drunk, was that new Covenant of Grace, between God and the Church, established Sacramentally by his blood, i. e. As it is rati­fied on Gods part that gives, so it is confirmed on the be­leevers part that receives, and judicially applied and sea­led: Lastly, Hee commanded that his Disciples should frequently imitate him in this action, in remembrance of him, who had paid the price of Redemption for the Church by the shedding of his blood.

Vers. 26. For as often as yee eat this Bread, and drink this Cap, yee do shew the Lords death till hee come.

And that wee might acknowledge, that of two Ele­ments, Bread and Wine, one Supper (frequently to bee celebrated in the Church) ought to bee made; the A­postle would have perpetuated in the Church, a publick commemoration of our Lords death, by the often reite­ration of this Sacrament, and that because Christ would not bee present in his body with the Church, before the last judgement, by this Sacrament hee would that the memorial of the Churches redemption, by his death, might bee preserved and celebrated, until hee come out of Heaven in the last day.

Vers. 27. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this Bread, and drink this Cup of the Lord unworthily, shall bee guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

After the Apostle had repeated the institution of this Sacrament, hee exhorts and instructs the Corinthians in the right use of it, and that in six waies: First, Shewing the danger of guilt which they are liable to who prophane this Sacrament; For whosoever without preparation and reverence, otherwise than becomes such an Ordinance, approaches so great mysteries, abuses the Sacrament, de­spiseth Christ, and comes near to the wickedness of those that crucified Christ.

Vers. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup.

Secondly, Shewing the easiness of preparation, that e­very one may worthily receive this Sacrament; Onely (saith hee) set every man examine himself, that being sensible of the greatness of his sin and misery, hee may see how much need hee hath of a remedy by Christ, and let him consider with what Faith and purposes of holiness hee is bound to approach communion with Christ, who is a thousand times lost without him; and when hee hath examined himself, so let him eat and drink in that holy Banquet, i. e. so let him apply the thing signified, with his participation of the sign, that hee consider what need hee hath of it.

Vers. 29. For hee that eateth and drinketh unworthi­ly, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lords body.

Thirdly ▪ Having shewed the punishment of eating un­worthily: That hee brings judgement, or temporal and e­ternal punishment, unless hee repent, upon himself by un­worthy eating and drinking, who participates of the out­ward Sacrament without examination of himself, because hee discerns not this Feast, or the thing signified, from his own common Supper, but comes to the Lords Table no otherwise than to some common one.

Vers. 30. For this cause many are weak and sickly a­mong you, and many sleep.

Fourthly, Shewing before their eyes the examples of Gods temporal anger, in diseases and death it self inflicted already upon many of the Corinthians, for their propha­nation of the Sacrament.

Vers. 31. For if wee would judge our selves, wee should not bee judged.

Hee clears from severity this infliction of temporal judgement. First, From the equity of it, That God justly punishes those that judge not themselves, or repent not, but lye securely in their sin, which hee would not do if they repenting would judge themselves.

Vers. 32. For when wee are judged, wee are chasten­ed of the Lord, that wee should not bee condemned with the world.

Further, That the inflicting of these punishments, is a fatherly chastisement, whereby the faithful may bee brought to repentance, and not perish with the world.

Vers. 33. Wherefore, my Brethren, when yee come to­gether to eat, tarry one for another.

Fifthly, The Apostle directs the Corinthians to a right use of the Supper, giving a Precept to avoid Schism, that they would tarry one for another, and would partake of the holy Supper together; and every man take not his supper asunder, because the Supper of the Lord is a common action of the Church, in the publick Assembly, to bee celebrated after the manner of a Feast.

Vers. 34. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home, that yee come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Sixthly, By forbidding their manner of feasting in publick, by their feasts of charity before the holy Com­munion, and commanding, that if need were, they would eat at home to satisfie their hunger, repeating the dan­ger of prophaning the Supper, and of the following judge­ment. At last, because it was impossible, that all things which appertain to a particular Church, should bee or­dered, unless hee was present; Hee promises to take care of the rest, touching the observing of order, especially in that Church, when hee should come himself.

CHAP. XII.
THE EIGHTH ARTICLE CONCERNING THE USE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS.

THe eighth Article of the Epistle concerning spiritual Gifts, and the right use of them, in the three next following Chapters.

Some were proud of spiritual Gifts, and despised others in comparison with themselves; Some envyed others be­cause they had a larger measure of spiritual Gifts, most abused their gifts to discord, not to spiritual Edification: The scope of the Apostle, is, to correct these abuses, and to dehort them from them, and to set before them the right use, and that with sixteen Arguments: whereof some of them conclude one, others of them another part of their end, but all urge a prudent use of gifts.

Vers. 1. Now concerning spiritual Gifts, Brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

The Apostle comprehends all abuse, onely under igno­rance, or imprudence, and the right use of spiritual Gifts, under prudence: The Position which the Apostle pro­pounds to bee proved, is this: yee ought not to behave your self ignorantly, or imprudently in the business of spi­ritual Gifts, but prudently.

Vers. 2. Yee know that yee were Gentiles, carried a­way unto these dumb Idols, even as yee were led.

Argum. 1. From the comparison of their former and present state, to this sense: Not long since yee being de­stitute of all the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, yee were car­ried about after the pleasure of the Devil, that impure spirit, even as other Gentiles, into the grossest worship of dumb Idols, or into Idolatry: Therefore now being converted, and adorned with spiritual Gifts, you ought to behave your selves prudently, taking heed, that you bee not hurried about by that evil spirit, to no less hurtful enormities, in the abuse of spiritual Gifts.

Vers. 3. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God, calleth Ie­sus accursed: and that no man can say, that [Page 60] Iesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Argum. 2. Those that blaspheme Christ, as they are certainly destitute of his Spirit, so certainly are all you, (who with a sincere Faith profess Jesus Christ your Lord) indued with his Spirit, or with the saving and special gift of the Holy Spirit, without which you can­not profess him with a sincere Faith: Therefore concern­ing other spiritual gifts, which do not necessarily accom­pany Salvation, yee ought not to envy each other.

Vers. 4. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit;

Argum. 3. Although there are diversities of gifts, yet all flow from the same Fountain, and one Holy Spirit: Therefore in the use of these gifts you ought to carry your selves prudently, and friendly to agree toge­ther.

Vers. 5. And th [...]re are differences of Administrations, but the same Lord.

Argum. 4 Administrations and Ecclesiastical offices are many, but the same Lord, whom you all ought to serve: Therefore ought you to demean your selves pru­dently, and promote the work of God only.

Vers. 6. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God that worketh all in all.

Argum. 5. There are divers operations, various works produced by divers men as instruments, but the same God is hee that works those works in those divers instruments: Therefore there ought to bee no debate concerning these. Hee ascribes gifts to the Holy Spirit, who distributes gifts both ordinary and extraordinary, according to the necessity of the Church, ver. 4. Hee ascribes Functions and Offices to Christ, who being Lord in his house, appoints what services hee pleases, hee calls to offices whom hee will, and makes use of those that are called, in their functions, as hee will, ver. 5. But operations, or the exercises of gifts of what kind soever, hee ascribes in this verse to God the Father, who as hee is the first begin­ning of all, so hee works very effectuously in all; nor therefore doth the Apostle distinguish these, as if gifts, offices, and operations, may bee so of one person, as not of all the persons, but that wee may have need, that by this distinction of gifts, offices, and operations, (which concur to the producing of the same work) wee might more easily bee led by the hand, to apprehend the di­stinction of persons, and unity of essence; and that wee might observe the equality of the persons of the Holy Trinity, and their unity in gifts, offices, and exercises of gifts, and observing, might all of us unanimously endea­vour for the good of the Church, and the glory of God.

Vers. 7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit with all.

Argum. 6. Spiritual gifts, or manifestations of the Spirit, to wit, in which the Spirit is manifested, are gi­ven for one end, viz. for the good and edification of the whole Church: Therefore there ought not to bee diffe­rence concerning these.

Vers. 8. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of Wisdome, to another the word of Knowledge, by the same Spirit.

This hee shews by reckoning up the nine kinds of gifts, which all tend to the good of the Church. The first gift, To one is given the Word of Wisdome, whereby hee can seasonably apply sound doctrine to his Hearers, which is the gift of a Pastor. The second; To another the word of Knowledge, which is the gift of a Teacher, whereby hee can give the general doctrine and sense of the Scripture, although hee hath not the gift fitly to apply it.

Vers. 9. To another Faith by the same Spirit; to ano­ther the gifts of healing by the same Spirit.

10. To another the working of Miracles, to another Prophecie, to another discerning of Spirits, to ano­ther divers kinds of Tongues, to another the inter­pretation of Tongues.

The third gift, is Faith, which is called the Faith of many and famous miracles, and in the following Chap­ter it is called all Faith. 4: Is the gift of healing Dis­eases, which was one kind of miracles, as the rest fol­lowing. 5. The gift of working miracles, and powerfully casting out devils, and the enemies of the Church, of which wee have an example, Act. 13.11. 6. The gift of fore-telling things to come, and revealing secrets. 7. The gift of discerning impostures from the gifts of the Spirit. 8. The gift of speaking with divers kinds of Tongues. 9. The gift of Interpretation of Tongues, without the gift of speaking with those Tongues; for it will appear that some spoke with Tongues who could not interpret, and contrarily; for so it seemed good to God to distribute his gifts.

Vers. 11. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally, as hee will.

Argum. 7. To the wise using of gifts. This diversity of gifts, and distribution of them, is according to the good will of God: Therefore wee must rest in his will, and use them without discord.

Vers. 12. For as the body is one, and hath many mem­bers, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

Argum. 8. Christ Mystical, or Christ is one Body with the Church, consisting of many members, and they in­structed with variety of gifts: Therefore as in the hu­mane, so in the Mystical Body there ought to bee con­cord in the use of gifts.

Vers. 13. For by one Spirit are wee all baptized into one body, whether wee bee Jews or Gentiles, whe­ther wee bee bond or free: and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Argum. 9. All the faithful are joyned together in the Sacrament of Baptism, and the Lords Supper, or the u­nion of all the Faithful into one Church, and partaking of one life, in one body, and one Spirit, is signified in the Sacraments: Therefore you ought not to disagree a­mongst your selves about the diversity of gifts.

Vers. 14. For the body is not one member, but many.

15. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; Is it therefore not of the body?

16. And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; Is it therefore not of the body?

Argum. 10. Seeing the condition of the body requires necessarily plurality of members, and by consequence di­versity, it will follow, that the meanest offices in the least gifts, are as well of the body, as the most excellent offices and gifts. And if they should exclude themselves, they would not do less foolishly, than if the foot should deny that it was the hand, or the ear deny that it was the eye; and for this cause should conclude that it is not of the body: Therefore there ought to bee no dissention a­mongst you, because of the diversity of gifts.

Vers. 17. If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18. But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

19. And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20. But now are they many members, yet but one body.

Argum. 11. Even as if the body was one member, three inconveniences would follow. (1.) The rest of the members should bee excluded, and the more noble sen­ses, ver. 17. (2.) The change should bee made contrary to the wise dispensation of God, who hath otherwise ap­pointed diversity of members, ver. 18. (3.) The change should bee contrary to the nature of an organical body; for the very organical body should bee destroyed, ver. 19. Because God hath made one organical body of many members, ver. 20. So in Ecclesiastical Functions, if there was but one Function, three inconveniences would ensue. 1. The other offices would bee extinct. 2. The [Page 61] dispensation of God would bee destroyed. 3. The Or­ganical Church it self would bee overthrown, which now consists of many offices, united together into one body: Therefore concord and agreement is to bee regar­ded.

Vers. 21. And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again, the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22. Nay, much more, those members of the body, which seem to bee more feeble, are necessary.

Argum. 12. As in a natural body, the superiour and more excellent members cannot bee without the inferiour, which are most necessary; therefore they are friendly each to other; so it is in Ecclesiastical functions: there­fore ought they to bee assisting one to another.

Vers. 23. And those members of the body, which wee think to bee less honourable, upon those wee bestow more abundant honour, and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24. For our comly parts have no need; but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

Argum. 13. As in the body natural, that there may bee an agreement, those members which are more infirm are most honoured, and necessary, by the appointment of God: so ought it to bee in Ecclesiastical functions: Therefore in the chusing of Deacons rather than Pastors, care must bee had, that other things being alike, men of the fairest fortunes, may bee elected for the adorning of this inferiour office.

Vers. 25. That there should bee no Schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one of another.

Argum. 14. As the Natural body would come to ruine by Schism, if the members should strive among them­selves, and should not regard each other: So in Eccle­siastical functions: Therefore concord is to bee highly re­garded.

Vers. 26. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member bee honoured, all the members rejoyce with it.

27. Now yee are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Argum. 15. As amongst the superiour and inferiour members of the body, there is a sympathy in joy and grief, so it ought to bee amongst the Governours and Ministers of the Church: Therefore the greatest ac­cord: Hee gives the Reason of it, Because yee (saith hee) are the body of Christ, and members in particular, i. e. such as ought as members to agree with the whole body, the Church, and amongst your selves: And here is the common Apodosis of the whole similitude, taken from the body, from vers. 12. to this 27. verse.

Vers. 28. And God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily Prophets, thirdly Teachers, af­ter that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, go­vernments, diversities of tongues.

Now in order hee reckons up the Ministers of the Church, as much as might bee sufficient to restrain the ambition and envy that was among the Corinthians; The Authority of Paul by name, and of the other Apostles was prejudiced, by the subtil and Eloquent Doctors a­mongst the Corinthians (as is manifest in the second E­pistle.) Therefore hee asserts the dignity of the Apostles in the first place, as those that were appointed of God to lay the foundation of all the Churches. Concerning the Evangelists and Prophets extraordinary, either there was no question amongst them, or the dignity of the Mi­nisters of the Gospel extraordinary, being asserted in the vindication of the Apostolical office, concerning the au­thority and dignity of the Evangelists and Prophets ex­traordinary (whose Ministery was common to all the Churches, and subservient to the Apostles) it was ma­nifest and apparent enough.

Secondly, Hee determines concerning Prophets (by which name (as shall appear, chap. 14.) hee understands Pastors) who applied in their Sermons the doctrine to usefulness, whose gift was the word of wisdome, as verse 8.

In the third place hee names Teachers, who although they were not eloquent and prudent for the application of the doctrine to all the uses of the Church, yet they had a word of knowledge, that they were able to apply the ge­neral Doctrine to the capacity of the Church: These are the functions which were imployed in the Word and Doctrine, and therefore the more eminent.

In the fourth place, hee sets down those, who in the Primitive Church, for the confirmation of the faithful, were indued with a power of working miracles, signs and wonders of all kinds, in great measure.

Fifthly, Hee sets down those who had power miracu­lously to heal diseases, in whom the gift was more straightned and restrained to this one kind.

After this sixthly, hee names ordinary offices and gifts, viz. helps, or the office of Deacons, whose work it was to see to the maintenance of Ministers, and the ne­cessities of the Saints, and the dispensation of the publick revenues of the Church: which office, though it may seem the meanest, it appears to bee in no small account, and imposed not upon men of inferiour ranck, but upon those that were of tryed fidelity, and the more able, or men of fairest estate, as vers. 22, 23, 24. And that for the necessary use of it; for without the help of this office, the work of the Ministery would bee much hindered, for had there not been helps or Deacons, who undertook the care of collecting the stipends, that the Mini­sters might more freely attend the work of the Lord: It is necessary that the Ministers with the Levites, Nehem. 13. to whom a designed portion was not given, should betake themselves to their fields, and their work, or secu­lar businesses, and also to Law-sutes, being debarred of their due allowance, they might lose their zeal of labou­ring in the Lords Vineyard, or the fruit of their la­bours.

After these (unless perhaps there was no difference touching these inferiour offices) the Apostle is not solici­tous any further about the order; Hee names Governours, or Ruling Presbyters, who take notice of the peoples manners, and as presidents with the Pastors and Teachers, with the Ecclesiastical Assembly attend to the removing of scandals.

In the last place hee sets down the gift of tongues, to wit, solitary, with which any one either spake that which hee could not interpret, in a language known to the people, or could interpret it, but could not speak in an unknown tongue; which gift, because above others it caused admiration, it seemed to bee affected among the other Corinthians, and to bee matter of boasting to the rest.

Vers. 29. Are all Apostles? are all Prophets? are all Teachers? are all workers of miracles?

30. Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

By all which fore-cited, hee sharply corrects and re­proves the ambition and envy of inferiours, as if they would all have the most eminent gifts, and the more ex­cellent functions, which was most unreasonable, as the interrogations repeated to the peircing of their consciences shew.

Vers. 31. But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Argum. 16. Of Exhortation, that there bee no e­vil emulation about their gifts, their ambition might bee better laid out, by coveting the most excel­lent gifts, to wit, saving, or such as accompany sal­vation, which kind of gifts first of all is Christian Charity, by which saving Faith is effectual (whereof hee promises to speak:) Therefore evil emulation con­cerning [Page 62] gifts and Ecclesiastical or Spiritual Offices, is to bee taken heed of.

CHAP. XIII.

HEE shews that, that more excellent way of which hee spake in the last vers. of the Chapter going be­fore, was the way of Charity, and proves by four Ar­guments, that the gift of Charity is the most worthy gift, which they should affect above all.

Vers. 1. Though I speak with the tongues of Men and of Angels, and have not Charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling symbal.

The first Argument, the gifts which you desire are no­thing without Charity, and hee reckons up five sorts of gifts, before which hee prefers Charity. The gift of Tongues in the highest degree (which is, if any one could speak with all Tongues, or like unto Angels) would do nothing more to salvation without Charity, than an un­profitable sound.

Vers. 2. And though I have the gift of Prophesie, and understand all mysteries, and all Knowledge; and though I have all Faith, so that I could remove Mountains, and have no Charity, it profiteth mee nothing.

The second gift, is the gift of Prophesie in the highest degree (being joyned with knowledge and wisdome) which will not at all conduce to the salvation of the Prophet without Charity. The third gift is of a Faith miraculous in the highest degree (to the doing of those things which are most impossible) which if it should bee given, yet it would bee nothing without Charity.

Vers. 3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the Poor, and though I give my body to bee burned, and have not Charity, it profiteth mee nothing.

The fourth gift is the greatest liberality towards the poor, that can bee imagined. The fift gift is the grea­test courage of Martyrdome, as any one can imagine, all which without Charity, will not at all profit to salvation: Therefore Charity is the most worthy gift which you can desire.

Vers. 4. Charity suffereth long, and is kind: Charity envyeth not: Charity vaunteth not it self, is not puf­fed up.

The second Argument, from the famous properties or effects of Charity, which hee reckons to be fifteen. 1. Charity suffereth long. 2. And is kind. 3. Envyeth not. 4. Charity vaunteth not it self. 5. Is not puffed up.

Vers. 5. Doth not behave it self unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh not evil.

6. Doth not disgrace it self or its neighbour by be­having it self unseemly. 7. Seeks not her own, but the good of others. 8. Is not provoked to render evil for e­vil. 9. Thinketh no evil unjustly.

Vers. 6. Rejoyceth not in iniquity, but rejoyceth in the truth.

7. Beareth all things, beleeveth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

10. Rejoyceth not in iniquity. 11. Rejoyceth at the good successes of others. 12. couragiously bears labours and difficulties in discharging its duty. 13. Beleeveth the best of all, so far as truth suffers. 14. Hopes the best of the amendment of all, so far as prudence suffers her. 15. Endures all the infirmities of others: Therefore is the most worthy gift which you can affect.

Vers. 8. Charity never faileth, but whether there bee Prophecies, they shall fail; whether there bee tongues, they shall cease; whether there shall bee knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Argum. 3. Charity never faileth; therefore the most excellent and worthy to bee desired. This propriety hee illustrates, by comparing it with other gifts. First, With Prophecie and Tongues, which because wee shall not have use of them in the life to come, as means, they shall cease, being no further necessary. Secondly, Hee com­pares Charity with knowledge it self, and prefers it before knowledge, because knowledge shall vanish away, viz. that mediate knowledge, or manner of knowing, which is now obtained by books, by hearing and meditation, &c. Therefore Charity is the most excellent gift which you can desire.

Vers. 9. For wee know in part, and wee prophesie in part.

Which hee proves, because knowledge is now in part, and imperfect, not onely in respect of the measure, for so also is Charity imperfect, but chiefly in respect of the manner of knowing, viz. by means, which kind of know­ledge, because it is mediate, it is imperfect.

Vers. 10. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall bee done away.

This manner of knowing, viz. mediately, shall bee quite abolished when the perfect way of knowledge shall come, viz. the immediate. But Charity, although it bee imperfect, as to the measure, yet as to the manner of lo­ving, it is perfect; for it is immediately carried to God; and therefore this manner of loving shall never bee abo­lished, but rather encreased.

Vers. 11. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things:

Hee shews that the present way of kno [...]ing is to bee abolished, by the similitude of the abolishing of childish sports, when any comes to bee a man.

Vers. 12. For now wee see thorough a glass darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know, even as also I am known.

Hee shews the same by another similitude, [...]paring the present manner of knowing, to knowledge by a glass darkly, which kind of knowledge is mediate, but the knowledge to come is immediate, whereby any one kno [...] intuitively, because in the life to come our mind shall immediately bee enlightened by God, and wee shall see and know God immediately.

Vers. 13. And now abideth Faith, Hope, Charity, these three, but the greatest of these is Charity.

Argum. 4. Charity is more excellent than Faith or Hope (which are saving Graces, and gifts not to bee repented of.) Therefore the most worthy. Because Chari­ty shall never fail, but shall also continue in the life to come, when Faith and Hope shall cease. In the mean time, let us remember that Faith in some respects is more excellent than Charity, because Faith is the cause of Love, Gal. 5.6. Wee are justified by Faith, and have peace with God, Rom. 5.1. And Christ dwells in our hearts by Faith, which works Charity in us, Ephes. 3.17. But the Apostle regarding the concord and edifica­tion of the Church, by right extolls Charity, as much as belongs to his purpose; hee knew also that no man could endeavour after the increase of Christian Charity, but hee must also labour after the increase of Faith, which is the cause of Love.

CHAP. XIV.
HEE PROCEEDS TO TREAT OF SPIRITU­AL GIFTS, AND THEIR RIGHT USE.

THere are two parts of the Chapter. In the first hee prefers the gift of Prophesie before the gift of Tongues, to vers. 26. In the other hee gives commands concerning that order that was to bee observed in their Assemblies, to the end.

Vers. 1. Follow after Charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that yee may prophesie.

Hee proved in the fore-going Chapter, that Charity [Page 63] was the most excellent gift: In the beginning of this Chapter hee infers an Exhortation by way of conclusi­on, that they would affect it, and have all both gifts and spiritual offices in honour; but because some were proud of the gift of tongues, and most despised Pastoral gifts in comparison of this gift, and too much admired the gift of tongues: Therefore hee compares these gifts together, and proves that the gift of Prophecie or Exhor­tation is more excellent than the gift of tongues, separa­ted from the gift of interpretation. Hee gives thirteen Reasons.

Vers. 2. For hee that speaketh in an unknown tongue, speaketh not unto men, but unto God, for no man understandeth him: Howbeit in the Spirit he speak­eth mysteries.

3. But hee that prophesieth, speaketh unto men, to edi­fication, and exhortation, and comfort.

The first Reason; Hee that speaks in an unknown tongue, although by the gift of the Spirit, hee speaks the Mysteries of God, yet hee speaks without profit, be­cause hee is understood by God alone, and not by men: But a Prophet or Pastor speaking in a known tongue, teaches, exhorts, comforts his hearers, and so speaks pro­fitably: Therefore Prophecie is more excellent than the gift of tongues.

Vers. 4. Hee that speaketh in an unknown tongue, edi­fieth himself: but hee that prophesieth, edifieth the Church.

Reason 2. Hee that speaks in an unknown tongue, e­difies none [...] himself; but a Prophet, the whole Church or Assembly: Therefore Prophecie is more excellent.

Vers. 5. I would that yee all spake with tongues, but rather that yee prophesied: for greater is bee that prophesieth, than hee that speaketh with tongues, ex­cept hee interpret, that the Church may receive edi­fying.

That hee might rightly bee understood, hee shews that hee doth not abolish tongues, though hee prefers a Pro­phet before him that speaks in an unknown tongue.

Vers. 6. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you, either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophecying, or by doctrine?

Reason 3. From his own example; his Apostolical Ministery would not bee profitable to them, unless hee should speak to them in a known tongue by extraordinary Prophecie, by Revelation, or ordinary knowledge; ei­ther by Prophecying, or exhorting, as a Pastor, or instruct­ing, as a Teacher: Therefore the gift of tongues is infe­riour to the gift of Prophecie.

Vers. 7. And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe, or harp, except they give a distinction in their sounds, how shall it bee known what is piped or harped?

8. For if the Trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself unto the battel?

9. So likewise you, except yee utter by the tongue words easie to bee understood, how shall it bee known what is spoken? for yee shall speak into the ayr.

Reason 4. As a Trumpet, or any other instrument touched or blown, sounding confusedly, utters an unpro­fitable and an ungrateful sound, so also a tongue, not understood, gives no other than an uncertain and useless sound: But the Prophets in their Prophecying speak in a known tongue: Therefore the gift of tongues is inferiour to the gift of Prophecie.

Vers. 10. There are, it may bee, so many kinds of voi­ces in the world, and none of them are without sig­nification.

Reason 5. The voices of Brutes are many; whereof none is so inarticulate, but represents a certain species of the living creature to those that hear: It is therefore an unworthy thing, so to debase the gift of the Spirit, that it should profit no more, but should bee less valued than the blearing of a brute beast: In Prophecie it is not so: Therefore the gift of Tongues is inferiour to that of Prophecie.

Vers. 11. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall bee unto him that speaketh a Barbari­an, and hee that speaketh shall bee a Barbarian un­to mee.

Reason 6. Because to speak things not understood, makes the Teachers and the Hearers Barbarians each to other: Therefore, &c.

Vers. 12. Even so yee, for as much as yee are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that yee may excell to the edi­fying of the church.

13. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue, pray that hee may interpret.

Hee infers an exhortation to what was fore-spoken, that they might bee zealous of the gift of Prophecie, for the good of the Church, and to that end, that hee which hath the gift of an unknown tongue might pray, that hee might have also the gift of interpreting that tongue.

Vers. 14. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

Reason 7. If any one speak unto God, praying pub­likely in an unknown tongue, hee doth ill, because though hee that prayes understands, yet the understanding of him that prays shall bee unfruitful to those that hear and do not understand, and hee doth ill much more who speaks publikely to men in a tongue not understood: Therefore the gift of Tongues is inferiour to that of Prophecie.

Vers. 15. What is it then? I will pray with the Spi­rit, and will pray with understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the under­standing also.

Hence hee draws forth his exhortation, because a­mongst those who had the gift of strange tongues, some had the faculty miraculously to reason in divine mysteries, some had the faculty of praying, others did sing in those strange tongues, and others gave thanks; these gifts were divers, and for divers uses; hee commands them so to use them all, that they may bee understood by the hearers; for if any one pray by the Spirit, or from the gift of the Spirit, what profit shall it bee to the Church, unless hee pray also with understanding, i. e. so that the hearers may understand him?

Vers. 16. Else, when thou shalt bless with the Spirit, how shall hee that occupieth the room of the unlearn­ed, say Amen, at thy giving of thanks, seeing hee understandeth not what thou sayest?

This hee confirms and adds the eighth Reason, from the unprofitableness of it, because when any one shall bless by the gift of the Spirit, those that occupy the room of private men in the Church, i. e. the rest of the hearers in the Assembly, cannot joyn their prayers with him, or say Amen, unless hee speaks in a known tongue. The matter is otherwise in Prophecying, where all things are uttered in a known tongue: Therefore, &c.

Vers. 17. For thou verily givest thanks well; but the other is not edified.

Hee gives a reason, because the hearers in the Church neither understand, nor are edified, although that which is spoken is most excellent.

Vers. 18. I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all;

19. Yet in the Church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an un­known tongue.

Reason 9. From his own example, who was most ina­bled in the gift of Tongues, and yet hee had rather speak a few words which might bee understood by the hearers, than many in a tongue unknown to the people: Therefore the gift of Prophecie excels that of Tongues.

Vers. 20. Brethren, bee not children in understanding; [Page 64] howbeit, in malice bee yee children, but in under­standing bee men.

Reas. 10. Backed with a Precept, because this abuse of the gift of strange Tongues, being no way profitable to the hearers, is a childish and foolish ostentation; whereas it became them to bee children indeed in respect to innocency, but not in respect to knowledge.

Vers. 21. In the Law it is written, With men of other Tongues, and other Lips, will I speak unto this peo­ple; and yet for all that will they not hear mee, saith the Lord.

22. Wherefore Tongues are for a sign, not to them that beleeve, but to them that beleeve not; but prophesy­ing serveth not for them that beleeve not, but for them which beleeve.

Reason 11. Out of Isa. 28.11. and Ier. 5.15. because to speak with Tongues not understood in the Church, is set down of God as a threatning for a punishment of unbelief; But Prophecie serves for the edification of Beleevers: Therefore let unknown Tongues bee rejected out of the Church, and let Prophecie bee preferred.

Vers. 23. If therefore the whole Church bee come toge­ther into one place, and all speak with Tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelee­vers, will they not say that yee are mad?

Reason 12. Taken from the avoiding of Scandal: Un­beleevers, or Professors of a private condition, will bee estranged from the Faith, and they will say that both the Preacher and the People are mad, if the time ap­pointed for publick worship bee spent in the hearing of an unknown Tongue: Therefore the gift of Tongues is in­feriour to the gift of Prophesying.

Vers. 24. But if all prophesie, and there come in one that beleeveth not, or one unlearned; hee is convin­ced of all, hee is judged of all.

25. And thus are the secrets of his heart made mani­fest, and so falling down on his face, hee will wor­ship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

Reason 13. From the special fruit which would en­sue, If laying aside the use of strange Tongues, all the Prophets (for hee denies that all the faithful in the Church were Prophets, Chap. 12.29.) should prophesie, i. e. should propose the Oracles of the Prophets, and their Doctrine, to the edification of the Church: For in this case, if any unbeleever should come in, or a private Chri­stian one of their hearers, should hear them prophesying, hee is convinced of sin, and condemned according to the sentence of the Law, by all that prophesie, and the se­cret sins of his heart are manifest unto him, which when the hearer sees, and observes the Grace of God laid open by the Prophets in the Gospel, hee falls upon his face, adores God, and seriously gives testimony of Gods pre­sence with the Prophets in the Church: Therefore Pro­phecie is more excellent than the gift of Tongues.

The second Part.

Vers. 26. How is it then, Brethren? when yee come together▪ every one of you hath a Psalm, hath a Do­ctrine, hath a Tongue, hath a Revelation, hath an Interpretation; let all things bee done unto edi­fying.

The other part of the Chapter, in which hee gives se­ven Precepts concerning good order.

The first is, that if the Spirit shall suggest to any one of the Prophets any godly Psalm to the praise of God, or any Doctrine, or expression of a strange Tongue for the use of the Church, or revelation of a thing to come, or of a mystery not observed before, or the interpretation of a strange Tongue, or of the Scripture; Hee commands that the exercise of all these bee fitted to the edification of the Church, that all may go out of the Assembly better than they came.

Vers. 27. If any man speak in an unknown Tongue, let it bee by two, or at the most by three, and that by course, and let one interpret.

Vers. 28. But if there bee no Interpreter, let him keep silence in the Church, and let him speak to himself, and to God.

The second Precept. That of those who were en­abled with the gift of Tongues, should not speak in one Assembly more than two or three, and that in order, one after another, and unless there were some Interpreter pre­sent, who could expound their sayings, otherwise they were to bee silent in the Church.

Vers. 29. Let the Prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

The third Precept. That the ordinary Prophets, i. e. the Pastors should speak in one Assembly, two or three, of whose doctrine the other Prophets should Judge, exa­mining it by the rule of the Word.

Vers. 30. If any thing bee revealed to another that sit­teth by, let the first hold his peace.

The fourth Precept. If (as in those times it might u­sually come to pass) any other Prophet being inspired by the Spirit, desired to bee heard out of order, hee com­mands that hee bee silent, that time bee granted to the other to speak.

Vers. 31. For yee may all prophesie one by one, that all may learn, and all may bee comforted.

Hee subjoyns five Reasons of the Precept. 1. Because in such a case many, yea all the Prophets may bee heard (hee doth not here understand beleevers promiscuously, but the Prophets, and those that were truly extraordi­narily inspired by the Spirit) in which case all are to bee heard, but order is to bee observed.

That all] The second Reason. Because so the know­ledge and consolation of the Church, and also of their Prophets might bee promoted, if many by [...]urns were heard.

Vers. 32. And the Spirits of the Prophets are subject to the Prophets.

Reason 3. Because the Spirits of the Prophets are to bee examined and judged of by the other Prophets, who might afterwards give their opinions concerning those things which were heard, whether any one hath seasonably interrupted another, and whether it were agree­able to the Word of God, which was delivered by him; and therefore there was no danger, if hee that spoke be­fore, should give place to him that modestly interrupted him, and so more might speak in their order. When hee refers to the Prophets, the judging of the Spirit, or the Doctrine which the Prophet utters by the Spirit, hee does not exclude Spiritual men, i. e. the other Gover­nours of the Church, who were skilful in spiritual know­ledge and judgement, such as all ought to bee in an Ec­clesiastical Senate: For hee commands these, vers. 37. together with the Prophets, or Ministers of the Word, that according to their Ecclesiastical authority, they ac­knowledge and defend their doctrine in the Church, that according thereunto they would judge and determine con­cerning those that were disorderly.

Vers. 33. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all Churches of the Saints.

Reason 4. Because otherwise a tumult would arise, (which is hateful to God) while many should speak: Therefore in the case abovesaid let one speak after ano­ther in order. As in] Reason 5. Because this is the cu­stome in all the Churches of the Saints; and therefore it ought to bee thus amongst them, that one speak in order after another.

Vers. 34. Let your Women keep silence in the Churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to bee under obedience: as also saith the Law.

Precept 5. Whereby hee forbids that Women should speak in the Church, i. e. teach publickly, or propound questions, because subjection is appointed in the Word of God, for the Sex of Women, Gen. 3.16. re­quires.

[Page 65] Vers. 35. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their Husbands at home: for it is a shame for Women to speak in the Church.

That hee might prevent an Objection, hee commands them to learn at home privately of their Husbands, or elsewhere, that which they would demand publickly, adding another reason of the Precept, because it is un­seemly that a Woman should speak in the Church.

Vers. 36. What? came the Word of God out from you? or came it unto you onely?

Because hee knew that they who knew little, would take it ill, that they should bee kept within the compass of these Precepts, hee staies them, being ready to an­swer four waies. 1 By shewing, that they who do not submit to these Precepts, so behave themselves, as if they would equal themselves with the Apostles, by whom the Will of Christ came into the world. 2 Because they so carry themselves, as if they onely were Christians, to whom the Apostles were sent, and to whom onely be­longed judgement concerning order and decency.

Vers. 37. If any man think himself to bee a Prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge, that the things that I write unto you, are the Commandements of the Lord.

Thirdly, By affirming that these Precepts are the Lords, and by commanding, that not onely they who are true Prophets in the Church, or truly spiritual, i. e. who are such, both by office and desert, acknowledge that they are divine; but also that they, who for an of­fice, and certain gifts of the Spirit, seem to themselves to bee Prophets, or spiritual, or skilful in discerning spi­ritual things, or who are esteemed to bee such in the Church, by reason of their office in regarding spiritual things, acknowledge according to the reason, viz. of their office, that these Precepts are divine, and by con­sequence, that the Churches censure bee passed upon the contemners of these Precepts, as upon those who are dis­obedient to God. But that under the name of spirituals the Governours of Ecclesiastical Discipline was noted, it is plain, Gal. 6.1. and 1 Cor. 12.1. where hee com­prehends all Ecclesiastical Offices and gifts under the name of spiritual.

Vers. 38. But if any man bee ignorant, let him bee ignorant.

Fourthly, By rejecting the judgement of affected ig­norance, and after a Precept now given to the Governours of the Church, that they would acknowledge these Pre­cepts to bee divine, by referring the ignorant and con­temners of these Precepts to the Moderators of Disci­pline, that according to the judgement of the Apostle, and of their Church (judging according to the Rule of the Apostle) they might bee ignorant of their own danger, who contemn these Precepts.

Vers. 39. Wherefore Brethren, covet to prophesie, and forbid not to speak with Tongues.

Precept 6. Shewing the use of the former Doctrine, that they should embrace by all means, and desire the gift of Prophecie, but not contemn or neglect the gift of Tongues.

Vers. 40. Let all things bee done decently, and in order.

Precept 7. That decency should bee observed by per­sons comming to the publick Assembly of the Church, and in things necessary for publick worship, that all things bee performed with gravity and modesty, without superstition and undecency, and that the parts of divine worship bee so ordered and disposed in their times, as they most serve for the glory of God, and the edification of the Church.

CHAP. XV.
THE NINTH ARTICLE, OF THE RE­SURRECTION.

THe ninth Article of the Epistle is to confirm the do­ctrine of the Resurrection, which some amongst them called in question.

There are three parts of the Chapter. In the first hee con­firms the Corinthians in the Faith of the Gospel, and by name of the Article of the Resurrection of Christ, to vers. 12. In the second, hee confirms the doctrine of the Resurrection of our bodies, to vers. 35. In the third hee confutes the objections against this Faith, that the faithful being confirmed may bee more constant, to the end.

Vers. 1. Moreover, Brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand.

That which belongs to the first. Because by denying of the Resurrection hee knew the whole Gospel was o­verthrown; First, Hee confirms the Corinthians in the Faith of the Gospel in general, silently admonishing them, that they would not fall from it, using five Arguments. The first Argument. I constantly preached the Gospel to you: Therefore keep firmly my doctrine.

Yee received] Argum. 2. You have now received the Truth by Faith: Therefore keep it.

Wherein you stand] Argum. 3. You have kept this doctrine hitherto, and even now also you profess it: Therefore keep it.

Vers. 2. By which also yee are saved, if yee keep in memory, what I preached unto you, unless yee have beleeved in vain.

Argum. 4. By this Gospel you are to obtain salvation, unless your Faith bee Hypocritical: Therefore keep it.

Vers. 3. For I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures:

4. And that hee was buried, and that hee rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

Argum. 5. Confirming also that which went before; because that which is preached and beleeved by you con­cerning the death and resurrection of Christ, &c. was re­vealed from Heaven: Therefore keep it.

Christ] Afterwards especially confirming their Faith. First, Concerning the death of Christ for our sins, be­cause according to the Scriptures it is preached and be­leeved. 2 Concerning the burying of Christ, because also it is beleeved according to the Scriptures; and lastly, concerning the resurrection of Christ hee confirms their Faith by an eightfold Testimony. The first Testimony is of the Scriptures.

Vers. 5. And that hee was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve.

6. After that hee was seen of above five hundred Brethren at once: of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

7. After that hee was seen of James, then of all the Apostles.

2. Testimony is of Peter the Apostle, who saw Christ alive again.

3. Testimony is of the twelve Apostles gathered to­gether.

4. Testimony is of the five hundred Brethren, many of whom then saw him.

5. Testimony is of Iames.

6. Testimony is of all the Apostles, who at the second time being together saw Christ alive again.

Vers. 8. And last of all, hee was seen of mee also, as of one born out of due time.

[Page 66]9. For I am the least of the Apostles, that am not meet to bee called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God.

10. But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace which was bestowed on mee, was not in vain: but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was within mee.

7. Is the testimony of Paul himself, which although it may seem to bee little valued by some, (because that after Christs death, and ascending into heaven) hee as an abortive off-spring was suddenly sent forth into the light of the Gospel, and also, because for his past life in the state of nature, hee might deservedly bee accounted the least of the Apostles; yet in respect of the grace be­stowed upon him, hee shews that his testimony might bee compared with the testimony of the rest, because the grace of God was by so much the clearer manifested to­wards him, than towards the other Apostles, by how much the more his Conversion was more wonderful than the Conversion of the other Apostles, and by how much the grace of God was more approved by working in him, and by him, and his great labours in the Gospel, and was more famous than that which was expected in the other Apostles, in regard of the effects; The whole praise of this excellency hee gives wholly to the grace of God, but no part of the glory to himself.

Vers. 11. Therefore, whether it were I, or they, so wee preach, and so wee believed.

8. Testimony is the consent of Paul and the other A­postles in the preaching of the Resurrection of Christ, to all which testimonies the Corinthians set to their Faith for a Seal.

The second Part.

Vers. 12. Now if Christ bee preached that hee rose from the dead, how say some among you, that there is no Resurrection of the dead?

The second part of the Chapter, in which hee proves the Doctrine of the Resurrection delivered to them was true, and the Doctrines of those that deny the Resur­rection was false. The Proposition is propounded in this verse, hee brings fifteen arguments to the proof, seven of them are drawn from a seven-fold absurdity that would follow.

Vers. 13. But if there bee no Resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen.

The first argument, and first absurdity. It follows from their own Doctrines, that Christ is not risen: Therefore it is false; for between Christ the Head, and Believers who are the members, there is such a union, that the Resurrection of these being denied, his Resur­rection also is denied, & e contra.

Vers. 14. And if Christ bee not risen, then is our preaching vain; and your faith is also vain:

2. Absurdity, and Argum. 2. By consequence it fol­lows from their tenents, that the preaching of the Apo­stles is vain: Therefore it is false.

Vain] Absurdity▪ 3. and Argum. 3. It will follow, (hee sayes) that your faith is vain: Therefore their Doctrine is false, for unless Christ had risen, neither righteousness, nor eternal life, nor any other effects of Christs Resurrection had been expected.

Vers. 15. Yea, and wee are found false witnesses of God, because wee have testified of God, that hee raised up Christ: whom hee raised not up, if so bee that the dead rise not.

Absurd. 4. and Argum. 4. It would follow that wee spoke a false testimony, not only of Christ, but also of God the Raiser of Christ, who is not the Raiser of Christ, if there bee no Resurrection: Therefore their Doctrine is false.

Vers. 16. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised.

The reason is, because if the Doctrine of our Resur­rection bee false, the Doctrine also of Christs Resurre­ction is false, neither can consist.

Vers. 17. And if Christ bee not raised, your Faith is vain, yee are yet in your sins.

Absurd. 5. and Argum. 5. It would follow also from their Doctrine, that beside the vanity of your faith, that you are yet in your sins without redemption: Therefore it is false; for hee having redeemed us, unless hee had ri­sen again, our redemption had been none, nor our sins taken away.

Vers. 18. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ, are perished.

Absurd. 6. and Argum. 6. It will follow from their Doctrines, who deny the Resurrection, that the Saints who are dead, are perished: Therefore it is false.

Vers. 19. If in this life only wee have hope in Christ, wee are of all men most miserable.

Absurdity 7. Argum. 7. It would follow from their o­pinion that Christians were of all men most miserable, because the hope of happiness, by this error, is not only cut off in the life to come, but also in this present life; because they willingly for the cause of Religion subject themselves most foolishly to many inconveniences, and deprive themselves of many advantages, if there was not a future Resurrection: Therefore the opinion of those that deny the Resurrection is false and absurd.

Vers. 20. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.

Argum. 8. As the first fruits are pledges and an ear­nest of a future harvest, so the Resurrection of Christ is a pledge of the Resurrection of all the Saints.

Vers. 21. For since by man came death, by man came also the Resurrection of the Dead.

Argum. 9. Because it is no less agreeable to the good­ness and wisdome of God, to restore all the Sons of Grace from the dead by the Man Christ, than it is a­greeable to his Justice and Wisdome, to send forth death by the man Adam upon all the sons of Nature: and on the other side, as death came by Adam, so shall the Re­surrection from the Dead by Christ: Therefore our Do­ctrine of the Resurrection is true.

Vers. 22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all bee made alive.

Argum. 10. Because as in Adam all his Posterity are dead, first judicially, and afterwards actually; so in Christ, all his Sons or Children, i. e. the Faithful, are judicially risen, and shall actually rise: For there is the like reason in both, of the Sentence of the Judge, and the Execution of the Sentence.

Vers. 23. But every man in his own order, Christ the First-fruits, afterward they that are Christs, at his coming.

Argum. 11. In this hee answers to a question; Why Christ being raised, those that are dead in Christ, are not yet risen: Hee answers, and propounds the eleventh Argum. That the order which God hath appointed ought to bee observed, viz. that Christ as the First-fruits should rise first, and afterwards the whole harvest of Christi­ans by Christ, at his second coming: Christ (as the First-fruits) is risen first: Therefore his members, viz. all the Faithful (as the rest of the harvest) shall rise.

Vers. 24. Then cometh the end, when hee shall have delivered up the Kingdome to God, even the Father, when hee shall have put down all rule, and authority, and power.

Hee further declares this Argument, shewing that by the purpose of God, two things are conjoyned in time, with the end of the world, viz. The delivering up the Kingdome by the Son into the hands of the Father, and the putting down of all rule, authority, and contrary power; whereof this is the meaning: After Christ shall have subdued and abolished all adverse power, as the De­vil, the World, and the rest, of what kind soever, hee will [Page 67] vanquish those powers so far forth, that they shall not a­ny longer bee injurious to his members, all of them being thrust down to hell; at last Christ shall present his Church (which is called the Kingdome of Christ, gi­ven him of his Father) every way perfect, and deliver it up, as it were, into the hands of his Father.

Thirdly, Having now perfected his Mediatory Office, and laid aside that manner of ruling, by those means which hee now useth for the gathering and governing of his Church. Fourthly, Having finished all things which were committed to him by his Father to finish, hee shall resign up the Kingdome also committed to him, over all things which are in the world, to the perfecting the work of our Redemption, hee shall (I say) deliver up the Kingdome to God, according to his Humanity, and to his Father, according to his Divinity; not that hee shall cease to reign immediately, but mediately, and as be­fore: not that hee shall leave off to reign with the Fa­ther, but shall cease to reign as deputed by the Father, to conflict with his enemies, or to administer any longer in a laborious and painful work of gathering his Church, otherwise there is no end of his Kingdome, hee shall in­deed reign much more gloriously than now hee doth, when his adversaries are conquered, without the Ministe­ry of Angels or men, hee shall govern, together with the Father, and fill all his with light, love, life, with his vir­tues immediately.

Vers. 25. For hee must reign, till hee hath put all ene­mies under his feet.

26. The last enemy that shall bee destroyed is death.

Argum. 12. This confirms the former sense that was given, Christ must reign until hee subdue all his enemies, and death the last enemy: Therefore hee shall destroy death, and by consequence there shall bee a Resurrection.

Vers. 27. For hee hath put all things under his feet, but when hee saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that hee is excepted which did put all things under him.

That no man might quarrel at the word All, hee ex­cepts God from the number of All those things that should bee subdued unto Christ, because it is God who subdues all other things to Christ, except himself.

Vers. 28. And when all things shall bee subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself bee subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may bee all in all.

This hee further illustrates, because the Mediatory Kingdome of Christ being delivered up, as was now said, the Son himself is to bee subjected unto God, who hath subdued all things to him, that God may bee all in all, i. e. Christ as man having laid aside his Mediatory Embassage, will most fully manifest, that all things which were done by him as man, were done in the power, authority, and Name of God; and that hee, as man, is less than the Father, being for ever united to his Body, the Church, is subject to the Father; that the mediation, and means, and instruments, and helps which are now used being laid aside, God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, may supply all the necessities of the Saints immediately; and may by his power bee all means in all his Saints, and may altogether extinguish the necessity of all means, in­struments, and helps by his immediate presence with them most fully for ever; and hee will more than supply the room of all those; and hee himself by his power and efficacy, will bee more than all these, and what ever may bee needful for the most happy felicity of all his Saints.

Vers. 29. Else what shall they do, which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they baptized then for the dead?

Argum. 13. That there is a future Resurrection, hee proves after this manner; Unless there bee a Resurrection of the Dead, what benefit will accrew to those that are tossed with the waves of Persecution, for some that are dead, i. e. for Christ and the Saints that are dead, whose Resurrection while they defend, they profess and assert the Resurrection of Christ past, and of the Saints here­after? (for so the word To bee baptized is taken, Mar. 10.38. and the Preposition [...] signifies for, Act. 9.16.) And it is absurd that they who suffer Martyrdome for de­fending the Resurrection of the Dead, should bee disap­pointed of their hope: Therefore there shall bee a Re­surrection.

Vers. 30. And why stand wee in jeopardy every hour?

Argum. 14. Hee confirms in this the sense of his for­mer Argument: If it seem not absurd that other Martyrs should lose their labour, all Christians will at least think it absurd that wee Apostles should lose our labour, who Preaching and hoping for the Resurrection of the Dead, are in continual dangers: Therefore there shall bee a Re­surrection.

Vers. 31. I protest by your rejoycing which I have in Christ Iesus our Lord, I die daily.

This Argument hee confirms by the testimony of his own experience, seriously affirming how certainly hee gloried with the Corinthians in Christ, so certainly did hee dayly undergo one death after another for the Go­spel, being every day cast into new dangers of his life.

Vers. 32. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it mee, if the dead rise not? Let us eat and drink, for to mor­row wee die.

33. Bee not deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners.

In particular hee gives instance of a notable danger, in fighting with beasts at Ephesus, in a plain sense, and as men ordinarily understand this phrase; for to condemn to the beasts was an usual kind of death, which Christi­ans were allotted to, as Histories make mention: What need the Apostle undergo this danger? To what purpose had this been, unless a Resurrection had been to bee ho­ped and defended?

Let us eat] Argum. 15. If the dead arise not, the gluttonous Religion of Epicures was best, Let us eat, and drink, for to morrow wee shall die, as some amongst them, like hogs, began to grunt: But this is absurd: Therefore the dead shall rise: Instead of the Assumption hee forbids that they attend not to these rotten kind of speeches, which might infect them either with false do­ctrine, or vicious manners.

Vers. 34. Awake to righteousness, and sin not: for some have not the knowledge of God, I speak this to your shame.

Further intimating that the Authors and Fomenters of this Error amongst them, were sleeping in their igno­rance of God, in both bodily and spiritual intempe­rance of this world, drunk with pleasures, hee therefore exhorts them that they would awake to righteousness, i. e. That they which minded their own matters, pleasing themselves, in their own wit, would shake off slothful­ness, and imploy their wit about good and holy matters rather; upbraiding all of them as a shameful thing to suf­fer those Atheists, the Authors of this error.

Vers. 35. But some men will say, how are the dead rai­sed up? and with what body do they come?

The third part of the Chapter follows, wherein hee answers three Objections of the Adversaries. The first is this, It seems impossible that the dead should arise: for how should it bee? Object. 2. No man can describe with what bodies they shall arise. Object. 3. Vers. 51. What shall become of those that are alive at the coming of the Lord, they therefore, because they die not, cannot rise a­gain?

Vers. 36. Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickned except it die.

Hee answers to the first Objection, It is not impossi­ble that the dead should arise, because the seed dies year­ly, and rises again as it were.

Vers. 37. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest [Page 68] not that body that shall bee, but bare grain, it may chance of Wheat, or of some other grain.

38. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed its own body.

Hee answers the second Objection, That our bodies, the same in substance, but diverse in quality, shall rise again: This hee confirms four waies; First, By the ex­ample of Grains of Corn, as a bare Grain, dry and hard, &c. It is raised in substance and kind the same, but di­verse in quality, so our bodies, the same in substance, but of most different qualities, shall arise.

Vers. 39. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, ano­ther of fishes, and another of birds.

Secondly, From the like example of flesh: As God can, and daily doth produce, not onely divers seeds, but also divers kinds of flesh, for all flesh is not of the same kind, so hee can raise the same flesh of the self same man, changing his qualities.

40. Vers. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terre­strial: But the glory of the terrestrial is one, and the glory of the celestial is another.

41. There is one glory of the Sun, another of the Moon, and another glory of the Starrs: for one Starre dif­fereth from another Starre in glory.

42. So also is the resurrection of the dead, it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption:

43. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power:

44. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiri­tual body.

Thirdly, From the like difference betwixt Stars and terrestrial bodies: As God hath beautified celestial bo­dies with a celestial, and terrestrial bodies with a terre­strial glory, and hath distinguished celestial bodies a­mongst themselves with a different glory, as is to bee seen in the Sun, Moon, and Stars; So also the body in the resurrection, when it is raised it shall differ from it self falling into the grave, as that which is incorruptible from that which is corruptible, as that which is comely from that which is filthy, powerful from that which is weak, spiritual from that which is natural: That is cal­led a natural body, which is quickened by the soul after the manner of living Creatures, by means of meats, ele­ments, &c. And that is a spiritual body, which retaining the soul, is supported by the Spirit of God without means, as the Angels.

Vers. 45. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickning Spirit.

Hee explains this last difference betwixt a natural and a spiritual body, and proves it (because the phrase might seem somewhat harsh) by leading us to the first Adam, as to the Original of our first State in a natural body, and to CHRIST, the second Adam, as to the Original of our second State in a spiritual body, and compares these two in a three-fold manner. The first comparison is, in the opposite state of a natural and a spiritual body: The first Adam was made a living soul, not (giving life) which had a life indeed, but supported, as other crea­tures are, with meat and drink, &c. And not such as could continue life to the body without nourishment; But Christ, the last Adam, is made a quickning Spirit, who could communicate virtue to those that were his, by his Spirit, that without nourishments of the body, the most blessed union of body and soul may bee preser­ved.

Vers. 46. Howbeit, that was not first, which is spiri­tual: but that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual.

The second comparison in respect to Order; The first Adam had the precedency in the natural state of the bo­dy: The second Adam was latter in the spiritual state of the body; for the imperfect state ought to precede, so God is wont to proceed to the highest perfection: Hee saith not simply that Adam was before Christ, but that the Natural state of the first Adam, is first in time in Adam, in Christ, and in us: And our Spiritual state which is from Christ, is latter.

Vers. 47. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the se­cond man is the Lord from Heaven.

The third comparison in the order and dignity of the person: The first-Man, meer man, is of the earth, ear­thy, whose body rose out of the earth, and is resolved a­gain into earth, upon the substraction of food, where­upon hee could communicate unto us, nothing but a terrene life: But the second Adam, is both man and God from Heaven, who although hee hath a body from the earth, yet because hee is God from Heaven, and therefore is called heavenly, as hee could support his bo­dy, that it should not see corruption, though in its own nature terrene, and resoluble into dust, and as it being raised out of the grave, hee could make it every way glo­rious, immortal, and heavenly, not needing earthly sup­ports: So in like manner can hee make our bodies such.

Vers. 48. As is the earthy, such are they that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

From these hee proves the future mutation of the qualities of the body, from earthly to heavenly, from na­tural to spiritual, by four Arguments.

Argum. 1. Such as was the earthly Adam, the head of our stock, after the fleshly propagation, such it be­came us to bee born, viz. mortal: Therefore as the hea­venly Adam (our head in respect to regeneration and glo­rification) is after his resurrection, viz. Spiritual, glori­ous, incorruptible, immortal, such shall wee bee that are born again of him after our resurrection.

Vers. 49. And as wee have born the image of the ear­thy, wee shall also bear the image of the heaven­ly.

Argum. 2. From its future certainty; As sure as wee bear the image of the first Adam, in the qualities of our substance, being made conform to him in soul and body; so sure shall wee bear the image of the second Adam, in the glorious qualities of our substance.

Vers. 50. Now this I say, Brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdome of God: Neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Argum. 3. The promises of glorifying our bodies, or of bringing us into the glorious Kingdome of God, ought to bee fulfilled: But flesh and blood, i. e. our bodies, as now they are corruptible, cannot enter into the Kingdome of God, unless they bee fitted for that glorious state: There­fore our bodies shall bee made meet, by the mutation of their qualities, to enter into the Kingdome of Glo­ry.

Corruption] By way of confirmation to this reason hee adds, Argum. 4. Corruption cannot inherit incorruption: Therefore necessary it is that our bodies bee changed in their qualities from corruptibility to incorruptibi­lity.

Vers. 51. Behold, I shew you a mystery; wee shall not all sleep, but wee shall all bee changed,

Objection 3. What shall become of those that are a­live at the comming of our Lord? How shall they arise, which shall not dye, but bee found alive by the Judge at his comming? Hee answers by opening the mystery, viz. that all shall not die, nor rise again, but they shall bee taken that remain alive at the comming of our Lord, and changed into an eternal state of immortality, either in glory, or torments, which change shall bee in stead of death and a resurrection.

Vers. 52. In a moment, in the twinckling of an eye, at the last Trumpet (for the Trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall bee raised incorruptible, and wee shall be changed.)

[Page 69]Hee shews the manner of this change, that it shall bee in the twinckling of an eye, i. e. in a moment, all that are alive and dead shall be summoned by a fearful alarum to the judgement of God.

Vers. 53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Hee gives two Reasons of this change. First, Morta­lity must bee swallowed up of immortality, and this mor­tal body must put on immortality: Therefore they shall bee changed that are found alive at the comming of our Lord.

Vers. 54. So when this corruptible shall have put on in­corruption, and this mortal shall have put on immor­tality, then shall bee brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up of victory.

55. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Reason 2. The Prophecie of Hosea ought to bee ful­filled, chap. 13. v. 14. who fore-told our full victory o­ver death and the grave: Therefore they that are alive shall bee changed at the comming of the Lord, which shall bee in stead of death.

Vers. 56. The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law.

That this victory may appear the greater, hee inti­mates the victory wee shall have over sin and the Law, without which the grave cannot prevail any thing over us; for unless satisfaction bee given to the Law, sin, wrath, and death, remain in full power: But after satis­faction is made to the Law for us, sin and wrath are ta­ken away, wherewith death is armed, as with a sting; which being disarmed is abolished and triumphed o­ver.

Vers. 57. But thanks bee to God, who giveth us the vi­ctory through our Lord Iesus Christ.

Hee shews a twofold use of this victory: The first is, that thanks may bee given to God, who hath given us through Christ victory over death, sin, and the Law, yea verily hee hath imputed the victory of Christ to us, and hath made it ours; for hee hath died for us, and by his resurrection hath obtained for us victory over death, that hee might make us conquerours.

Vers. 58. Therefore my beloved Brethren, bee yee sted­fast, unmoveable, alwaies abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know, that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Another use of this doctrine is this, That under hope of the free gift, at the day of resurrection, wee would perse­vere constantly in the Faith of the Gospel, and diligent­ly indeavour the bringing forth of the fruits of Faith, be­cause in the resurrection the Lord will give us, whate­ver wee have lost with men, viz. the reward of good works.

CHAP. XVI.

THere are three parts of this last Chapter. In the first is contained the last Article of the Epistle, con­cerning a Collection for the poor Jews, to vers. 5. In the second is contained the conclusion, shewing, for the most part familiar matters, to vers. 19. In the third hee mentions salutations of the Saints, to the end.

Vers. 1. Now concerning the Collection for the Saints, as I have given order to the Churches of Galatia, even so do yee.

As touching the Collection: The famine which was prophesied by Agabus, Act. 11.28. as also the persecution, did much distress the Churches in Iudea, wherefore the Apostles living at Ierusalem, exhort Paul and Barnabas, that they would take care to make a collection amongst the Gentiles, to succour the need of the poor Jewes, Gal. 2.20. hee speaks of this contribution, commanding that on the Lords Day (whereupon all Christians ceased from their labours, and met publikely to the Worship of God) that every one according to his ability, without vain­glory, should cast something into the Treasury.

There are six reasons of his Exhortation: The first is from the example of other Churches, by name of those which were in Galatia, who were bound to the same du­ty, under the same Precepts.

Vers. 2. Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there bee no gatherings when I come.

Reason 2. Because nothing is required of them unfit­ting or burdensome, but that once every week, in conve­nient time and place, every one would contribute accord­ing to that measure wherewith God had blessed him: And the manner is plain, whereby the collection might bee made publikely every Lords Day, and yet every one should lay it by himself, i. e. no man knowing the sum: We may imagine that they imitated the example of the An­tient Church, a bored Chest being placed in the entrance to the house where they met for the Worship of God.

Lest when I come] Reason 3. Because hee was about to come unto them, to enquire of their obedience. Here wee have the fourth Reason, lest upon their putting off, or neglecting the matter, they might bee found unprepa­red when the Apostles should come, and might make their collection not so seasonable, with greater difficulty and prejudice.

Vers. 3. And when I come, whomsoever you shall ap­prove by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

Reason 5. Hee prevents an objection, lest there should bee any suspition of laying out their collection: Behold, I will commit your charitable contribution to bee carried to Jerusalem, unto men approved, chosen by your selves, whom I will send together with you, with letters.

Vers. 4. And if it bee meet that I go also, they shall go with mee.

Reason 6. Because this business so well likes mee, that I am ready, not only to commend your messengers to the Churches which are in Iudea, by our Epistle, but if it shall seem meet, I also have determined to go along with those whom you commit the charge of this business to.

The Second Part.

Vers. 5. Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass thorough Macedonia: for I do pass thorough Mace­donia.

6. And it may bee that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that yee may bring mee on my journey whi­thersoever I go.

7. For I will not see you now by the way, but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.

The second part of the Chapter is the Epilogue of the Epistle, containing for the most part matters familiar, which also appertained to the edification of the Corinthi­ans: The Articles of this conclusion are six: The first concerns his coming, whereof hee gives them hopes, ver. 5. and of his stay among them, for the confirmation of mutual friendship, and their consolation, if it was the Will of God, ver. 6, 7.

Vers. 8. But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.

9. For a great door and effectual is opened unto mee, and there are many adversaries.

Why hee deferred his coming, (determining to stay longer at Ephesus) till the time of the Jews Feast, (which to that day, they that Judaized observed) hee gives two Reasons. 1. Because God had opened a great door, or offered an abundant occasion for the gaining of many, or converting them to the Gospel, and apparently gave a blessing to his labours, which hee calls an effectu­al door. Another Reason, because the tumult of adversa­ries was so great, his Presence was most requisite, and Satan in his absence did much harm.

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Vers. 10. Now if Timotheus come, see that hee may bee with you without fear: for hee worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.

11. Let no man therefore despise him, but conduct him forth in peace, that hee may come unto mee, for I look for him with the Brethren.

Article 2. Wherein hee carefully commends Timothy unto them, if hee should come to them, as his most dear Son (who is called the Apostles Son, because in Preach­ing the Gospel hee followed his steps, serving God holi­ly, as hee did) that they would defend him from injuries, treat him honourably, bring him on his journey when hee returned, guard him from dangers by the way, that hee might come safe to him.

Vers. 12. As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the Brethren, but his will was not at all to come at this time: but hee will come when hee shall have convenient time.

Article 3. Wherein (that the Corinthians might not take it ill, that the Apostle while hee came, did not send Apollos the Evangelist, a man familiar with them, who watered the Apostles planting amongst them) hee clears himself, that hee had not a will then to come, but gives them hopes of his coming, when hee shall have a fit op­portunity.

Vers. 13. Watch yee, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men: bee strong.

14. Let all your things bee done with charity.

Article 4. Wherein hee exhorts them to five military duties of Christian-souldiers. 1. That although neither hee nor Apollos should come unto them, yet in the mean time they should keep continual watch, lest Satan should come upon them while they were secure, and drunk with worldly cares. 2. That they should bee constant in the Faith, firmly holding the truth of the Gospel, being u­nited unto Christ by Faith. 3. That they would shew themselves men, in every combate against the adversa­ries of Faith and their salvation. 4. That they would bee strong in the Power of God, and not faint under the evils they any time met with. 5. That they would con­stitute Charity the Arbitrator of all things, both Eccle­siastical and Civil, serving the common good in every thing.

Vers. 15. I beseech you, Brethren, (you know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves, to the Mi­nistery of the Saints,)

16. That yee submit your selves to such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.

Article 5. Wherein hee commends to them Stepha­nas, with his family, who in the office of Deacon as­sisted him, that they would have honourable respects to him, and his family: First, Because with the first they gave their names to Christ. 2. Because hee willingly ad­dicted himself in the office of a Deacon to the Church of Corinth, and that according to the order which was required in the constituting of Deacons: Therefore the Apostle wills them as subject to these, that they give them due honour, or that which is convenient to their Mini­stery: Hee understands not politick subjection onely, in respect to their office, but also moral, whereby wee shew our selves reverend and obedient to them, who excel in virtue: In the mean time wee exclude not that subjection which is due to Deacons for their office sake, who admi­nister with the rest of the Presbytery about Ecclesiastical matters, wherein Stephanas with his family was im­ployed.

Vers. 17. I am glad of the comming of Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for that which was lack­ing on your part, they have supplied.

18. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge yee them that are such.

Article 6. Wherein hee commends their sending of three Brethren from Corinth, unto him, because they supplied the stead of the Corinthians in visiting of him; They are said to have refreshed the Spirit of the Apostle, and the Corinthians, because as they had gratified the Corinthians who sent them, so likewise the Apostle to whom they were sent; wherefore hee would have them esteemed so much the more, both these, and they that were like unto them.

The third Part.

Vers. 19. The Churches of Asia salute you; Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the Church that is in their house.

20. All the Brethren geeet you; greet you one another with an holy kiss.

The third part of the Chapter follows, wherein after hee hath saluted the Corinthians. 1. In the name of the Ephesians, and the rest of the Churches of Asia. 2. In the name of Priscilla and Aquila and their families, vers. 19. 3. In the name of the Brethren his companions, who lived in his society; Hee wills them (as the Eastern manner was) to salute one another with a kiss (as wee, with joyning right hands) without deceit or dissimula­tion, and that they perform those things, and all other expressions of love holily.

Vers. 21. The salutation of mee Paul with mine own hand.

Further hee signs this Epistle (being written by the hand of another) with a salutation, and his own hand, that it may bee known to bee his own; Because in those times Epistles were feigned in the name of the Apostles, 2 Thes. 2.1. Therefore it was needful that by some ma­nifest token they should bee known to the Church.

Vers. 22. If any man love not the Lord Iesus Christ, let him bee Anathema Maranatha.

In the close of the Epistle hee laies down an Apostoli­cal malediction against the haters and enemies of Christ, both secret and open, using the words of extreamest exe­cration: For by this solemn form, Maranatha, i. e. THE LORD COMMETH, the Church testified that they had performed all the parts of their office towards such a man: And for the future by a common consent let him alone, and referred him to the last judgement of God, or to the comming of the Lord, as one that was desperate amongst men: In the mean while the Apostle doth not excommu­nicate hypocrites from the external society of the Church, but threatens utter destruction unless they re­pent.

Vers. 23. The Grace of our Lord Iesus Christ bee with you.

24. My love bee with you all in Christ Iesus.

Finally after his Apostolical benediction, by his Au­thority applied to the Church of Corinth, hee signifies his special love towards them, that they may bee con­vinced in themselves, that whatever hee had set down in this Epistle, whether by way of reprehension, or exhor­tation, it came all from his love towards them.

The Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Analytically expounded.

The Contents of the Epistle.

THe first Epistle did not want its effect amongst many of the Corinthians, yet there were some, especially vain-talking Teachers, who persevered in their contumacy, and not onely they themselves set at nought the Apostles Authority, but also dared publickly to compare them­selves with him, and to prefer themselves before him, and to diminish the Authority of the Apostle amongst the people, with no small detriment and prejudice to the Gospel. That hee might restrain these, and finde all things at his comming better ordered in the Church of Corinth, hee writ this second Epistle which is wholly Apologetical.

Besides an Exordium and Conclusion, there are three parts of the Epistle: In the first, having removed the scandal of the Cross which was laid upon him, and the suspicion of his alie­nated mind from the Corinthians, Chap. 1. & 2. Hee defends his Ministery, Chap. 2. & 3. And proves his constancy and fidelity therein, Chap. 4. & 5. Exhorting them to bring forth the fruits of his Ministery, Chap. 6. And that they would perswade themselves of his good will towards them, Chap. 7.

In the second part of the Epistle, hee exhorts them to make a collection for the poor Brethren, the afflicted Iews, Chap. 8 & 9.

In the third part hee vindicates his Authority from contempt, and the aspersions of false Teachers, (who laboured to ren­der the Apostle vile amongst the Corinthians) Chap. 10. and holily boasts himself against them, Chap. 11. & 12. endeavouring to render his Authority formidable, and also amicable to the Corinthians, Chap. 13.

CHAP. I.

THere are two parts of the Chapter, besides the in­scription of the Epistle; in the former hee removes the scandal of the Cross and afflictions, wherewith hee was not long since oppressed, to vers. 12. In the second part, hee removes the suspicion of an alienated mind from the Corinthians, to the end.

The Inscription of the Epistle which is instead of an Ex­ordium, vers. 1. & 2. serves to prepare the minds of the Corinthians, for receiving the things which hee wrote, intimating five Reasons to that end.

Vers. 1. Paul an Apostle of Iesus Christ, by the Will of God, and Timothy our Brother, unto the Church of God which is at Corinth, with all the Saints which are in all Achaia;

The first Reason: Because Paul the Author of the E­pistle▪ was an Apostle of Jesus Christ, and of chiefest Au­thority in the Church. Reason 2. Because hee did not assume to himself this honour (as certain false Brethren feigned themselves servants of Christ, when they were not sent of God) but obtained it by the special Will of God. Reason 3. Because hee had brought in Timothy with him­self to witness against them, if they should not admit of this Truth of God, written by him. Reason 4. Because what hee was about to write, appertained not onely to the Church of Corinth, but to all the Saints and Churches in all Achaia, to wit, to know this asserted truth which hee was about to write.

Vers. 2. Grace bee to you, and Peace from God our Fa­ther, and from our Lord Iesus Christ.

Reason 5. Comprehended in the salutation or Aposto­lical benediction: Because Paul, the Author of this E­pistle, would not that the dignity of the Church of Co­rinth should any waies bee eclipsed (although hee knew there were most corrupt persons among them, not onely which lay hid, but openly shewed themselves enemies to the Apostle) but constantly accounted the Church at Co­rinth a true Church, to which, by his Authority hee ap­plied the benediction of the Gospel, and doubted not to wish them all good things: Therefore they were obliged to receive the things which hee wrote, with that submis­sion and readiness of mind that was fitting.

The first Part.

Vers. 3. Blessed bee God, even the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comforts,

In the first part of the Chapter the Apostle proves that the Corinthians ought not to despise him, by reason of the Cross or afflictions, and that by twelve Arguments.

Argum. 1. In the midst of afflictions I find God the Father most merciful, and abundant in all consolation, so that I have cause rather to bless God, than to com­plain of my calamities, sent of God: Therefore ought you not to contemn mee, or to bee offended because of my afflictions.

Vers. 4. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that wee may bee able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith wee our selves are comforted of God.

Argum. 2. By the experience which I have in affli­ctions, I am made more fit to minister comfort [...] o­thers that are afflicted: Therefore ought you not to bee offended in mee, &c.

Vers. 5. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

Argum. 3. Afflictions are a part of Martyrdome, and for the Gospel, or for Christ, are inflicted upon mee with honour, that they may bee called the afflictions of Christ by way of participation; For what things are inflicted up­on the Martyrs, Christ takes upon himself, as Act. 9. Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute mee? Therefore, &c.

In us] Argum. 4. Christ gave testimony (from his su­perabundant and seasonable consolations towards mee, in the midst of my afflictions) that the miseries which I suffer are inflicted upon mee for the defence of the Gos­pel: Therefore, &c.

Vers. 6. And whether wee be afflicted, it is for your con­solation and salvation, which is effectual in endu­ring the same sufferings which wee also suffer: or [Page 72] whether wee bee comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation:

Argum. 5. Those afflictions, as also these comforts, tended to the benefit of the Corinthians, who might bee strengthened in the Faith, and built up divers waies to salvation, and take comfort from the Apostles experi­ence: Therefore ought they not to bee offended in the Apostles sufferings.

Which effectually produceth] Argum. 6. Because the salvation of the Corinthians was effectually to bee pro­moted, by his suffering such kind of afflictions, by which (as by the way to salvation freely given) they were ear­nestly to strive: Therefore, &c.

And the hope] Argum. 7. I have certain hope of you, that you will not despise us, nor take ill the afflictions which yee shall suffer: Therefore yee are bound not to frustrate our hope concerning you.

Vers. 7. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you bee also of the consolation.

Argum. 8. I know that you are made both partakers of our sufferings by your sympathy, and shall partake of our consolations: Therefore you are bound not to de­spise us because of the afflictions which wee suffer.

Vers. 8. For wee would not, Brethren, have you igno­rant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that wee were pressed out of measure, above strength, in­somuch that wee despaired even of life.

9. But wee had the sentence of death in our selves, that wee should not trust in our selves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

10. Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver; in whom wee trust that hee will yet deliver us.

Argum. 9. From his special example, and late sufferings in Asia: So far am I from being ashamed of my afflicti­ons, that I am desirous all should understand how great they are, and also my infirmity, that God may bee glo­rified the more: Therefore ought you not to despise mee for my afflictions. Hee shews the greatness of his af­flictions, and his own infirmities in this, that in the tu­mult at Ephesus (whereof hee speaks, Act. 19.23.) or some such like danger, hee kn [...]w not which way to turn himself to escape the danger of his life, expecting in him­self nothing but certain death.

That wee should not trust] Argum. 10. I have learned by this experience and the like, not to confide in my self, but in God alone, who can deliver from imminent death, those that are ready to dye, and raise up them which are dead, to which end God was pleased to bring mee into danger: Therefore yee ought not to despise my affli­ction.

Wee hope] Argum. 11. By this late experience and such like, God hath stirred up in mee a firm hope, of my deliverance for the future, though I fall into new ca­lamities: Therefore ought you not to despise my affli­ction.

Vers. 11. You also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons, thanks may bee given by many on your behalf.

Argum. 12. Because the knowledge of his sufferings, and his deliverance should stir up the Corinthians, among others, to pray for him, and so to obtain his deliverance for the future, and by consequence also to thanksgiving by many unto God: which Argument being considered, the Corinthians could not despise Paul for the afflictions which hee suffered, at least they ought not to bee offen­ded in him.

The second Part.

Vers. 12. For our rejoycing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity, and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdome, but by the Grace of God, wee have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-wards.

The second part of the Chapter followes, wherein hee removes their suspition of his estranged mind from them, (which the false Apostles, his adversaries, seem to f [...]ment with frivolous Arguments) and proves that they ought not to surmise any change of his carriage towards them, or that his mind was alienated from them, by six Argu­ments, after which hee answers two or three Objections, which were brought to the contrary by his adversa­ries.

Argum. 1. Wherein hee gives an account why his safety ought to bee commended to them all, and also proves that hee continued the same as the Corinthians had found him, in so many months tryal that hee had stayed amongst them: In simplicity, and godly sincerity, I have alwaies behaved my self so, as to approve my self to God, my own and other mens consciences: Therefore there is no reason that you should suspect any change, ei­ther of my carriage or affection towards you.

Not with] Argum. 2. Hereby hee confirms the for­mer: The fountain of my conversation was the Grace of God, which is like it self, and alwaies constant, not that subtil wisdome, whereby carnal men, for their pro­fits sake counterfeit respect to others, which indeed they have not: Therefore let no suspition bee amongst you a­bout the change of my carriage and affection towards you.

Vers. 13. For wee write none other things unto you, than what you read, or acknowledge, and I trust you shall acknowledge even to the end.

Hee confirms what hee had said before, adding a third Argument: Because his deeds and his writings were an­swerable to each other (wherein hee seems to tax his ad­versaries, who carried themselves otherwise, as in the former Argument) which hee proves by the testimony of the Corinthians themselves, who although they were somewhat disturbed by the whisperings of adversaries, yet they acknowledged his sincerity and constancy, and hee hoped they would afterwards do the like: Therefore &c.

Vers. 14. As also you have acknowledged us in part; that wee are your rejoycing, even as yee also are ours, in the day of our Lord Iesus.

Argum. 4. Because in some measure (although not with that confidence as became them against the false A­postles) the Corinthians boasted of their conversion by the Apostle, and the Apostle boasted of them, as the fruit of his Apostleship, and further, hee hoped to glory in the day of judgement: Therefore, &c.

Vers. 15. And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you afore; that you might have a second benefit:

16. And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia, unto you, and of you to bee brought on-ward my way to Judea.

Argum. 5. Because hee had a purpose to go to the Corinthians in confidence of mutual good will, that hee might compleat the first benefit of their conversion, by confirming their Faith, as a second benefit; and that hee might receive expressions of their good will towards him, in the duties which hee reckons up, to the increase of their mutual love: Therefore, &c.

Vers. 17. When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with mee there should bee yea, yea, and nay, nay?

Argum. 6. By answering the Objection proposed, I have deferred my comming unto you longer than I would, not out of the levity of a mind changed, but, as afterwards it shall appear, out of love to you, that I might spare you, who ought to bee chastised with the cen­sures of the Church, had I come to you before: There­fore ought you not to suspect the alienation of my mind from you: The Objection is propounded in the same terms, in which his adversaries did reproach him, as vain [Page 73] and light, speaking like carnal and unregenerate men, and promising what hee intended not to perform, as those that sleightly promise, and easily change their mind, nei­ther whose words (and by consequence) nor doctrine carryed any certainty, to whom therefore no credit was to bee given.

Vers. 18. But as God is true, our word toward you, was not yea, and nay.

Hee answers the Objection, and because hee is more careful that nothing should bee imputed to his Doctrine, as also to his Credit; hee answers first for his Doctrine, and confirms the truth thereof by five Reasons. Reason 1. Because his Doctrine was the Word of God, it must of ne­cessity bee true: because God is faithful and true, whose dictates and precepts onely hee taught among them, not sometimes affirming, sometimes denying, as those that are not constant to themselves, use to do: Therefore they were to make no doubt of the truth of his doctrine.

Vers. 19. For the Son of God, Iesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by mee, and Syl­vanus, and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.

Reason 2. My Doctrine, and the Doctrine of my companions contained nothing but Jesus Christ onely, who is the unchangeable Son of God, and the eternal ve­rity alwaies constant to himself: Therefore you are not to make any doubt of my Doctrine.

Vers. 20. For all the Promises of God in him are yea, and in him, Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

Reason 3. Confirming the former. All the Promi­ses of God in and through Christ are firm, unchange­able, and compleat; partly inasmuch as hee is the Son of God, by whom all things are made; partly inasmuch as hee is Mediatour, God-man, who compleated for us our Redemption, and procured it by his merit, that the good things promised might bee performed to us, and really hee applies them to us: Therefore our preaching which contains nothing else, is necessarily certain, and no doubt to be made of it.

To the glory of God] Reason 4. As the Promises of God are yea and Amen in Christ, i. e. that is, really and in­deed ratified and compleat, and so they are acknowledged and preached by us, it makes to the glory of God, who will not have his Promises fulfilled but in Christ: There­fore our preaching is so sure and firm, as the purpose of God is in glorifying himself in his Son, neither must you doubt any thing in the matter.

Vers. 21. Now hee which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath annointed us, is God,

22. Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Reason 5. God is the Author of this our Faith in Christ, confirming both the preaching of us Apostles, and the Faith of you Corinthians (as many of you as are sincere) partly by communicating the several gifts of the Spirit, as it were an unction from Christ, partly by setting to his seal to our Faith, making us certain of the Truth of the Gospel, and stirs up ineffable and glorious joy in us; which is, as it were the earnest of our future happiness: Therefore our preaching is sure, nor ought you to make any doubt of it.

All these Arguments being weighed, upon no ground could the Corinthians suspect, that in the preaching of the Apostles, so many waies divinely confirmed, there could bee any uncertainty or falshood; and so hee prevents an Objection, as it tended to destroy the Truth of the Gospel.

Vers. 23. Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.

Here hee answers the Objection, so far as concerned his credit and carriage, by shewing the reason of his not comming unto them, viz. That time of repentance being granted to the Corinthians, hee might spare them, i. e. restrain himself from a severe course with them, which at present hee was forced to use; and hee confirms his Word with an oath, because so the gravity of the matter required: Therefore not out of any levity did hee defer his comming unto them.

Vers. 24. Not for that wee have dominion over your Faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by Faith yee stand.

Hence arises another Objection: Therefore thou ma­kest thy self Lord of our Faith, as if thou couldest punish when thou wouldest. Hee answers by denying any Ma­stery, affirming the power of his Ministery, and that to bee imployed to the benefit of the Church, that timely Censures, according to the Will of Christ, being used, those that repented might at length rejoyce: Hee gives an account why hee denyed any dominion over their Faith, because Faith is the bond of conjunction with Christ, by which Faith wee stand fast in the Grace of God, in right and title unto Christ, in the possession of things present, and in hopes of future good things: Therefore Faith admits no Lord, besides God; it ad­mits of men onely as Ministers, and helpers.

CHAP. II.

THere are two parts of this Chapter; In the first hee proceeds in his Apology for his constant good will towards the Corinthians, to vers. 14. In the o­ther hee begins his Apology for his Ministery, to the end.

In the first, to the former Arguments (whereby hee proves that his mind was not alienated from the Corinthians) hee adds eight signs of his good will towards them.

Vers. 1. But I determined this with my self, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.

Sign 1. That the cause why hee changed his purpose concerning his comming to them, was, lest hee should bring sadness to the Corinthians, at his comming, being compelled more severely to correct their manners, which hee did desire might bee amended before his com­ming.

Vers. 2. For if I make you sorry, who is hee then that maketh mee glad, but the same which is made sorry by mee?

Sign 2. That his sympathy was so much with the Co­rinthians, that hee could not, unless they were glad, re­joyce, neither moderate himself from sorrow, so long as any one amongst them, by reason of him remained sad.

Vers. 3. And I wrote this same unto you, lest when I came I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoyce, having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.

Sign 3. That the writing, not onely of the former E­pistle, but also of this second, was undertaken for this end, lest if hee had come to those, and had found them impenitent, besides his sorrow for their sin, hee might have been forced to a new sorrow, which necessary seve­rity would create both to them and himself.

Having confidence] Sign 4. That hee was perswaded, that his joy was matter of joy to the Corinthians them­selves, and their joyes were both to him and them common.

Vers. 4. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears, not that you should bee grieved, but that yee might know the love that I have more abundantly unto you.

Sign. 5. That the former Epistle, which necessarily was more sharp, was not writ by him without tears, and truly for that end, that hee might testifie his ready mind towards them, not that hee might make them sorry.

Vers. 5. But if any have caused grief, hee hath not [Page 74] grieved mee but in part: that I may not over-charge you all.

Sign 6. His friendly mind towards the Corinthians, That the Apostle did esteem as nothing, that heaviness which the incestuous person had created to him, in comparison with that sadness which hee had caused to all the Corinthians: Hee addeth (in part) because his grief was now turned into joy through the incestuous persons repentance: Therefore by way of mitigation hee saith, that hee added (in part) for the incestuous persons sake now a penitent, lest hee should cast a burden on him already burthened in himself, if hee should too much ag­gravate his sin.

Vers. 6. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.

Sign 7. That now hee was ready to receive the peni­tent incestuous person into favour, and so to give a proof of his lenity and meekness, that it might appear that the former severity came not, but from love and his desire of advantage to the Church of Corinth. To which end hee declareth that the chastisement of this Incestuous person, inflicted by the Authority of many (i. e. the Governours of the Church, the Church it self consenting) after his repentance appeared, was sufficient.

Vers. 7. So that contrariwise, yee ought rather to for­give him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such an one should bee swallowed up with over much sor­row.

That hee might shew his meekness towards the peni­tent Incestuous person, hee adviseth that hee may by the Corinthian Church bee again received into favour, for these six Reasons annexed.

Reason 1. Because they are bound to forgive the pe­nitent, and to comfort him, no less than they were bound to excommunicate him, being impenitent.

Lest perhaps] Reason 2. Because otherwise it was dan­gerous, lest hee should bee swallowed up with over much sorrow, except they should now receive the penitent into favour again.

Vers. 8. Wherefore I beseech you, that you would con­firm your love towards him.

Reason 3. Because (especially they were so desired by the Apostle) they are bound to testifie their love to­wards him, to wit, by shewing themselves to have ex­communicated that man, not that they might destroy him, but that by repentance, they might save him.

Vers. 9. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether you bee obedient in all things.

Reason 4. Because by this means they were about to shew themselves obedient to the command of the Apostle in all things, as before in excommunicating, so now also, by absolving him from the bond of excommunication, wherein the Apostle did prove their obedience.

Vers. 10. To whom yee forgive any thing, I forgive also▪ for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ.

11. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for wee are not ignorant of his devices.

Reason 5. Because the Apostle, for the sake of the Corinthians, had granted him pardon, and was about to forgive him: Therefore it was meet that they for the Apostles sake should forgive this man also.

Get an advantage] Reason 6. Lest through the craftiness of Satan, the Church should suffer harm: except now they should forgive him repenting; for by ever much severity sinners may bee brought into despe­ration, or a depar [...]ing from the Church, because of Sa­tan, whose arts and deceits to do harm are not unknown to the Church.

Vers. 12. Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christs Gospel, and a door was opened unto mee of the Lord,

13. I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Ti­tus my Brother, but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.

Sign 8. His constant good will towards the Corin­thians; That hee could not any where rest, also that great hope of promoting the Gospel being offered, as in Troas, until hee had known of Titus, whom hee had sent to Co­rinth, concerning their affairs, for the cause of meeting him hee went into Macedonia, that by him hee might bee made more certain concerning the affairs of the Co­rinthians, and that hee might learn, whether as yet it was a convenient time to come to the Corinthian [...]. All which signs of his ready mind towards the Corinthians, being considered, the Apostle perswadeth himself that the suspicion that his mind was alienated from them, was removed.

The second Part.

Vers. 14. Now thanks bee unto God, which alwaies causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh mani­fest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

The second part of the Chapter follows, in which hee defendeth his Ministery, and proveth it to bee commen­dable, by five Arguments, intimating by the way, that hee, whilst hee was absent from them, was not idle, but was busied in the work of the Lord with success.

Argum. 1. Because Christ in his Ministery, and hee himself in Christ did triumph concerning his enemies, by snatching many out of the power of Satan, and by bringing them to the Faith of the Gospel.

The savour] Argum. 2. Because by his Ministery, (whatsoever the success were) the sweetness of the Gos­pel and its efficacy was manifested in every place, whilst the knowledge of Christ did breathe a quickening life, by which sinners are quickened and converted un­to God.

Vers. 15. For wee are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.

16. To the one wee are the savour of death unto death, and to the other a savour of life unto life: and who is sufficient for these things?

By preventing an Objection, that the Apostles and their preaching would give an ill savour to many; Hee answereth and adds, Argum. 3. That notwith­standing the Apostles themselves with their Ministery, were acceptable unto God, and through Christ brought an acceptable savour to God, no less in the conviction and perdition of the Reprobates (to which the Gospel by accident was a savour of death) than in the faith and salvation of those that beleeve and are saved, to whom the Gospel, both in its own nature, and proper effect, was a quickening savour to life and salva­tion.

Who is sufficient] Argum. 4. Because seeing that few were fit and sufficient Ministers (as the interrogation shews) whose Ministery God might prosper and accept, that hee was in the number of those that are made fit for these things which are spoken of: secretly checking the false Apostles, which were not fit Ministers for the con­version of sinners, although they did prefer themselves before the Apostles.

Vers. 17. For wee are not as many which corrupt the Word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God in the sight of God speak wee in Christ.

Hee confirms the next Argument, more openly noting his enemies, and those that envy him, and also adds Argum. 5. From the unlikeness betwixt himself, and many Preachers; if they did not mix false doctrine; yet they did mingle their own passions with true Doctrine, serving their ambition and covetousness, and bending the Doctrine to the favour of men: But the Apostle 1 In Sincerity, i. e. neither mixing false doctrine, nor [Page 75] corrupt affections. 2 Of God, i. e. with confidence and authority, knowing from whence it came. 3 In the sight of God, i. e. calling God to witness, and looking at his glory. 4 In Christ, i. e. hee did speak in the virtue of Christ, and acknowledgement of his strength: From which it follows, that his Ministery was commendable, and not to bee contemned in any wise.

CHAP. III.

HEE proceeds to defend his Ministery against slan­derers. There are two parts of this Chapter: In the first hee proveth his Ministery to bee commendable, by five Arguments, to vers. 6. In the second hee illu­strateth and confirmeth the last Argument by comparing the Legal Ministery, or the Covenant of Works, with the Gospel, or the Covenant of Grace.

Vers. 1. Do wee begin again to commend our selves? or need wee, as some others, Epistles of commendation to you, or Letters of commendation from you?

Argum. 1. Of the commendation of his Ministery, containing also his clearing himself from the desire of vain-glory.

The efficacy of my Ministery is so apparent to all the Churches, that I need not any commendatory Letters from any particular person, or from you, or from others, neither do I say these things, because I care for vain-glory, but that I may defend my Ministery against my enemies for your good: Therefore my Ministery is commen­dable.

Vers. 2. Yee are our Epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men.

Argum. 2. Because your conversion, O Corinthians, to the profession of the Faith by my Ministery, sufficeth in my conscience and yours, for a commendatory Epistle, which is understood and acknowledged amongst all.

Vers. 3. Forasmuch as yee are manifestly declared to be the Epistle of Christ ministred by us, written not with Ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God, not in Tables of stone, but in fleshy Tables of the heart.

Argum. 3. by confirmation of the former: Because my Ministery was effectual, not onely in bringing you to the profession of the Faith; but also to your saving regene­ration, by the speciall operation of Christs Spirit, this is that which hee saith that they were the Epistle, which Christ himself by his Ministery hath written, by wri­ting his will in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, after a more excellent manner, than any thing was wont to bee writ with Ink upon Paper or Tables of Stone.

Vers. 4. And such trust have wee through Christ to God-ward:

5. Not that wee are sufficient of our selves to think any thing as of our selves: but our sufficiency is of God:

Argum. 4. Because hee himself (as it becomes a faith­ful servant) doth not ascribe the whole confidence of glorying, to himself, but to his Lord, Jesus Christ, in the sight of God.

Which Argument hee illustrates, partly by confessing his natural impotency to think that which is good, or to the least beginnings of a good work, much less to the con­verting the Corinthians, partly by acknowledging the Grace of God, as the fountain of his sufficiency, in that hee is fitted to communicate so much Grace to others.

Vers. 6. Who also hath made us able Ministers of the New Testament, not of the Letter, but of the Spirit; for the Letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth l [...]fe.

Argum. 5. Because his Ministery is the Ministery of the New Covenant, not of the Law and Covenant of Works. Hee confirms this Argument with a seven-fold Comparison of the Ministery of both Covenants.

The second Part.

Not of the Letter] Compar. 1. The Ministery of the Law, or the Covenant of Works is onely the Letter written or spoken, without efficacy, without all spiritual virtue to perform that which it commands: But the Mi­nistery of the Gospel, or the Covenant of Grace through Christ, is the Ministring of the Spirit, because accor­ding to, and by that, the Holy Ghost is administred, whereby the hearer is quickened and strengthened to em­brace that which is propounded.

Killeth] Compar. 2. Confirming the former. The Ministery of the Law of Works, or the written Letter onely convinceth of sin, and killeth the sinner, by pro­nouncing to him the sentence of death. But the Mini­stery of the Gospel, or grace in the New Covenant sheweth liberty from sin, absolves the sinner, and so brings him life.

Vers. 7. But if the ministration of death written and engraven on stones was glorious, so that the chil­dren of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, which glo­ry was to bee done away:

8. How shall not the ministration of the Spirit ra­ther bee glorious?

In Stones] Compar. 3. The Law of Works which onely administers death (for according to this Cove­nant no man doth obtain righteousness or life) was engraven in stones, to signifie that the heart by it can­not bee mollified nor renewed, but remaineth dead: But the Gospel of Grace is writ in the fleshy Tables of the heart, i. e. in hearts, by the power of the holy Ghost, quickened and mollified, it is so imprinted, that the virtue of divine Grace, may bee discerned in all the expressions of the heart.

Glorious] Compar. 4. The Ministery of the Cove­nant of Works, which is the Ministery of death to all that have sinned, was truly glorious, as it appeared in Moses (for justice is glorious in punishing of sin) But the Ministery of the New Covenant, which is the Mini­stery of the Spirit quickening, is more glorious; for as in Moses pronouncing the curse of the Law against sin­ners, his bodily glory did shine: but O how much spi­ritual glory doth shine in the face of Christ, setting sin­ners at liberty by his Grace!

Vers. 9. For if the ministration of condemnation bee glory, much more doth the ministration of righte­ousness exceed in glory.

Compar. 4. The Ministery of the Law, or the Old Covenant of Works is a Ministery of condemnation for sin, therefore indeed glorious: But the Ministry of the Gospel, or the New Covenant, is the Ministery of the Righteousness of Christ, and absolution from sin; and therefore so much the more glorious, by how much abso­lution and justification do excel condemnation and sin. Because by the Covenant of Works wee are all accused of sin, wee are all condemned, and made obnoxious to death: Therefore its Ministery is called the Ministery of sin, condemnation and death.

Vers. 10. For even that which was made glorious, had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glery that excelleth.

Compar. 5. The Ministery of the Law, although it was glorious, was exceedingly excelled by the glory of the Ministery of the Gospel, or of Grace, that it not de­serves to bee called glorious, but let it vanish rather in comparison, as the glory of the Stars, when the Sun ap­pears, is obscured: But the Ministery of the Gospel, is simply, and by way of excellency, glorious.

Vers. 11. For if that which was done away was glo­rious, much more that which remaineth is glori­ous.

Compar. 6. The Ministery of the Covenant of Works, in respect to the annexed ceremonies, hath onely the glory of temporal dispensation, because so long it [Page 76] was to endure, whilst men in the infancy of the Church, convicted of sins, and of their own impotency to deliver themselves, were taught to fly unto Christ, and as it were by the hand of a School-master might bee led to him: which manner of instructing, the Church being now at its full growth, and continuing under the bright­ne [...]s of the revealed Gospel, is abolished as unprofitable: But the Ministery of the New Covenant hath permanent glory, until the glorious coming of Christ.

Vers. 12. Seeing then that wee have such hope, wee use great plainness of speech:

13. And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that th [...] children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished.

Compar. 7. The Ministery of the New Covenant is plain and perspicuous, so that the Ministers thereof can plainly and confidently preach the way of Salvation, ha­ving Christ now revealed, who in times past being to come was hoped for: But the Ministery of the Law, as it did appear in the type of the Mosaical ministration was ob­scure, and wrapped up in types.

Put] Hee follows this comparison to the end of the Chapter, illustrating the latter part thereof to the last verse, in this sense. Moses the Minister of the Law turn­ed from the Tabernacle, from the Altar, from the Ark, and the Propitiatory, speaking with his face veiled, sig­nified to the people, and typically related the nature of the legal Covenant of Works, and of its Ministery di­vided from Christ, and did also figure out the blindness of the people under the legal Covenant, because they did not perceive Christ to bee the end of the Law, and temporal ceremonies now abolished.

Vers. 14. But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament: which veil is done a­way in Christ.

15. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.

The Apostle observes that now blindness also may bee perceived in the Iews, who while they read the Old Te­stament, they see nothing besides the veil of ceremonies, because the veil of ignorance and infidelity remaineth upon their minds, which veil, represented by the type of the external veil covering Moses his face, by Christ is taken away from all the Faithful, for righteousness, life, virtue; and lastly, all grace and glory is published and communicated to the Faithful in Christ: But hitherto this veil doth remain upon the hearts of the unbelieving Iews.

Vers. 16. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall bee taken away.

Hee hath hope of the Iews Conversion, when by the Grace of God the heart of the Israelites, or the Doctrine of Moses now veiled, should bee turned by them to God, i. e. should bee brought according to this typical significa­tion to Christ, who is the end of the Law: Then the veil of ignorance, and of the darkness of ceremonies, should bee taken from them, as the veil was taken from the face of Moses, when hee entred in unto God sitting betwixt the Cherubins; chiefly that they might see God their Lord, and their Saviour Christ, and might ac­knowledge him to bee the true end of the whole Law▪

Vers. 17. Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

The reason of this is given: Because 1. Christ is the Spirit, or the Soul of all ceremonies, that a spiritual thing is signified by them. 2. Christ is also the Spirit, or the Soul of the Moral Law, because hee fulfilled the Law, in whom alone the perfect righteousness of the Law is to bee found. 3. Christ is the Spirit, because hee quickens those that believe to new obedience and life ever­lasting, and hee delivereth those from sin and misery: for when it is said, Where the Spirit of Christ the Lord is, or where Christ is, there is liberty; the liberty is to bee understood, not from the obedience of the Command­ments, but from the ceremonial yoke, from the bondage of sin, and yoke of the Legal Covenant, and all evils which do follow from its violation: Liberty, I say, was given to the Faithful by the Spirit of the Gospel, at leastwise that which belongeth to them of right, al­though not alwayes according to sense, nor ever before the end of life, as to a full possession: For although the Spirit with a loud voice proclaimeth, that there is a gate opened unto us, that wee may go out of prison, yet wee by reason of the weakness of Faith, do go slowly forth. And this is the Explication of the first part of the Comparison concerning the Ministery of the Law.

Vers. 18. But wee all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spi­rit of the Lord.

Here followeth another branch of the Comparison, concerning the Ministery of the Gospel in those that be­lieve, which is propounded in this sense: But wee that by the Ministery of the Gospel believe in Christ, the veil of ceremonies and ignorance, the veil of infidelity and hardness of heart also being removed, are freely admitted to the clear beholding of Christ, and the glory of the grace of God shining in the Gospel, as in a glass, and beholding Christ by Faith wee are sanctified, and more and more made happy in conformity with Christ, encreased daily by degrees, from one measure of glory and sanctity to another, and that by the powerful work­ing of the Holy Ghost. Sanctification is called glory, because Sanctification is the beginning of Glorification, for by that the Image of God is repaired in us, which is our glory.

CHAP. IV.

HEE goes on to defend his Ministery. There are two parts of this Chapter, in the first hee proveth his faithfulness, or sincerity in the Ministery, by se­ven Arguments, to the sixth verse. In the second hee confirms the seventh Argument, by answering the ob­jections concerning the scandal of the Cross lying upon him, to the end.

Vers. 1. Therefore se [...]ing wee have this Ministery, as wee have received mercy, wee faint not.

Argum. 1. The inward testimony of so glorious a Mi­nistery committed unto mee by the mercy of God, is ef­fectual to sustain mee, lest I bee overcome in the doing of my duty, with the hurthen of evils, and that by the measure of grace given to mee, I go forward valiantly▪ From hence therefore it appeareth, that I am sincere and faithful: For modesty sake hee joyneth others, but hee himself in the conflict was especially aimed at by his Adversaries.

Vers. 2. But having renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth, commending our selves to every mans con­science in the sight of God.

Argum. 2. I have renounced ambition, covetousness, and the other shameful lusts, which some secretly indul­ging, do cover this their disgrace in corners, under other, or the like veils and pretences: Therefore I am faith­ful.

Not with] Argum. 3. I have not walked in craftiness, deceitfully handling the Word of God, or bending and fitting that to the dispositions of men, as the false Apo­stles do: Therefore I am faithful.

By manifestation] Argum. 4. I have carried my self so mildly in the clea [...] preaching of the Word of God, that the consciences of all men are compelled to acknow­ledge my integrity, of which thing also I have God to my witness: Therefore I am faithful.

[Page 77]

Vers. 3. But if our Gospel bee hid, it is hid to them that are lost.

4. In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, le [...]t the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the Image of God, should shine unto them.

Object. But how comes it to pass that thy Doctrine is not understood by so many wise and potent men, if it bee so clearly taught? Hee answers, that the ignorance of the Gospel so plainly unfolded to them, was no argument of the obscurity of the Doctrine, but of the incredulity of the hearer, and his future perdition from the blindness of unbelievers, blinded by the Devil, whom the world serves. For the Devil further blindeth the blind Infi­dels, lest they should see God offering himself in Christ, lest they should behold Christ to their Salvation, shining in the Gospel, who hath brought forth the invisible God as to our view by his Doctrine and Power manifest­ed in the flesh, that wee may behold God in Christ, the true Image of God the Father.

Vers. 5. For wee preach not our selves, but Christ Ie­sus the Lord, and our selves, your servants for Ie­sus sake.

Argum. 5. Of the Apostles fidelity, I (saith hee) seek the glory of Christ alone, and acknowledge Christ only, Lord in the Church. Truly I declare my self, and other Teachers, not only Ministers of Christ, but also of his people, that Christ alone may bee exalted: There­fore I shew my self faithful.

Vers. 6. For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Iesus Christ.

Argum. 6. Confirming the former, wherein hee compares his Conversion from Pharisaism, to the creation of light out of darkness; God, who by his Omnipotent Word hath produced light out of darkness, by no less efficacy hath hee brought mee lost sinner out of the darkness of Pharisaism, and sin, and hath so power­fully enlarged my heart, illuminated by the light of Christ his glorious Son, that I cannot but communicate to others this glorious knowledge of the grace of God gi­ven to mee, manifestly shining in Christ: Therefore it behoveth mee to bee faithful.

Vers. 7. But wee have these treasures in earthen ves­sels, that the excellency of the power may bee of God, and not of us.

Argum. 7. God, by shewing my infirmity in all exer­cises, and also by maintaining his strength in mee under frequent afflictions, and by keeping mee constant hither­to, hath rendred my faithfulness commendable with all men: Therefore I can affirm my self faithful.

The Second Part.

Hee so handles this argument, that in the mean while hee solves two objections, that hee might take away the scandal of the Cross.

Earthen] Object. 1. In the mean while, thy condition of life is miserable and contemptible, as a certain earthen vessel. Hee answers four manner of wayes.

1. That it is true, that hee is an earthen vessel, frail and contemptible, but not withstanding hee contains the Treasure of Grace, and the knowledge of the Go­spel.

May bee of God] Furthermore hee answers, that that happened by the Wisdome of God, lest the glory of the Conversion and Salvation of so many men should bee a­scribed to the virtue of the Apostle, that it should bee wholly ascribed unto God, for by so much the more the Power of God is conspicuous in great works, by how much the weakness of the Instrument more evidently ap­peareth.

Vers. 8. Wee are troubled [...]n every side, yet not di­stressed: wee are perplexed, but not in dispair:

9. Persecuted, but not forsaken: cast down, but not destroyed.

Hee answers: 3. That all his afflictions are modera­ted, and hee himself is upheld by God in all things, that hee is not destitute of the help of God, doth not sink under his burthen, that hee doth not forsake God, nor dispair, is not forsaken of God, not left, or lost: Therefore it matters nothing how weak he is in himself. Wee are afflicted (hee saith) yet not distressed; i. e. on every side wee are troubled with adversity, but wee are not brought into such streights, as to bee over-whelmed, but wee are preserved by the help of God in the midst of afflictions. Wee are perplexed, but not in despair; i. e. wee doubt sometimes what may bee done in the dangers of this life, but wee are not so destitute, that wee are void of all counsel. Wee are persecuted, but not forsa­ken; i. e. God permits us to bee vexed and evil intreated by the enemies of the Gospel, but hee neither permits us to bee slain, before the time by him determined, nei­ther doth hee withdraw his consolations from us. Wee are cast down, but not destroyed; that is, wee sometimes seem presently ready to perish, but God helping us, wee are kept from perishing.

Vers. 10. Alwayes bearing about in the body the dy­ing of the Lord Iesus, that the life also of Iesus might bee made manifest in our body.

Hee answers: 4. That his afflictions make for the glo­ry of Christ, because the Image of Christ suffering and dying may bee seen in them, and that the virtue and strength of Christ living, may appear in supporting him under so many afflictions: Therefore it matters not how weak hee may bee in himself.

Vers. 11. For wee which live are alway delivered unto death for Iesus sake, that the Life also of Iesus might bee manifest in our mortal flesh.

Hee confirms this from hence, that the Apostles who lived in the midst of troubles by the strength of Christs Spirit, for the cause of Christ, daily undergo danger, that the quickning Virtue of Christ may more and more appear in sustaining their fleshly infirmities, obnoxious to that miserable condition.

Vers. 12. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

Object. 2. But not necessarily, because thou art the Servant of Christ, therefore thou shouldest bee also miserable and contemned: For wee Corinthians are Chri­stians, and yet wee live more prosperously. Hee answers four manner of wayes.

1. By granting it to bee so; yet by the Wisdome of God it comes to pass, that in some stronger Christians, as the Apostles, the Image of Christ dying, might rather appear at least to the world. But in others, as the weak­er Corinthians, the efficacy of Christs Life supporting them under extreme afflictions, might bee more appa­rent to the world.

Vers. 13. Wee having the same spirit of Faith, ac­cording as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken: wee also believe, and therefore speak.

14. Knowing that hee which raised up the Lord Iesus, shall raise up us also by Iesus, and present us with you.

Hee answers 2. Although the Apostles may bee af­flicted more than the Corinthians, yet there is the same Spirit of Faith both in them and in the Corinthians, by which Faith, believing with David, Psalm. 116. ver. 10. The Apostle dare promise to himself, together with the Corinthians, a glorious Resurrection, although now hee is more pressed under the Cross than they.

Vers. 15. For all things are for your sake, that the a­bundant grace might, through the thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of God.

Hee answers 3. That hee was afflicted for their con­solation and confirmation, as also that from his afflicti­ons and deliverances; occasion of praying and suffering [Page 78] together with the Apostles, might not onely bee given to the Corinthians; But also occasion of thanksgiving with them, for their eminent deliverances from trou­ble, which God forthwith granted to him with the rest of the Apostles, and was about to grant.

Vers. 16. For which cause wee faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

Hee answers 4. That hee was not tyred nor wearied by his afflictions, whereof hee subjoyns three Reasons.

Reason 1. Because as much as was diminished of those goods, that made for the maintaining the State of this present life, so much was added to his holiness for the increasing of his spiritual life.

Vers. 17. For our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

Reason 2. Because it did procure an unspeakable weight of glory (to the promoting of which, afflictions help, as instruments and means both of mortification and glorification) so that no afflictions are to bee accoun­ted of, yea truly the lightness of afflictions, which is but for a moment, clearly vanisheth and becomes as nothing in comparison with future glory.

Vers. 18. While wee look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Reason 3. Why hee doth not wax faint, is, Because (saith hee) by Faith I look at things eternal and invi­sible, by reason of which, I despise all temporal and vi­sible, i. e. both Riches, Honours, and Profits, &c. I do not look at, because those are onely durable for a time, but I have my mind intent upon those good and eternal things which God hath promised: Therefore I do not weigh the loss of temporal things; by all which the A­postle confirmeth the Corinthians, lest they should bee offended at his afflictions.

CHAP. V.

HEE goes on to shew more fully his faithfulness in the Ministery, by mentioning seven impellent causes, whereby hee was moved to faithfulness in the discharge of his duty.

Vers. 1. For wee know that if our earthly house of this Tabernacle were dissolved, wee have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

The first impellent cause to faithfulness in the Mini­stery is his certain confidence of a blessed immortality, which after death remains for him, and all the rest of the faithful Ministers of Christ, of which felicity also the body shall bee partaker in the Resurrection. I am perswaded (saith hee) that after the dissolution of this my frail body, I shall continually injoy felicity of soul, and the glorious immortality of a raised body, why should not I therefore bee faithful, so long as I dwell in this mortal body.

Vers. 2. For in this wee groan earnestly, desiring to bee cloathed upon with our house which is from Heaven.

The solidity of this his confidence or perswasion is con­firmed by seven Signs, all which did stir up his mind to faithfulness.

Sign 1. Is a desire of departing out of this life, that hee might obtain immortality, or bee endued, instead of a corruptible body, with immortal glory. An Argument certainly of a mind conscious of its sincerity, and certi­fied of future happiness.

Vers. 3. If so bee that being clothed wee shall not bee found naked.

Hee limits this sign and priviledge of being endued with future glory, That it may belong to those onely, who departing out of this life to an immortal and im­mutable state, are not found naked, i. e. not destitute of that true covering, whereby our filthy nakedness is cove­red, which covering is Christ, or Christs Righteous­ness, which can alone cover our sins, wherein our naked­ness consists: This therefore is the second Sign of his solid desire of going out of this life, and of a mind ve­ry conscious of the faithful administration of his office, that hee knew himself to bee in the number of those, to whom alone the certainty of being cloathed upon with glory belonged, to wit, of those, who are cloathed al­ready with that covering, whereby the foul nakedness of sinners is covered, i. e. the Righteousness [...]f Christ, with which, except a man bee cloathed in this life, hee shall bee found naked in the other, and shall remain naked for ever.

Vers. 4. For wee that are in this Tabernacle do groan, being burdened, not for that wee would bee un­cloathed, but cloathed upon, that mortality might bee swallowed up of life.

Sign 3. That the desire of his departing this life ari­sing from this confidence, was holy, i. e. it was derived not so much from the weariness of natural life, but from the hope of a better: This is that which hee saith, al­though hee groan and bee sorrowful in his body, yet hee would not bee uncloathed of this body, but that this body might bee cloathed upon with immortality, and that mortality might bee swallowed up of immorta­lity.

Vers. 5. Now hee that hath wrought us for the self­same thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of this Spirit.

Sign 4. That this desire is not natural, but the su­pernatural work of God, stirred up, and formed in the hearts of his own by the special work of God: It is God that hath wrought, formed and created us for this thing. His confidence therefore is solid.

Who also] Sign 5. That this confidence of a better life is sealed by the earnest of the Spirit, having as it were a taste and experience of that life in the peace and joy of the Spirit, i. e. in the first fruits of that happiness which is to come.

Vers. 6. Therefore wee are alwaies confident, know­ing that whilst wee are at home in the body, wee are absent from the Lord.

Sign 6. That this confidence is firmly grounded in the certain perswasion of his nigher access to the Lord, which should bee vouchsafed to him after death, when doubtless, even as in one house, hee should dwell with God, who now in the body is as absent from the Lord.

Vers. 7. (For wee walk by Faith, not by sight.)

8. Wee are confident, I say, and willing rather to bee absent from the body, and to bee present with the Lord.

Sign 7. Confirming the former, that hee knoweth himself to walk by Faith in this life, and not by sight of the beatifical vision, which abideth for us in the life to come, who in our sense are absent from the Lord, while wee are present i [...] the body: Therefore more ve­hemently and confidently hee did both desire and chuse to go to the Lord, rather than to remain in the body.

Vers. 9. Wherefore wee labour, that whether present or absent, wee may bee accepted of him.

That this confidence confirmed by so many signs of sincerity was the impellent cause to his faithfulness in his Ministery, hee now expresly declares: Because what­soever change towards life or death did happen to him, out of this confidence hee did indeavour to please God, with no less diligence than those which contend for ho­nour, that both in this life or pilgrimage, and in his death or approaching to God, hee might bee made acceptable to him.

[Page 79] Vers. 10. For wee must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that hee hath done, whether it bee good or evil.

His second impellent cause to faithfulness in his Mini­stery, is the consideration of punishments and rewards which abide every one according to their works at the last judgement, in which God will inflict punishments upon the wicked, but to the godly (whose good works after their sins are pardoned onely remain) hee shall render rewards.

Vers. 11. Knowing therefore the terrour of the Lord, wee perswade men, but wee are made manifest unto God, and I trust also, wee are manifest in your consciences.

He shews by calling God and the consciences of the Co­rinthians to bee his witnesses, that this Argument hath ur­ged him to faithfulness in the Ministery: For the apprehen­sion of that future terrible judgement hath affected this, that he exhorted all to reconciliation with God by Faith.

Vers. 12. For we commend not our selves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that you may have somewhat to answer them, which glory in appearance, and not in heart.

He solves two Objections, which his adversaries may ob­ject against him so earnestly glorying of his faithfulness.

Object. 1. Thou O Paul gloriest (some one may say) whilst thou commendest thy self. Hee answers, that hee did not say these things for that end, but that the Corin­thians may have that for his defence, whereby to repress their vain and boasting Teachers, who did diminish the authority of the Apostle amongst them, and did glory in the presence of men, otherwise than their conscience and the truth of the matter did permit; For they being destitute of piety, or matter of glorying in heart, they gloried in their adulterated eloquence.

Vers. 13. For whether wee bee besides our selves, it is to God, or whether wee bee sober, it is for your cause.

Object. 2. But O Paul, thou art besides thy self, who doest so openly confute such Teachers. Hee answers, that hee did not dispute, but give a reason of the fact, as it did become a wise man, to wit, that hee uttered those things for the glory of God and their salvation: For (sayes hee) if I praise my Ministery, which seems to bee the part of one besides himself; I do it for the Glory of God, lest my Gospel should bee undervalued: If I speak humbly of my self, as sober men use to do, I do it for your good.

Vers. 14. For the Love of Christ constraineth us, be­cause wee thus judge: that if one d [...]ed for all, then were all dead:

The third impellent cause to faithfulness containing a reason of the former saying, is his love, wherewith hee lo­ved Christ, which did cast upon him, as it were bonds, and constrained him, that hee being unmindful of himself, did both speak and do those things onely, which might promote the Glory of Christ, and the good of the Church.

Vers. 15. And that hee died for all, that they which live, should not henceforth live to themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Hee giveth a reason of his love, and adds the fourth im­pellent cause, to wit, the love of Christ to us: Christ (saies hee) when wee were all dead in respect of our desert, and the justice of God, alone died in the room of all of us, that beleeve in him: That wee being delivered from de­served perdition, should not serve our selves, but Christ our Redeemer: why therefore should not I bee faithful in the business of Christ?

Vers. 16. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh; yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know wee him no more.

Hee prevents an Objection, to this end, that hee might give account why hee checked those glorious Corinthian Doctors; not regarding his esteem with the ignorant; So that hee might promote the Glory of Christ, and the Churches safety. Some one might say, but it behoved him to regard the dignity of so many worthy Teachers amongst the Corinthians, who shined with Eloquence, Learning, Riches, Honours and No­bility of Parentage: For some of these were of the Jews, and perhaps did boast, that they were of the Tribe of Iudah, and did arrive to Christs kindred, as it is cre­dible from what follows▪ Hee answers three waies, draw­ing every one of his answers as conclusions from vers. 12.

Answ. 1. That hee doth not look at Riches, Honours, Parentage, Eloquence, and the rest, neither did hee esteem any man from outward things, by which the esteem of men is encreased or diminished with world­lings, and those that are carnal.

Tea] Answ. 2. That hee did not judge any more of Christ himself, according to his external condition, or detract from his estimation, by reason of his poverty and ignominy in the world, as in times past hee esteemed being in a mistake: And therefore hee did not esteem any one more valuable, because of his Riches, Honours, and Parentage, &c.

Vers. 17. Therefore if any man bee in Christ, hee is a new Creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new:

Answ. 3. Shewing the duty of the faithful ingrafted into Christ to bee this, that as new Creatures they should labour for the newness of a right judgement, and an holy life. And that these worldly things should not bee so highly esteemed, hee proves from Isa. 65.17. where God promiseth an abolition of old things, and that hee will make a new Heaven and a new Earth; i. e. all things new under the Kingdome of Christ: Whence it follows, that those things onely are to bee had in estimation amongst Christians, which reach to a new Creature, or Regeneration; For all things are made new to those that are renewed, when they are reconciled to God, they have all Creatures as it were reconciled to them, and now they use them after a new manner, for the Glory of God, and their own salvation, setting a price upon every thing, according as it makes, or not makes, for the promoting of the Kingdome of God in themselves and others.

Vers. 18. And all things are of God, who hath re­conciled us to himself by Iesus Christ, and hath given unto us the Ministery of reconciliation.

The fifth impellent cause to faithfulness in his Ministe­ry, is the grace and goodness of God towards him, which cause (returning to his purpose, and looking up to God) hee asserts the Author of the New Creature (whereof hee had even now spoken) and of all graces: Because the Grace of God towards him had brought to him a double priviledge, to wit, reconciliation by Christ, and a Ministerial office for the reconciliation of others; from hence hee acknowledges a twofold Obligation for his faithfulness in the Ministery: Why therefore should not hee approve himself faithful?

Vers. 19. To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespas­ses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

The sixth impellent cause, is the excellency of preach­ing, of which hee propounds a short collection, wherein, 1 The Father, who by reason of sin was removed far from us, declares himself to come near unto us in Christ, who is the true IMMANUEL God with us. 2 The Father reconciled, as for his part, declares himself to do that in Christ, for the Elect world, that they behold­ing their enmities betwixt themselves, and God, as for their part, may come again into favour, and bee recon­ciled with God through Christ. 3 The means is shewn by which men may bee reconciled to God, viz. by remis­sion, or a not imputing of sins, which God most graci­ously doth offer. 4 The instrument of applying the Grace of reconciliation obtained by Christ is shewn, viz. the word of reconciliation committed to the A­postles, and to the other Ministers. In which so excellent [Page 80] and so necessary a Ministery, hee could not bee but faith­full when hee set those things before him.

Vers. 20. Now then wee are Embassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; wee pray you in Christs stead, bee yee reconciled to God.

The seventh impellent cause to faithfulness is, the excellency of the person which hee represents, which cause hee propounds, and together with the whole precedent Doctrine hee makes use of, by which very thing shewing the endeavour of his faithfulness. To this end hee im­portunes all, and diligently urges all with his authority as an Embassadour, and also submissively and lovingly, as bearing the Image of God, that every one would more heartily accept the reconciliation offered of God, that the remainders of enmity being taken away, which un­belief cherisheth within, all may become the same Spi­rit with God.

Vers. 21. For hee hath made him to bee sin for us, who knew no sin, that wee might bee made the righte­ousness of God in him.

Lastly, That hee may perswade to the obedience of Faith, and to the receiving of a fuller measure of re­conciliatio [...], hee sheweth that an open and expedient way to reconciliation, is because Christ the innocent Mediator, and pure from sin, by his consent and agree­ment with the Father in a judicial manner, is accounted guilty of our sin, yea truly hee was made an Expiatory Sacrifice for our sin, expresly for that end, that wee be­lieving in Christ may bee made partakers of Christs righteousness judicially by imputation, and so may bee made perfectly righteous, and as it were by that righ­teousness which chiefly pleases God through this excel­lent and divine way of reconcilement, which the wis­dome of God hath invented, and grace hath made ours.

But hee adds this (in him) that wee might necessa­rily understand that wee are engraffed into Christ by Faith, by which this righteousness may bee ours, be­cause from our conjunction with Christ by Faith, follows our judicial union with Christ, from this union imputa­tion is made of the obedience and righteousness of Christ to us, and at length the application of all his gifts, even to perfect felicity, which being considered, what can bee said more efficaciously to stir all of us up, that our enmi­ties being acknowledged, and our necessities, wee may imbrace reconciliation offered in Christ.

The sum therefore of these three verses is, That the Apostle when hee had weighed the dispensation of mans Redemption, and the reason of bringing the Elect to Reconciliation and Salvation, hee could not but imploy himself strongly and faithfully in his Ministery: For when hee knew by the Covenant, (concerning the Re­demption of the Elect) between God and his Son, (the second person of the Trinity invested with the office of a Mediator and a Surety) God being so abundantly satis­fied, hee now becomes gracious to the world of the re­deemed, or Elect, concurring with Christ the Mediator for the applying of Reconciliation obtained for all the Redeemed; and hee importunes them by Christ, and by the Servants of Christ, the Ministers of the Gospel, no less seriously than the Redeemer himself, and prayes them▪ that now hee himself being reconciled, they would bee reconciled. When I say the Apostle knew these things, and that there was a charge committed to him, that hee should promote this reconciliation, what wonder then, if hee earnestly strived, that men might be turned to God? And when hee knew that by Covenant Christ had took upon himself all the sins of all the Re­deemed, and was made a Propitiatory Sacrifice for the expiating of their sins imputed to him, under this condi­tion, that the Redeemed (such all the faithful shew themselves to bee) clothed with the Righteousness of God, or the Righteousness of Christ, should bee account­ed most righteous in the mind of God, and at length should bee fully renewed by the Holy Spirit, what won­der then if hee confidently and constantly prosecuted the business of reconciliation, and shewed himself faithful in executing his Ministery?

CHAP. VI.

THat as yet further hee may commend the exercise of his Ministery more fully to the consciences of the Corinthians, putting before their eyes a Minister faith­ful in work and example, hee draws a three-fold ex­hortation from the premises, that they may bring forth the fruit of his Ministery. There are three parts of the Chapter, of which the first is an exhortation seriously to receive the grace offered by him, to vers. 11. The se­cond is an exhortation to receive him for the Apostle of Christ, to vers. 14. And the third is an exhortation to shun the contagion of Idolatry, to the end.

Vers. 1. Wee then as workers together with him beseech you also, that yee receive not the Grace of God in vain.

The first Exhortation is, that they would receive the Grace of Reconciliation more seriously, and with fruit, and suffer not the Grace of God offered in the Gospel (by their fault) to want its full fruit in them▪ that they may obtain Righteousness, Peace, Life, and all things which Christ hath obtained for them. The Proposition hee ur­ges is this. Yee ought not to receive the Grace of God in vain, i. e. in outward profession onely, without its inter­nal virtue; this hee proves by three Arguments.

Argum. 1. Wee Ministers of God being co-workers, (that his work may bee promoted in you) granted from him to you by free gift promising our endeavour for the promoting of your salvation, earnestly desired that of you; Therefore yee ought not to receive the Grace of God in vain.

Vers. 2. (For hee saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in a day of salvation have I succoured thee: Behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Argum. 2. In a Parenthesis. Because now the time is acceptable in which, by the intercession of Christ, the Grace of God is efficacious to the producing of fruit in all those that receive the Gospel with serious affection of heart, and desire to bring forth fruit, which hee proves out of Isa. 49.8. where the Father speaketh to the Me­diatour interceding for them, and by his Spirit breathing in them: Therefore you must beware lest this opportu­nity of Grace bee in vain offered to you.

Vers. 3. Giving no offence in any thing, that the Mi­nistery bee not blamed.

Argum. 3. Ioyned with the first verse. Wee Mini­sters which exhort you, and I by name Paul, wee are approved by all manner of waies, and wee are found faithful in the Ministery of the Gospel, not hindering you, but that you may profit by our Ministery, that so yee may pretend nothing, but that yee may persevere in the Grace of the Gospel: Therefore yee ought not to re­ceive the Grace of the Gospel in vain, but to contend for the receiving of, and expressing the virtue of the Gos­pel: Hee confirms the Antecedent by an induction of the virtues which prove Ministers faithful, with which hee was first of all, by the Grace of God, adorned: There are five parts of the induction; In the first part hee re­moves from himself those vices, whereby idle Teachers were wont to create offences to the Gospel, demolishing more by their manners in the edifice of God, than by their Doctrine they edifie, and yeelding occasion to the wicked of speaking ill of his Ministery, or of the office of Ministers.

Vers. 4. But in all things approving our selves as the Ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,.

5. In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings,

In the second part hee recites divers kinds of virtues, with which his Ministery is adorned, but namely hee [Page 81] mentions his patience exercised in nine kinds of evils, in all which without murmuring hee patiently executed the offices of his Ministery, for hee strongly endured the trou­bles of his journies with want and dangers, the snares of his persecutors, prison, and [...]umults stirred up against him, and in preaching, his labour, watchings, fastings, nei­ther did hee wax faint in the work of the Lord.

Vers. 6. By pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeig­ned,

In the third part hee adds other six virtues of his pa­tience, of which the first is his freedome from the pollu­tions of the world, whilst hee conversed amongst those of the world. 2 His discretion in handling his auditors. 3 His forbearance in provocations. 4 His gentleness in his commerce with more difficult things. 5. His spiritu­al disposition in all things. 6. His sincere love towards all.

Vers. 7. By the word of truth, by the Power of God, by the Armour of Righteousness, on the right hand, and on the left.

In the fourth part hee reckons the virtues which did belong to the discharge of his duty. 1. Hee preached nothing besides the truth of God. 2. Hee demonstrated the power of the Spirit in his speech. 3. Hee contended against all his enemies with spiritual weapons, i. e. with lawful means, on the right hand in prosperity; on the left hand in adversity; and in every change and vicissi­tude of things, hee did remain constant, lest hee should either by enticements, or by terrours, turn out of the right way.

Vers. 8. By honour, and dishonour, by evil report, and good report, as deceivers, and yet true:

9. As unknown, and yet well known: as dying, and be­hold wee live: as chastened, and not killed:

10. As sorrowful, yet alway rejoycing: as poor, yet making many rich, as having nothing, yet possessing all things.

In the first part hee boasts, that hee hath alwayes con­tinued in a right way, whether ignominy or infamy, whether glory or fame followed: For when hee was counted as an Impostor, hee declared himself one that spake truth.

When hee was accounted as ignoble and contemptible, hee did manifest himself by his deeds, that they who had eyes might acknowledge him to bee the Servant of the most High God: Hee seemed even as dead, and in the midst of death, hee triumphed notwithstanding, that hee performed his duty, as being alive: yea chastened with many stripes, even to death, hee was kept by God, lest hee should die: by reason of those evils which pressed him, sometimes under a pretence hee was sad, but by the Spirit in God, hee did alwayes rejoyce: Hee was count­ed poor, but through the Gospel, by the manifold love of God, hee did enrich many, not only by shewing the man­ner of contentation in the Gospel, but also instructing men to virtue and piety, which is profitable for all things. Hee wanted possessions and revenues, and yet contented with his lot, hee did rejoyce as much as was fitting, in the use of all things.

The Second Part.

Vers. 11. O yee Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.

The second part of the Chapter follows, in which the second exhortation of Paul to the Corinthians, is, that they would love again that Apostle, viz. of Christ, who had undergone so many labours in the Ministery for their good. To this Exhortation hee premises five Arguments.

Argum. 1. Plainly and ingenuously, that I may use liberty of speech with friends, most freely with an heart enlarged, and with an open mouth publishing, what good will inwardly I have towards you, why therefore do ye not require mee in like manner?

Vers. 12. Ye are not straightned in us, but ye are straight­ned in your own bowels.

13. Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as un­to my children) bee yee also enlarged.

Argum. 2. There is nothing in mee why you should no apprehend my love, but through the straightness of your own hearts, who do not believe that thy good will is so great towards you.

Yee are not straightned] Argu. 3. Yee are bound to love mee again, who so exceedingly love you: There­fore as out of equity requite mee, by loving mee, and perswading your selves that you are beloved of mee.

As unto dear children] Argum. 4. I am your Father, and you my Sons: Therefore as my Sons, love mee as your Father.

For a recompence] Argum. 5. Now I require a debt from you: Therefore bee yee enlarged, i. e. admit yee with an enlarged heart the perswasion of my lovingness and my parental admonitions, proceeding out of loving­ness, and likewise love yee mee again.

The Third Part.

Vers. 14. Bee yee not unequally yoaked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15. And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath hee that believeth with an infidel?

The third exhortation, that they abstain from all un­lawful society with unbelievers, by whom they may bee hindered, lest they should serve God, or bee alienated from the true Religion, or any wayes polluted of this kind of society, is matrimony, by which men easily, or women, may bee wrapped in a consent to wickedness by I­dolaters, because of all kind of society this is nearest. That which hee seems to tax first of all, is the society or communion of the faithful Corinthians, with their unbe­lieving companions in external Idolatry, wherewith they polluted themselves, eating together with those, Idolatrous Sacrifices in the Idols Temple▪ as it appears in the for­mer Epistle, Chap. 8. In which Idolatry, or in any other sin, hee forbids to draw with them in the same yoke of impiety. The arguments of the Exhortation are four:

For what] Argum. 1. Your condition and profession of Christians on the one part, and the sins of Idolatry, which are openly professed on the other part, They are no less opposed by one another, than righteousness and ini­quity, Light and Darkness, Christ and the Devil, Faith and Infidelity, the Temple of God and Idols, a­mongst which there can bee no communion: Therefore no communion with you Christians ought to bee with un­believers in Idolatry, or in any other sins which unbe­lievers openly profess, or in any other necessity (out of which may arise an unsuperable danger) of communi­cating with their sins; Hee did not forbid them to in­habit in the same City with them, neither to negotiate nor eat meat, if they should bee invited to dinner or sup­per.

Vers. 16. And what agreement hath the Temple of God with Idols? for yee are the Temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will bee their God, and they shall bee my people.

Argum. 2. Yee are the holy Temple of God, which hee proveth by the testimony of Moses, Lev. 26.12. and Ezek. 37.27. Therefore it is not lawful for you to pol­lute your selves by society with unbelievers, chiefly in that, in which are the Temple of Idols professedly.

Vers. 17. Wherefore come out from among them, and bee yee separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you.

18. And will bee a father unto you, and yee shall be my sons, and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Argum. 3. God commandeth you to separate from Ido­laters, [Page 82] and the pollutions of the World, and not to touch them: Therefore you ought to beware of them.

I will receive] Argum. 4. From the Promises which God hath made to those, who keep themselves pure from the defilements of the world, nor participate with other mens sins. God will bee a Father to them, i. e. in a recompence of all hurt, and full consolation against all evils, which they, looking to themselves, may suffer from other mens sins; God will communicate himself to them, and will manifest his paternal affection towards them really.

CHAP. VII.

Vers. 1. HAving therefore these Promises (dearly Beloved) let us cleanse our selves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting ho­liness in the fear of God.

The first verse of this Chapter belongeth to the precedent Chapter, wherein from the former Promises hee draws an Exhortation, that they do not onely beware of Ido­latry, and its outward appearance, but also from all defilements of spirit and body, i. e. from sins which either pollute the soul within, or defile the soul, and the body also, and endeavours the perfecting of holiness, going forward, and proceeding in the fear of God, using one Argument for all; The Promises fore-spoken of made to you by God do justly require that from you: Therefore apply your selves diligently to these duties.

Vers. 2. Receive us, wee have wronged no man, wee have corrupted no man, wee have defrauded no man.

In the rest of the Chapter hee endeavours to oblige the hearts of the Corinthians to him, the signs of his love towards them being produced, in the unfolding of which hee insists to the end. The Proposition is clearly pro­pounded, which is to bee confirmed. O Corinthians, yee ought to receive us, i. e. to bee perswaded of my love to­wards you, yee ought to love mee again, and to lay up my exhortations in your enlarged hearts: Three Argu­ments are taken from the three Signs of the Apostles good will towards them.

No man] Argum. 1. That they should receive the Apostle, and the first Sign of his little ill towards them. Because I do not ill deserve of any one, either by bring­ing reproach, or corrupting by perverse Doctrine, or de­frauding any one by any means.

Vers. 3. I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that you are in our hearts to dye and live with you.

Argum. 2. Sign 2. Because when I speak of the things fore-going, it was onely for the clearing of my self; I am so far from condemning the Church of the beleeving Corinthians, that out of love I have determi­ned the contrary, to cleave to you in prosperity and ad­versity, in life and death, that no change at any time may draw my affection from you.

Vers. 4. Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you, I am filled with com­fort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.

Argum. 3. Sign 3. Because news being received con­cerning your repentance, my heart so rejoyceth in the midst of afflictions, that I dare safely speak the confi­dence of my mind towards you, concerning your perse­verance, and glory of you amongst others.

Vers. 5. For when wee were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but wee were troubled on e­very side; without were fightings, within were fears.

6. Nevertheless, God that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the comming of Titus.

Hee being about to explain the experiment of his good will towards them, propounds his afflictions, where­with hee was pressed in Macedonia, whilst hee ex­pected news from them hee was oppressed partly by per­secution of the enemies, partly by the intestine evils of the Church, partly by the anxiety of his mind, and al­so with the troubles of his body; that there was no rest to his outward man. Against all which troubles, by mer­cy of God, consolation was sufficiently administred to him by the comming of Titus, who had now returned from the Corinthians, and brought joyful news concer­ning their state.

Vers. 7. And not by his comming onely, but by the consolation wherewith hee was comforted in you, when hee told us your earnest desire, your moarning, your fervent mind toward mee, so that I rejoyced the more.

The Apostle reckoneth eight causes of his joyfulness, whereof many were signs of his good will towards them. 1 Because Titus was returned safe. 2 Because Titus had received consolation from you Corinthians. 3 Because I had heard by Titus concerning your pious affection to­wards mee, and desire of seeing mee; concerning your weeping for the wickedness committed amongst you, con­cerning your zeal against the Incestuous person, and a­gainst my back-biters, from whence hath abounded joy to mee much surpassing all that grief, which I have ta­ken for that matter.

Vers. 8. For though I made you sorry with a Letter, I do not repent, though I did repent; for I perceive that the same Epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.

Before hee propounds the fourth cause of his consola­tion hee solves an Objection, which solution did make much to the purpose. They might say▪ Thou hast made us sorrowful in the former Epistle.

The Answer is fourfold. Answ. 1. I was compelled, and not without grief have I made you sad, but this grief through your repentance hath ceased. For when the Apostle writ the Epistle, being uncertain concerning the event, hee was sad, i. e. that hee saith, that hee himself repented: but when hee saw the event, hee was freed from grief, i. e. Now hee saies hee did not repent. Answ. 2 That sadness which was moved by my Epistle was short.

Vers. 9. Now I rejoyce, not that yee were made sorry, but that yee sorrowed to repentance, for yee were made sorry after a godly manner, that yee might receive dammage by us in nothing.

10. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, not to bee repented of, but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Hee answers 3. That sadness is turned into joy, both to you and mee, because it is found now good and pro­fitable to repentance; which hee proves: because it brought forth repentance not to bee repented of, other­wise than worldly sorrow is wont, which onely encreaseth sin and misery, and bringeth death as well to the soul as to the body.

Vers. 11. For behold, this self-same thing, that yee sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea what clearing of your selves, yea what indignation, yea what fear, yea what vehement desire, yea what zeal, yea what revenge: in all things yee have approved your selves to bee clear in this matter.

Hee proveth that their sadness was after God, or pious, because it produced seven Effects in them, even so many signs of their repentance, whereof the first was the shaking off security, with a carefulness to mend what was amiss. 2 Is an Apology, that now by no means they approve ei­ther the fact of the Incestuous person, or their own negli­gence. 3 Is an indignation against the sin, both of the Ince­stuous person, and their own in suffering him. 4 Is a fear, lest they should be compassed with divine justice, or a new sin. 5 Is a desire of taking off the scandal, and satis­fying [Page 83] all good men. 6. His zeal and fervent desire in prosecuting all means for the removing of evil, and re­pairing of the damage. 7. Is his revenge in chastising the incestuous person, and all their dulness; in all which the Corinthians had declared their repentance, and had shewed themselves no ways delighted with wickedness, but that they were clear.

Vers. 12. Wherefore though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.

The fourth answer to the objection is: I have not written that Epistle either only or chiefly that in chasti­sing of the incestuous person, satisfaction might bee gi­ven to the Father with whose wife the son had committed adultery, or that the incestuous person might bee cor­rected, (which truly was not to bee neglected) but e­specially for this end, that my fatherly care towards you, O Corinthians, might appear to all, sincere and approved in the sight of God.

Vers. 13. Therefore wee were comforted in your com­fort, yea, and exceedingly the more joyed wee for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.

The objection being solved, hee adds the fourth cause of his consolation; I understand, sayes hee, that yee have taken in good part my reproof, and now have recei­ved consolation.

Of titus]▪ The fifth cause of his consolation, because all yee have endeavoured to refresh the spirit of Titus.

Vers. 14. For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed: but as wee speak all things to you in truth, even so our boasting which I made before Titus, is found a truth.

The sixth cause, That yee would prove in very deed, that which I boasting of you, confidently fore-told to Titus.

Vers. 15. And his inward affection is more abundant­ly towards you, whilst hee remembreth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling yee recei­ved him.

The seventh cause, Because you have engaged to you by your respects and goodness, the mind of Titus, which you may esteem as great gain. For they reverenced Ti­tus, as an Evangelist, and a servant of God, sent to them extraordinarily, and so they had reconciled the mind of Titus to themselves.

Vers. 16. I rejoyce therefore, that I have confidence in you in all things.

The eighth cause of consolation, That I being incou­raged by this experience, for the future, I may dare to promise the best things whatsoever, of you all, both to my self and others.

CHAP. VIII.

THe second part of the Epistle, wherein the Corin­thians being confirmed, touching his love towards them, doth exhort them to the giving of Alms, with a cheerful mind to the use of the poor▪ Jews: For this end there are thirteen arguments used in this Chapter, to which hee adds more in the Chapter following.

Vers. 1. Moreover, brethren, wee do you, to wit, of the grace of God bestowed on the Churches of Macedo­nia.

Argum. 1. From the example of the Macedonians, the Churches of Macedonia have contributed: And therefore do yee the same thing, whose liberality hee commends, by nine reasons.

Grace] The first Reason, Because it was the gift of Gods grace, that they contributed any thing for the use of the poor Jews.

Vers. 2. How that in a great trial of affliction, the a­bundance of their joy, and their deep poverty, a­bounded unto the riches of liberality.

Reason 2. Because Alms was given by them in that time, when they were tried with heavy afflictions.

Ioy] Reason 3. Because they contributed with joy.

Deep] Reason 4. Because in poverty they were liberal.

Vers. 3. For to their power, (I bear record) yea, and beyond their power, they were willing of themselves.

Reason 5. Because they were willing to give more bountifully, than they were able.

Vers. 4. Praying us with much intreaty, that wee would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the Ministering to the Saints.

Reason 6. Because they offered freely, not provoked by others examples, but rather were Leaders to others, lest they should bee wanting in this duty of charity.

With entreaty] Reason 7. Because they were instant in prayers, that what they gave might bee received.

Fellowship] Reason 8. Because they did entreat the A­postle, that hee together with others, would take upon them the charge of gathering and dispensing that, which they and others were about to give.

Vers. 5. And this they did, not as wee hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the Will of God.

Reason 9. Because beyond the Apostles expectation, they consecrated themselves and all theirs to God, and did commit themselves to the Apostle; that they might bee ruled by him in all things, according to the Will of God.

Vers. 6. Insomuch that wee desired Titus, that as hee had begun, so hee would also finish in you the same grace also.

Argum. 2. To a liberal contribution; Because at the entreaty of the Macedonians, I have desired Titus that hee would take care to accomplish your alms, which thing hee hath undertaken already: Therefore take yee care, lest this our labour bee in vain.

Vers. 7. Therefore (as yee abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all dili­gence, [...]ad in your love to us) see that yee abound in this grace also.

Argum. 3. Because seeing that you excel others in ma­ny virtues, it becometh you to do your endeavour, lest in this yee fail, or seeing that the gifts of the Spirit abound in you, the faith of miracles, the gifts of knowledge and eloquence, endeavour concerning the Salvation of the Brethren, and charity towards mee, yee must have a care, lest this gift bee found wanting to you.

Vers. 8. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the since­rity of your love.

Argum. 4. Because now the sincerity of your Christi­an love is to bee proved in the distribution of this alms, for which thing sake I exhort you diligently, at the de­sire of the Macedonians, commanding nothing imperi­ously: Therefore shew a proof of your liberality.

Vers. 9. For yee know the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, that though hee was rich, yet for your sakes hee be­came poor, that yee through his poverty might bee rich.

Argum. 5. Christ hath made himself poor; that you might bee rich: Therefore it is meet, that for his sake yee give alms, when it is required of you.

Vers. 10. And herein I give my advice, for this is ex­pedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to bee forward a year ago.

Argum. 6. Because I know it is profitable for you, both in respect of your praise, and in respect of the bles­sing that will follow, that in this business in no wise yee bee wanting, but at length yee accomplish this collecti­on already begun.

Vers. 11. Now therefore perform the doing of it, that as there was a readiness to will, so there may bee a per­formance also out of that which you have.

[Page 84] 12. For if there bee first a willing mind, it is accept­ed, according to that a man hath, and not according to that hee hath not:

13. For I mean not that other men bee eased, and you burdened.

Argum. 7. Because it is meet and comely that your ready will, which yee shewed the last year, might bee a­ctually compleated, and it will bee uncomely if it o­therwise fall out.

Which yee have] Argum. 8. Because nothing is re­quired, but that which your selves may see to bee equal, for it is desired that you give according to your abilities, out of equity, without your prejudice, a little from the poor sort, if they give with a willing mind, shall bee ac­cepted of God, Although they have not given much, which have it not: For if a willing mind bee not pre­sent, nothing is respected by God, how much soever is given: Therefore bee not here wanting.

Vers. 14. But by an equality: that now at this time, your abundance may bee a supply for their want, that their abundance also may bee a supply for your want, that there may bee an equality:

Argum. 9. Because you may expect, that if there bee need, some retribution may bee made, and out of the plenty of the Churches in Iudea, your want may bee supplied, that so, that which is equal may bee done.

Vers. 15. As it is written, Hee that had gathered much, had nothing over, and hee that had gathered little, had no lack.

Argum. 10. Because it appears in the example of Manna, that no man ought to suppress his abundance with others wants, but so far equality is to bee observed, that so much as is necessary may bee wanting to none. For as it was done in the gathering of Manna, every one did measure to himself an Omer, the rest was given to those, who had gathered little, Exod. 16.18, 19. so in gathering of riches, that which remaineth after your own uses, ought to bee given for the use of the poor.

Vers. 16. But thanks bee to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.

17. For indeed, hee accepted the exhortation, but being more forward, of his own accord hee went unto you.

Argum. 11. Because the faithful, the strong, and some Brethren of best fame, were stirred up by God (compare vers. 18.22.) and sent by mee to promote this whole bu­siness, not onely in gathering of Almes, but also in bring­ing them to the hands of the poor Jews. The first of these Brethren was Titus, for whose care and willingness of mind for the perfecting of this business, hee praises God.

Vers. 18. And wee have sent with him the Brother, whose praise is in the Gospel throughout all the Churches.

19. And not that onely, but who was also chosen of the Churches, to travel with us with this grace which is administred by us, to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind.

His second Messenger is described, that hee laboured diligently for the promoting of the Gospel, whether it was Barnabas, or any other, it matters not. For who­soever hee was, hee is designed of the Churches (called together as it seems in a Synodical way) as a person worthy of trust, to whom this business might bee com­mitted.

Glory] Argum. 12. Because this alms is taken into my care, and administred by mee, and others, to the glory of God, and demonstration of the willingness of your mind.

Vers. 20. Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance, which is administred by us.

21. Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but in the sight of men.

Hee gives the reason why hee had joyned to himself those companions, of such approved fidelity in this ad­ministration of beneficence, collected for the use of the Church of Ierusalem, viz. that hee might take away the occasion of ill report from his adversaries, who might otherwise calumniate him, as if hee had diminished somewhat of the sum of money collected: And that hee might consult his reputation with all men, as hee had looked to his conscience before God, that hee might bee kept in the holy purpose of his integrity, in this business.

Vers. 22. And wee have sent with them our Brother, whom wee have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.

Hee commends his third messenger, whether hee were Luke, or any other, it matters not, but from hence the force of the eleventh argument appears, whilst hee sayes, that hee hath sent them out of his confidence of the Co­rinthians liberality, such famous men that hee doth not fear, that their expectation will bee frustrated; from whence it follows, that yee ought to contribute liberally.

Vers. 23. Whether any do enquire of Titus, hee is my Partner, and fellow-helper concerning you; or our Brethren bee enquired of, they are the messengers of the Churches, and the glory of Christ.

After hee hath set forth each of these messengers with his own commendation, hee commends them altogether, and especially Titus, because they are the Apostles of the Churches, i. e. assigned by the Churches for the gather­ing of his alms: And secondly, because they are the Glory of Christ, so called, because his grace did gloriously shine in them, and by them his glory was illustrated.

Vers. 24. Wherefore, shew yee to them, and before the Churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

The Exhortation being repeated, hee adds Argum. 13. This liberality as it shall bee a proof of our charity, so also it shall bee the confirmation of my glorying of you no wise vainly, in the fight of those that were assigned, who in the name of the Churches being present, will behold your liberality in this business: Therefore yee ought to contribute liberally.

CHAP. IX.

HEE goes forward to speak concerning the collecti­on. There are two parts of the Chapter. In the first hee giveth the reasons why hee sent to them, three Bre­thren assigned, where hee interposeth some arguments to perswade them to hasten the collection to verse 6. In the other hee adds more arguments to move them to give liberally, as it becomes Saints.

Vers. 1. For as touching the ministring to the Saints, it is superfluous for mee to write to you.

That which belongeth to the first part, lest they should ill interpret his sending of those Messengers, as if hee should cherish a suspition of their willingness in this bu­siness, hee sheweth, that the cause of sending his Bre­thren, was not, that they should bee instructed, neither that they should bee made willing to make a collection, because for that it would have been needless to have writ­ten, at leastwise to have sent his Brethren to them.

Vers. 2. For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago, and your zeal hath pro­voked very many.

Hee confirms his words with three Reasons.

I know] Reason 1. Because hee had very well known their willingness of mind before.

I boast] Reason 2. Because hee boasted of their readi­ness.

Zeal] Reason 3. Because their endeavour in this busi­ness had provoked many to the like alacrity and zeal.

Vers. 3. Yet have I sent the Brethren, lest our boasting [Page 85] of you should bee in vain in this behalf, that as I said, yee may bee ready.

Hee propounds five true Reasons why hee sent the Brethren.

Reason 1. That they would prepare for the more speedy conveying of their beneficence, and that now the mony gathered might bee found by the Messengers, as the Apostle had promised in their name.

Lest our rejoycing] Reason 2. Lest the boasting of the Apostle concerning them should bee found in vain.

Vers. 4. Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with mee, and finde you unprepared, wee, (that wee say not, you) should bee ashamed in this same confi­dent boasting.

Reason 3. Following from the former, left both you and I should bee ashamed, if you should bee found un­prepared, when I together with the Macedonians (who have heard mee glorying in your behalf) should come unto you.

Vers. 5. Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the Brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up before hand your bounty, whereof yee had notice before, that the same might bee ready, as a matter of bounty, not of covetousness.

Reason 4. I have sent unto you the Brethren, that you may bee assisted in your gathering the money by the Brethren, whereby all things may bee more ready.

Not as of covetousness] Reason 5. I have sent unto you the Brethren, who have taken care lest any one in gathering should bee urged to contribute more than hee was willing, and lest covetousness in those that collect, or parsimonie in those that contribute, should appear, but that they which give, may give liberally and freely, and so the whole collection being liberal, may appear at my coming as a blessing.

The Second Part.

Vers. 6. But this I say, Hee which soweth sparingly, shall reap sparingly: and hee which soweth bounti­fully, shall reap bountifully.

The second part of the Chapter follows, wherein hee adds ten arguments, that they would give their alms libe­rally, and as it becomes Saints.

Argum. 1. Because whosoever shall give, either no­thing, or not according to his ability, or not out of the purpose of his heart (which is to sow sparingly) they shall reap also sparingly, i. e. shall get either nothing, or only a temporal reward: Therefore give yee liberally.

Liberally] Argum. 2. Because they which will give li­berally, and out of love (which is to sow liberally) shall have a liberal harvest: Therefore give yee libe­rally.

Vers. 7. Every man according as hee purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

After hee hath expounded what it is to give liberally, or to sow in blessings, (to wit, to give out of purpose of heart, not out of sadness, or out of necessity: For hee which so giveth, giveth sparingly, whatsoever hee gi­veth, and would give nothing if hee might follow the purpose of his mind.)

Hee adds Argum. 3. God loves a cheerful giver▪ and consequently a sad and unwilling giver, hee neither loveth, nor approveth of, nor blesseth: Therefore give yee liberally and cheerfully.

Vers. 8. And God is able to make all grace abound to­wards you, that yee alwayes having all-sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

Argum. 4. Is tacitly propounded in the solution of an Objection. So far bee it from you, saies hee, that you fear want, if you contribute more plentifully, that on the other side yee may rather expect that God will give you of his Grace and Power enough of temporal things, that not onely you may bee contented with your condi­tion, but also that yee might abound in every good works for the helping of others: Therefore give liberally.

Vers. 9. (As it is written, Hee hath despersed a broad: hee hath given to the poor, his Righteousness remains for ever.

Hee confirms this Argument out of Psal. 112.9. where it is spoken, that the Righteous distributeth his goods, and giveth to the poor, and his Righteousness remaineth for ever; where Argument 5. is insinuated, That it is the property of the righteous man to distribute his goods, and to give to the poor, and that the ordinary blessing of God is upon them, that hee may have further to be­stow: Therefore shew your selves righteous by giving liberally.

Vers. 10. Now hee that ministreth Seed to the Sower, both minister Bread for your food, and multiply your Seed sown, and increase the fruit of your righteousness.)

Argum. 6. Included in a wish and a similitude, as God both ministreth Seed to the Husbandman after sowing, and Bread after Harvest; So hee shall both mi­nister fruit out of your sowing, I wish that hee might both encrease your abilities for doing good, and for the bring­ing forth fruits of Righteousness and Mercy: Therefore do not you doubt to sow in the giving of this Alms.

Vers. 11. Being enriched in every thing to all boun­tifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

Arg. 7. Yee being enriched by the Grace of God, and abounding in all liberality, may cause that through us, who observe your charity, thanks may bee given to God: Therefore upon this account give yee liberality.

Vers. 12. For the administration of this service, not onely supplieth the want of the Saints, but is abun­dant also by thanksgiving unto God.

Hee confirms this Argument from this, that the office of this undertaken Ministery concerning the gathering and contributing this Alms, will not onely supply the necessities of the Saints in Iudea, but will also cause by many Saints, that thanks bee given unto God.

Vers. 13: Whilest by the experiment of this Ministra­tion, they glorifie God for your professed subjection unto the Gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distri­bution unto them, and unto all men.

Argum. 8. This your liberality will bee a sign of your Faith, and subjection of your obedient mind unto Christ and his Gospel, as also matter of glorifying God; and lastly a sign of your liberality towards all that are poor, when occasion is given: Therefore give yee libe­rally.

Vers. 14. And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding Grace of God in you.

Argum. 9. The Saints in Iudea cherished by your li­berality will pray to God for you: Therefore yee ought to give liberally.

Long after you] Argum. 10. This your liberality will stir up in the holy Jews love towards you, and will che­rish a desire of seeing you, and will enkindle in them no small esteem of you, by reason of that eminent Grace of God in you: Bee yee not wanting therefore in this.

Vers. 15. Thanks bee unto God for his unspeakable gift.

As now having his desire, and beholding the manifold fruit of their liberality, which by the Grace of God, it would produce upon their refreshing the Brethren in Iudea, hee thanks God for his gift in the liberality of the Corinthians, which hee could not sufficiently in words de­clare as it deserved.

CHAP. X.

THe third part of the Epistle: In which the Apostle vindicates his authority from the aspersions of the [Page 84] [...] [Page 85] [...] [Page 86] false Apostles, whereby they laboured to lessen his au­thority with the Corinthians. In this Chapter, be­cause they blamed Paul, that being present amongst the Corinthians, hee carried himself humbly, but being absent, hee had boasted of the weightiness of his au­thority in his letters, hee removes this calumny, by de­fending the fact.

There are two parts of the Chapter. In the first, hee proves by eight arguments, that hee is not to bee contemned, to verse 12. In the second, hee modestly compares himself with those that were his Emulators, to the end.

Vers. 1. Now I Paul my self beseech you by the meek­ness, and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent, am bold towards you.

Argum. 1. Is contained in his obtestation by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, that they would not interpret his carriage otherwise than was mee [...]. As if hee had said, my humility was the self-same gentle­ness, and the very imitation of the meekness of Christ, which I remember you of. That yee acknowledging the imitation of our Lord in mee, may judge rightly con­cerning mee: Therefore I am not to bee despised by you.

Vers. 2. But I beseech you, that I may not bee [...]old when I am present, with that confidence wherewith I think to bee bold against some, which think of us, as if wee walked according to the flesh.

Yee ought to beware, lest by your fault I am compel­led to exercise my power more boldly toward some of you, when I come, as I have determined to exercise against those, who being led by fear or hope, think of us, as if wee would change our carriage like carnal and irregene­rate men: Therefore I am not to bee despised.

Vers. 3. For though wee walk in the flesh, wee do not war after the flesh.

Argum. 2. Although I do not live free from humane infirmity in this frail flesh, yet in the execution of my of­fice, and my Ministerial warfare, I have not followed carnal lusts, being led by fear or affection, as they falsly lay to my charge, when sometimes I carried my self humbly, sometimes according to the dignity of my office and authority: Therefore I am not to bee contemn­ed.

Vers. 4. (For the weapons of our warfare are not car­nal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong holds.)

Argum. 4. Confirming the former. I have no need to use carnal weapons in the subtil changing of my carri­age, sometimes flattering, sometimes boasting, or using any other such like evil arts, but my Spiritual Weapons (such as they are) were sufficient in the truth, boldness in the exercising of Ecclesiastical Discipline, zeal, pati­ence, Christian fortitude, and other virtues, wherewith being armed, I do manage my warfare: Therefore I am not to bee contemned. Hee shews a threefold virtue of these weapons. 1. Virtue is, That by divine power they are sufficient for the throwing down of all the strong holds of humane wisdome, and the demolishing of sub­til pretences, and all counsels, with which carnal men striving against the Gospel for their errours and vices, use to defend themselves.

Vers. 5. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth it self against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

The second Virtue. Hee also reaches that these Wea­pons are mighty, as to the throwing down the pride of mans mind, and the highness of worldly knowledge, so also to the converting or subduing high wits to the obedi­ence and humble submission of themselves, as captives, to Christ by Faith. Understand it concerning the Elect, and those that are ordained to Salvation.

Vers. 6. And having a readiness to revenge all disobe­dience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

The third Virtue. Those Weapons of the Word of God, and Ecclesiastical censures are sufficient, &c. to revenge those that rebel and are disobedient, as doing ready execution, partly in this life, partly in that which is to come; which weapons the Apostle was making rea­dy against his adversaries, after hee had recalled the flock of the Corinthians, seduced from him, into order and obedience: for hee intended prudently to exercise the Ecclesiastical censures.

Vers. 7. Do yee look on things after the outward appea­rance? If any man trust to himself that hee is Christs, let him of himself think this again, that as hee is Christs, even so are wee Christs.

Argum. 5. Whereby hee proveth that hee ought not to bee contemned, because judgement ought not to bee made concerning the Apostles dignity by the external ap­pearance of humility: For the interrogation hath the force of a negative duty, and is as much as yee ought not.

If any man] Argum. 6. My humility nothing de­tracteth from the dignity of my Ministery, but I am to bee equalled with any one of those Emulators, and am as neer to Christ, in as many respects, as any of them: Therefore I am not to bee despised.

Vers. 8. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority (which the Lord hath given us for e­dification, and not for your destruction) I should not bee ashamed.

Argum. 7. Because however, sometimes humbly, sometimes according to my authority I shall carry my self, yet I can glory of my Apostolical authority with­out vanity. In the mean while, lest the remembrance of his power should bee troublesome, hee sayes, that this au­thority was given to him, that hee might bee advantagi­ous for their Salvation; but not that by any means hee should hinder their salvation.

Vers. 9. That I may not seem as if I would terrifie you by letters.

10. For his letters (say they) are weighty and pow­erful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.

11. Let such a one think this, that such as wee are in word, by letters when wee are absent, such will wee bee also in deed, when wee are present.

Argum. 8. Lest I should seem to affect by my Epistles that authority which I have not, vers. 9. As my accusers are diligent to intimate by their reproaches, ver. 10. I shall demonstrate, that my authority is the same indeed when I come to them, which I used to shew in my letters: Therefore do not yee contemn mee.

The Second Part.

Vers. 12. For wee dare not make our selves of the num­ber, or compare our selves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves, and com­paring themselves amongst themselves, are not wise.

The second part of the Chapter follows, wherein hee discovereth the vanity of those that praise themselves, who did so exalt themselves, as if the Apostle durst not equal himself with them. The Apostle compares himself with these in a five-fold dissimilitude.

First, Wee humbly and modestly carrying our selves, surely wee are not like them, who ambitiously and boast­ingly insult over us (as if wee were not to bee compared with them) commending themselves above that which the thing it self doth admit them to bee commended.

Are not] 2. They shew their own foolishness, mea­suring themselves by their own esteem, making them­selves great in their own judgement, and of some like un­to themselves; wee avoid this vanity.

Vers. 13. But wee will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule [Page 87] which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.

14. For wee stretch not our selves beyond our measure, as though wee reached not unto you, for wee are come as far as to you also, in preaching the Gospel of Christ.

3. Wee do not boast beyond the measure and rule of our gifts and calling, as if wee were sent to preach to those whom wee are not sent to, but wee keep our selves within the measure of our Apostolical calling, assigned to us by God, which allows our preaching to you Corinthi­ans, who by our means were converted to the Faith: Our Emulators do not so contain themselves, but run to those to whom they are not sent, and do boast above the measure of gifts, and divine benediction upon their la­bours.

Vers. 15. Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other mens labours, but having hope, when your faith is encreased, that wee shall bee enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,

16. To preach the Gospel in the Regions beyond you, and not to boast in another mans line of things made ready to our hand.

4. Wee do not boast in the labours of others, as if wee had converted to the Faith those which wee have not con­verted, as our Emulators, who boast in you Corinthians, which they have not converted; but wee hope, that after you are further stablished in the Faith, that yee may bee confident, and also endeavour to propagate our Gospel, and deal with your neighbours, that they may hear my preaching: For verily I hope that the borders of our Mi­nistery through you will bee more abundantly inlarged, and that according to the rule of my calling, to whom the Apostleship to the Gentiles is committed. I hope, I say, it will come to pass, that wee may preach the Gospel also in those Regions which are beyond us, that I shall not need to boast in another mans harvest, prepared by the labours of other men, as the false Apostles now do boasting in you, whom I have converted to Salvation, not they.

Vers. 17. But hee that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

5. This hee propoundeth by way of precept. I an A­postle will boast only in the Lord, not in evil things, not in feigned, or false, nor in the gifts of God as mine, not in my self, as my Emulators do boast in themselves, but as the Lord will allow mee, in God alone.

Vers. 18. For not hee that commendeth himself is ap­proved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

Hee gives the reason of this, because no man is appro­ved that commends himself out of his own opinion, but hee that is approved of God, and receiveth testimony from him: The trial of this rule the Emulators of the Apostle could not abide.

CHAP. XI.

HEE proceeds in his holy boasting against the false Apostles. There are two parts of the Chapter. In the first, hee gives an account of his boasting, reprehend­ing the Corinthians, way being made for his future boasting. By the way drawing off the Vizzard from the false Apostles, to verse 21. In the other, hee openeth the large matter of his boasting against those his Emu­lators, to the end.

Vers. 1. Would to God you could bear with mee a little in my folly, and indeed bear with mee.

That which belongeth to the first, although hee had not determined to boast, unless hol [...]ly and purely in the Lord, yet because at the first sight the praising of him­self had the appearance of folly; therefore hee wish­eth and asketh, that they would a little bear with him, as foolish, speaking by way of concession (otherwise in very deed the Holy Ghost did speak in the Apostle) that hee might better discover to them in this the reasons of his prudence: for because hee saw them deceived by some vain and subtil men, not without the subtilty of Satan, hee was compelled for their good to this boasting.

Vers. 2. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousie: for I have espoused you to one Husband, that I may present you a chast Virgin to Christ.

Hee produceth ten reasons, whereby hee demonstrates the necessity of his boasting.

Reason 1. Because I am driven with an holy zeal in the Cause of Christ to this boasting: Therefore boast­ing is necessary. Hee clears this reason, because as a Pa­ranymph hee did endeavour to marry the Corinthians, not to himself, but to Christ, as a chast Virgin, and to retain them in his society.

Vers. 3. But I fear, lest by any means, as the Serpent be­guiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should bee corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Reason 2. I fear, lest as Eve was seduced by the subtilty of the Devil, so you being corrupted by the false Apo­stles, should bee moved from that Virgin-like simplicity of the Gospel of Christ [...] for the Wisdome of God, im­bracing humane wisdome, and admitting the leaven of legal ceremonies to the corrupting the Doctrine of the Gospel of grace amongst you: Therefore this my boasting is necessary.

Vers. 4. For if hee that cometh preacheth another Ie­sus, whom wee have not preached; or if yee receive another spirit, which yee have not received; or ano­ther Gospel, which yee have not accepted, yee might well bear with him.

Reason 3. You might deservedly bear with another Thrasonical Preacher, if hee could impart unto you ano­ther Christ, which is impossible, or more excellent gifts of the Spirit▪ or a better Gospel than you have accepted and received by our Ministery. Truly, seeing that is im­possible, yee ought deservedly to bear with mee an Apo­stle boasting, by whose preaching yee are made partakers both of the gifts of Christ, and his Spirit.

Vers. 5. For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest Apostles.

Reason 4. Confirming the former; I suppose they will not deny mee to be inferiour to Peter, Iames, and Iohn (those Apostles who were chiefly esteemed) because the Gospel being communicated with them, Gal. 2. they have contributed nothing to mee. Therefore my boasting a­gainst the false Apostles is necessary and just.

Vers. 6. But though I be rude in speech, yet not in know­ledge, but wee have been throughly made manifest a­mong you in all things.

Reason 5. Because I will not contend with those that commend themselves for their excellency of speech or eloquence; but I will give place to none in the knowledge of the mysteries of salvation, which thing hee calls the Corinthians themselves to witness, who have very well understood his knowledge.

Vers. 7. Have I committed an offence in abasing my self, that you might be exalted, because I have preached to you the Gospel of God freely?

Reason 6. Wherein hee meets with an Objection: Some would say, Whilst thou wer [...] present at Corinth, thou didst live by thy Handicraft labour. Ans. My hu­mility is so far from being blame-worthy, that it is ra­ther worthy of praise, because it conduceth to your profit, whose salvation I did so much esteem, that not regarding my profit, I preached the Gospel to you of good will: Therefore even for this cause it is lawful for mee to boast.

Vers. 8. I robbed other Churches, taking wages of them▪ to do you service.

9. And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to mee, the brethren which c [...]me to Mace­donia [Page 88] supplied, and in all things I have kept my self from being burdensome to you, and so will I keep my self.

Hee more clearly explains his practice by a pleasant metaphor, shewing that hee did take wages, even as spoils, from the other poorer Churches, conquered by the Gospel, to support himself, that hee might better do service to the Corinthians freely, ver. 8. by name from the Macedonian Philippians, lest hee should bee chargea­ble to the Corinthians.

Vers. 10. As the truth of Christ is in mee, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the Regions of Achaia.

11. Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.

12. But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion, that where­in they glorie, they may bee found even as wee.

Lest hee should seem to repent of what hee had done, he determined that he will not afterwards be chargeable to them, or will not receive wages, which hee confirms with an oath, v. 10. And lest they should take it ill, as if it was for want of love, that he would not receive wages of them, hee professes that he had thus determined, out of special love to them, calling God to Witness concerning the truth of his words, ver. 11. and that for this end, lest the false Apostles should seem to exceed him in his boasting, from whom hee would have the occasion of reproaching him, so taken away, who otherwise would say that Paul preached to the Corinthians for the encrea­sing his substance.

Vers. 13. For such are false Apostles, deceitful workers; transforming themselves into the Apostles of Christ.

14. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an Angel of Light.

15. Therefore it is no great thing, if his Ministers also bee transformed as the Ministers of Righteousness, whose end shall bee according to their works.

Reason 7. Shewing the necessity of his boasting, be­cause the wickedness of his Emulators did compel him to this boasting; for they did feign themselves the Apostles of Christ, and Workers in the Vineyard of God, when in the mean while they only cared for their own business, not Gods; they preached the Gospel for profits sake, and their own honour, they feigned themselves Ministers of Christ, when they did only personate Stage-players, ver. 13. neither is it to bee wondered at, seeing these decei­vers were the Apostles of Satan, imitating the Devil (who sometimes puts on the form of some celestial An­gel, that under the pretence of zeal and piety hee might beguile men) whose manners his Emulators did follow, pretending the glory of Christ, when in the mean while they sacrificed all their labour to the belly, to their purse, to their honour, nothing solicitous what became of the Apostles, what of the Churches, so that they might ob­tain their desires: To whom therefore the Apostle threa­tens eternal death, according to their deserts.

Vers. 16. I say again, let no man think mee a fool: if otherwise, yet as a fool receive mee, that I may boast my self a little.

17. That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishlie in this confidence of boasting.

Reason 8. Because they should find that it was wisely done, that hee was necessitated to this boasting, which hee desires them to take notice of; but if as yet for the present they could not perceive the just necessity and pru­dence of his boasting, at leastwise hee desires, that they would bear with him patiently a little, as foolishly boast­ing, until hee could finish his Speech and Apology, ver. 16. Yeelding only, but not affirming that hee foolishly boasted, or that it was un-beseeming him to God-ward: for otherwise the Apostle, with the greatest Wisdome of the Spirit, did most justly boast to the glory of God, and the benefit of the Church in this whole business.

Vers. 18. Seeing that many glorie after the flesh, I will glorie also.

Reason 9. Because the false Apostles did falsly glory against him; therefore hee contends that it is an equal thing, that hee himself should truly boast in his own de­fence.

Vers. 19. For yee suffer fools gladlie, seeing yee your selves are wise.

Reason 10. Wise men were wont to bear with those that seemed more foolish, as you know by experience: Why should yee not therefore suffer mee of necessity to boast, although herein I may seem foolish to some amongst you?

Vers. 20. For yee suffer, if a man bring you into bon­dage, if a man devoure you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.

Reason 11. Because yee suffer more harsh things (as it appears) than this foolishness of my glorying. For (1) Yee suffer those importunate men, who bring you into bondage. Such were the false Apostles, who exercised their power over them, dividing the Church of Corinth into factions, and set up themselves Captains and Lords of their Followers amongst the Corinthians, as of Soul­diers and Servants. (2) Yee suffer those which devoure you; such were the false Apostles, affecting stately ban­quets, and eating up the substance of the Corinthians. (3) Yee suffer spoilers; such also were the false Apostles, who would not indeed take wages, but in the mean while, they coveted gifts, and did collogue and receive them from the Corinthians. (4) Yee suffer those that contemn you; such were the false Apostles, who because of the Stock and Hebrew Nation, which they were of, and some gifts of the Spirit given to them above the Church of Corinth, gathered out of the illiterate and ignoble Gentiles, did above measure exalt themselves. (5) Yee suffer those that smite you on the face, or those that use you reproachfully: Why therefore should not yee suffer this may just boasting.

Vers. 21. I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak: howbeit, wherein soever any is bold, I speak foolishlie, I am bold also.

Hee expounds what it is to smite on the face, that it is not to bee understood of external violence, but in respect of reproach, which in some measure hee found amongst the Corinthians from those false teachers, when the false Apostles hit the Corinthians in the teeth with the lowness of their minds, in that they subjected themselves to Paul an handicrafts man: for what else was this, but to smite the Corinthians in the face, and insult over the holy Apo­stle.

The Second Part.

Howbeit whereinsoever] The second part of the Chap­ter follows, in which the way already being prepared for him to a just glorying, and the necessity of it being de­monstrated, hee compares himself with those glorious Doctors, proving himself not inferiour to them in four Characters of his dignity, but to bee preferred before upon many accounts.

Sign 1. Of his dignity, propounded in general: that hee was inferiour to them in nothing, whatsoever they looked upon in their glorying: In the mean while hee modestly grants a shew of folly in this his glorying, which yet hee wisely prosecutes.

Vers. 22. Are they Hebrews? so am I: Are they Is­raelites? so am I:

The second sign of his dignity more specially laid down, that hee is worthy to bee compared to them in the Nobility of his Linage: For if hee had sought glory from a Holy Nation, hee sprung from that family which had not mixt themselves with the Gentiles; hee was an Hebrew, from Hebrew parents: if hee would glory in the Nobility of his Race, hee sprung from the more No­ble Israelites, because from the Tribe of Benjamin; Benjamin was the Son of Rachel, a woman free-born: but some Tribes had their original from bond-maids: If [Page 89] they strived for the Antiquity of Religion, that they re­mained in the Covenant as true Abrahamites, here also hee▪ was equal to any one of them.

Vers. 23. Are they Ministers of Christ? I speak as a fool, I am more: in labours more abundant; in stripes above measure; in prisons more frequent; in deaths oft:

Sign 3. If they had striven for the dignity of office, herein modestly, as one compelled, hee prefers himself be­fore them in respect of his Apostleship, and office granted to him extraordinarily, I am greater, saies hee, because I am an Apostle.

In labours] The fourth Sign of his dignity, is sincerity in the administration of his office. Of this his sincerity hee produces nine Testimonies. First, His labours or his diligence. Secondly, His sufferings in general, which be­longed to his health and bodily liberty, and the dangers of his life.

Vers. 24. Of the Iews five times received I forty stripes save one.

Thirdly, Hee produces his special sufferings from the Jews, that hee was whipped by them five times according to the number of stripes inflicted upon malefactors by the Law: for the Jews, although they are cruel, yet they would seem to contain themselves within the Law, Deut. 25.3.

Vers. 25. Thrice was I beaten with Rods: once was I stoned: thrice I suffered shipwrack: a night and a day I have been in the deep.

Fourthly, His sufferings from the Gentiles bear testimo­ny, that by their Lictours or Sergeants hee was beaten thrice with clubs, and whips, and once stoned. Fifthly, That hee thrice suffered shipwrack, in one whereof, after hee was twenty four hours tossed by the waters in the deep Sea, hee was freed by the powerful hand of God.

Vers. 26. In journying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own Country-men, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the City, in perils in the Wilderness, in perils in the Sea, in perils a­mongst false Brethren.

The Sixth Testimony of his sincerity comprehends the labours of his journying, and eight kinds of dangers, which hee found in sundry places, and from divers kinds of men.

Vers. 27. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger und thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

The seventh hath five sorts of troubles, with which, while hee fulfilled the work of the Ministery, hee was ve­ry often exercised, wherein being wearied, hee was in­stead of rest forced to take in hand new labours.

Vers. 28. Besides those things which are without, that which commeth upon mee daily, the care of all the Churches.

Eighthly, His unconquerable patience in daily pub­lick businesses, a solicitous mind for all the Churches of Christ.

Vers. 29. Who is weak, and am I not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

The ninth Testimony of his Sincerity, is, his sympathy with all that are afflicted, and offended by any scandal.

Vers. 30. If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern my infirmities.

Hee retorts the Objection of his adversaries: But all these things have made thee a contemptible and mise­rable man. Hee answers, that hee purposely determined to glory in these, as the things which did more com­mend his sincerity, than the prosperous affairs of the false Apostle, adorned them.

Vers. 31. The God and Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, which is blessed for ever more, knoweth, that I lye not.

32. In Damascus the Governour under Are [...]as the King, kept the City with a Garison, desirous to ap­preh [...]nd mee.

33. And thorough a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

Lastly, Because these things which hee had mentioned may seem incredible, viz. that one should bee able to bear so many afflictions, premising an oath, touching the truth as well of those things that were said already, as of those that were to bee spoken, hee mentions the special danger of his life, out of which there was no apparent escape, unless God had kept him safe for the good of the Church, and opened a way by his special providence for his escape, concerning which, Act. 9.23.

CHAP. XII.

HEE proceeds in his holy glorying: There are three parts of the Chapter. In the first hee explains the heavenly vision presented to him, together with the events of the same. To vers. 11. In the second hee proves that the Corinthians ought to have freed him from this ne­cessity of glorying, or defended him. To vers. 19. In the third hee produces the causes of his troubles.

Vers. 1. It is not expedient for mee, doubtless, to glory, I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

The Preface being Premised (that hee doth not glory for his own sake, because that was not expedient for him, (For this is here somewhat emphatical▪ for mee) but for the Corinthians, and the Churches sake, whom it con­cerned, to preserve the authority of the Apostle intire) hee commeth to extraordinary revelations, one of which hee begins historically to declare.

Vers. 2. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, whether in the body, I cannot tell, or whether out of the body, I cannot tell, God knoweth, such an one caught up to the third heaven.

I knew a man] Hee discovers the excellency of this revelation, and his modesty, by nine Arguments.

Argum. 1. That hee scarcely dare publish his name in this business, but lest hee may seem to arrogate much to himself, hee is compelled to speak of himself in a third person.

In Christ] Argum. 2. That although this revelation may seem to extol him above the common condition of men, yet hee doth not affect any other excellence, than to bee in Christ, or in the number of Beleevers, who have renounced themselves, that they may glory in Christ alone.

Fourteen] Argum. 3. That silently with himself hee had suppressed the mention of this glorious revelation whole fourteen years, never intending to recite it, un­less hee was compelled by the importunity of his Emu­lators, who endeavoured to diminish his Apostolical au­thority, to the damage of the Gospel and the Church.

Caught up] Argum. 4. That hee was caught up to the upper heaven, above all the Stars, to the place of the blessed Spirits, where God chiefly manifests his glory.

Whether in the body] Argum. 5. That hee is ignorant, whether hee was caught up by the local translation of his body into Heaven, or whether his soul extraordinarily was separated for that time, and lifted up into Heaven, concerning the other, notwithstanding, I am certain.

Vers. 3. And I knew such a man (whether in the bo­dy, or out of the body, I cannot tell, God know­eth.)

4. Hee was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeak­able words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Into Paradise] Argum. 6. That hee certainly knew the matter done, and that hee was caught up into Para­dise, or into that blessed seat of the Glory of God, (wherupon hee repeats the second time, I kn [...]w a man) and there heard ineffable words, which is not lawful for a man to utter, i. e. of whom something could not bee ex­pressed, [Page 90] other things it was not lawful for him to utter, which otherwise had hee not been prohibited, might have been uttered, for those things which were revealed, hee is certain, did belong to his private confirmation, and preparations for those conflicts hee was about to under­go.

Vers. 5. Of such an one will I glory, yet of my self I will not glory, but in my infirmities.

Argum. 7. That indeed hee was ready to boast (to the glory of God) of such a man, i. e. of himself, as the servant of God, exalted after this manner: But not concerning himself, considered in himself, for that hee had nothing in himself, in which hee might glory, ex­cept his infirmities.

Vers. 6. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not bee a fool: For I will say the truth. But now I forbear, lest any man should think of mee above that, which hee seeth mee to bee, or that hee heareth of mee.

Argum. 8. That although hee had sufficient matter of glorying offered upon this revelation, that truly and so­lidly, without vanity, hee might much more glory, but hee determined as yet sparingly to speak of this matter, lest hee should stirre up too much esteem of himself.

Vers. 7. And lest I should bee exalted above measure, through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to mee a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet mee, lest I should bee exalted above measure.

Argum. 9. That the excellence of the Revelation was so great, as that hee might beware of pride, the Angel of Satan was sent for the Apostles humiliation.

A Thorn▪] Hee describes the reason of his humbling so, that hee intimates three Reasons of it.

Reason 1. That the matter of his humiliation, was something of the reliques of sin in his flesh, or his corrupt nature as yet not quite abolished, viz. some motion of con­cupiscence, tending to his further sinning, which motion hee compares to a Thorn left in lopped wood, because it was no less troublesome to him, than a Thorn was wont to bee fastened in the foot of a travellour.

The Messenger] Reason 2. Of his humiliation, that this motion carried along with it a special temptation opening a way to the Devil, making way to sin.

To buffet] Reason 3. This Temptation sent from the Devil doth so much the more violently solicit him to sin, that hee was compelled to implore divine assistance, lest hee should bee overcome with the Temptation: which exercise, as it is not to bee wondred at by him that reads Chap. 7. Rom. So it is to bee acknowledged the most efficacious means for the humbling of the Apostle, for hee that was wont to bear all troubles, and fights, both with his bodily and spiritual enemies couragiously, hee is heard to howl and cry out in his combate with the flesh, O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver mee, &c.

Vers. 8. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from mee.

The humiliation of the Apostle it self follows, of which hee brings four Signs. Sign 1. That hee had ve­ry often prayed unto God, that hee would deliver him from the Tempter.

Vers. 9. And hee said unto mee, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weak­ness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon mee.

Sign 2. That hee rested in the answer of God, in which hee certified him, partly of the sufficiency of his Grace, for the sustaining of his combating servant, lest hee should bee overcome by the Tempter, and for the washing away of all pollution which hee had contracted in his combate: Partly concerning the end of his pur­pose in the exercise of his servants, which is, that by how much any servant of God is found more weak in any combate, by so much the strength of God sustaining him, might more clearly and perfectly demonstrate it self.

Most gladly] Sign 3. That a more constant frame of humility would ensue upon this combate of his, wherein hee determined to acknowledge his infirmities, and weak­nesses in all things, to this very end, that hee might ex­perience the power of Christ dwelling in him, and so much the more apparently manifested.

Vers. 10. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christs sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Sign 4. That hee had now learnt, not onely to bear all afflictions couragiously for the Gospel, which might make him more humble, but out of them to take much pleasure. Because when hee perceived himself most weak, flying to Christ, hee had experience of his more powerful presence for the sustaining and comforting him, and like­wise making him victorious.

The second Part.

Vers. 11. I am become a fool in glorying, yee have compelled mee: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest Apostles, though I bee nothing.

The second part of the Chapter contains his glorying in the manifestation of his Apostleship powerfully and sin­cerely administred amongst the Corinthians: Hee clears this glorying from that folly which some might object, laying the fault upon the Corinthians, from whose neglect the necessity of the Apostles glorying did arise: For they ought to assert his dignity against the false Apostles. Hee saies, I ought to bee commended by you, or it was your part to defend mee: hee brings nine Reasons of this Proposition, and also of his glorying.

For in nothing] Reason 1. Because although the A­postle was nothing in himself, yet by the Grace of God hee was not inferiour to the chief Apostles, the Corin­thians being his witnesses: Therefore hee ought to bee defended and commended by them.

Vers. 12. Truly the Signs of an Apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs and wonders, and mighty deeds.

Reason 2. Confirming the former. Because amongst you the signs of my Apostleship appear, partly in my patient enduring of labours, troubles and injuries, partly in the effects and signs of my Apostleship, in miracles and powerful works: Therefore I ought to bee commended by you.

Vers. 13. For what is it wherein yee were inferiour to other Churches, except it bee that I my self was not burdensome to you? forgive mee this wrong.

Reason 3. Because the Corinthian Church is endowed with such illustrious gifts of the Holy Ghost, by my Mi­nistery, as any other Church, founded either by o­ther Apostles, or by my self: Therefore my Ministery ought to bee defended by you.

Except it bee that] Reason 4. Because his zeal in propagating the Gospel amongst them, was so great, that hee preached the Gospel to the Corinthians freely, wherein if there was any wrong, by a civil Irony hee asks pardon, intimating the benefit which was vouch­safed to them: Therefore hee ought to bee defended by them.

Vers. 14. Behold the third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not bee burdensom to you, for I seek not yours, but you: for the Children ought not to lay up for the Parents, but the Parents for the Chil­dren.

Reason 5. Confirming the former. Because the Apostle was still of the same mind towards them, not to take any wages of them for the future, when hee shall come to them, for now hee prepared himself for comming the third time, although his second in­tention [Page 91] to come was hindered, As it is 1 Corinth. 1.

Yours] Reason 6. Confirming the former. Because hee sought the salvation of the Corinthians, and not to convert their goods to his own proper use: Therefore they ought to defend him.

For I seek not] Reason 7. Because although hee bee their spiritual Father, who ought to bee nourished by his folk or his children, yet hee endeavoured to imitate na­tural Parents, who ordinarily lay up for their children. Otherwise if the Parents bee in want, it is not to bee doubted, but children ought to do their mutual duties to their Parents, and to honour them by nourishing them.

Vers. 15. And I will very gladly spend, and bee spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be beloved.

Reas. 8. Because hee was ready to spend his goods and life it self for their salvation, which vehement love hee amplifies from the ingratitude of the Corinthians, who in the mean while did not make return of his love, but re­ceived the false Apostles, his Emulators, and made more of them, than the Apostle himself, their Father.

Vers. 16. But bee it so: I did not burden you: ne­vertheless being crafty, I caught you with guile.

17. Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?

18. I desired Titus, and with him I sent a Brother: did Titus make a gain of you? walked wee not in the same Spirit? walked wee not in the same steps?

Reason 9. In which hee prevents an objection; some might say, although thou thy self hast not received of them wages, yet perhaps thou hast drawn much from them by those whom thou [...]ast sent. Hee answers, that his companions and Embassadors, which hee had sent to the Corinthians, have taken the same care, lest they should burthen the Corinthians. But by the way hee checks his adversaries, whilst hee clears himself from those arts which those crafty workmen did use, who when they would seem to receive nothing themselves, did sub­born others, who should receive for their use whatsoever they could squeeze from the Corinthians: Therefore the Corinthians ought to defend Paul, and stop the mouths of his accusers in his absence.

The Third Part.

Vers. 19. Again, think you that wee excuse our selves unto you? wee speak before God in Christ: but wee do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.

The third part of the Chapter follows, wherein by preventing an objection, hee gives the reasons of his de­fence: Some might say, wherefore dost thou write these things? wherefore is that defence? whether art thou conscious of some evil? or dost thou desire to bee extol­led by us? Hee answers, by giving five reasons, why hee was so solicitous in that kind.

1. I have not writ these to this intent, that (as guil­ty of some evil, or that I desired glory) I may clear my self amongst you, or excuse my self; but out of my love to you, that I might promote your edification and Salvation, lest you viz. thinking meanly of my Apostle­ship, should by the false Apostles bee moved from the simplicity of the Gospel, for the testimony of this my assertion, I call God (who hath known my mind) and Christ (whose business I do) to bee my witnesses.

Vers. 20. For I fear, lest when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall bee found unto you such as yee would not, lest there bee debates, en­vyings, wrath, strifes, back-bitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:

Reason 2. I fear lest my Authority and Doctrine being diminished amongst you, through the false Apostles, when I come I shall find you such as I would not; i. e. infected with those evils which follow upon Schismes, such are strifes, or contentions: emulations or envy concern­ing the gifts of God: wraths or angers from mutual in­juries: brawlings or mutual provocations: back-bitings and whisperings, by which openly and privily men are wont to defame one another: swellings, and as it were puffings up of the mind out of pride; and lastly, tu­multuous seditions.

And that I] Reason 3. I fear lest yee should find me more severe than you would, unless yee timely mend by admonitions, and submit to my doctrine and authority in the Lord.

Vers. 21. And lest when I come again, my God will humble mee among you, and that I shall bewail ma­ny which have sinned alreadie, and have not repent­ed of the uncleanness, and fornication, and lascivi­ousness which they have committed.

Reason 4. I fear lest if my authority bee despised a­mongst you, many amongst you will impenitently conti­nue in their defilement, fornications, and such like sins which I have in the former Epistle reproved.

Will humble mee] Reason 5. I [...]ear lest the Lord should afflict mee when I come to you, viz. lest your sins should create shame, sadness and mourning to mee, and offences amongst you, who are my glorie and joy, if you behave your selves as it becometh children; but yee will cause shame and sadness to mee if you do otherwise.

That hee might prevent these evils, and take away scandals arising amongst them, it was necessary that the authority of the Apostle and Apostolical Doctrine should bee maintained amongst them, for this end, this the Apo­stles Apologie was necessarie.

CHAP. XIII.

IN this last Chapter hee proceeds to vindicate his Apo­stolical Authoritie from contempt, and to make it aw­ful and amiable amongst them: The Proposition to bee confirmed is this, My Authority ought to bee reve­renced by you. The Arguments which confirm this Thesis are ten.

Vers. 1. This is the third time I am coming to you [...] in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word bee established.

Argum. 1. I fore-warn you by that authority commit­ted unto mee, of the purpose of my coming unto you, now the third time, that you being twice or thrice fore-warned concerning my coming, it might bee instead of two or three witnesses to certifie you of my firm purpose to exercise Ecclesiastical censure amongst you: There­fore my authority is to bee feared by you.

Vers. 2▪ I told you before, and foretell you, as if I was present the second time, and being absent, now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that if I come again, I will not spare:

Argum. 2. From the commination of exercising seve­rity, when hee came, upon the impenitent, who had first sinned, and not repented: Bee perswaded that I will se­verely punish the impenitent when I come: Therefore fear yee and repent.

Vers. 3. Since yee seek a proof of Christ speaking in mee, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.

Hee gives the reasons of this his severe commination: Because they tempted Christ, and the Apostle, doubting whether Christ spake in the Apostle, or the Apostle from the authority of Christ: And also hee adds Argum. 3. for the vindicating of his authority. Christ hath pow­erfully manifested himself amongst you by my Ministe­ry; partly by grace given to sinners, partly by the gifts of the Spirit conferred upon the Presbyters, and others, partly by miracles done amongst you, partly by the cor­recting of stubborn sinners. Fear therefore.

Vers. 4. For though hee was crucified through weak­ness, yet hee lived by the Power of God: for wee al­so are weak in him, but wee shall live with him by the Power of God toward you?

[Page 92] Argum. 4. That as Christ was crucified in the infir­mity of the flesh, but is found alive by the Spirit and Power of his Deity, so I am weak in appearance, and have carried my self humbly for Christs sake, that I might bee conformable to Christ, but by the Power of God I have been able, and shall bee also powerful in my Ministery, when the matter requires it: Therefore my authority is to bee feared.

Vers. 5. Examine your selves whether yee bee in the Faith: prove your own selves, know yee not your own selves, how that Iesus Christ is in you, except yee bee reprobates?

Argum. 5. All you, after your examination, shall know that Christ dwells in you, through my Ministery, unless some of you are cast-awayes, and unworthy of the name of Believers, or at least as yet unregenerate: Therefore the authority of my Apostleship ought to bee reverenced by you.

Vers. 6. But I trust that yee shall know, that wee are not reprobates.

Argum. 6. Whatsoever yee now are, I hope it will come to pass that at length yee being overcome by the truth, and convicted by the signs of my Apostleship, may acknowledge mee to bee the true servant of Christ, and not a false or a reprobate Apostle: Therefore my autho­rity ought to bee reverenced by you.

Vers. 7. Now I pray to God that yee do no evil, not that wee should appear approved, but that yee should do that which is honest, though wee bee as repro­bates.

Argum. 7. By which hee doth not onely vindicate his authority from contempt, but by the moderation of his mind maketh it lovely: I earnestly desire you to abstain from all evil, and do good, lest I should need to exercise my authority amongst you: And to this end I pray God, that I may not regard my reputation, whether approved or disapproved by the judgement of men, I am indiffe­rent, so that it may bee well with you: Therefore my authority ought to bee reverenced by you.

Vers. 8. For wee can do nothing against the Truth, but for the Truth.

Argum. 8. Confirming the former, my authority doth not prevail against Truth, or Righteousness, that they may bee destroyed, but for preserving the Truth, and therefore if you do no evil, my authority amongst you will cease: Therefore that ought to bee beloved by you.

Vers. 9. For wee are glad when wee are weak, and yee are strong: and this also wee wish, even your perfection.

Argum. 9. Confirming the seventh: I rejoyce when there is no occasion for the exercise of my authority (I as if I had none) do not shew my power, having nothing more in my desires, than your integrity, that all things being duly composed, and the members of the Church, which are now dis-joynted, being restored, I may ne­ver have need to extol myself to your terrour: Therefore my authority ought both to bee reverenced and loved by you.

Vers. 10. Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given mee to edifi­cation, and not to destruction.

Argum. 10. Now I deal with you more severely by Letters, that you may repent, lest being present, I bee compelled more severely to punish the impenitent, accor­ding to my power given mee for your good, but not for your hurt: Therefore my authority ought to bee reve­renced by you.

Vers. 11. Finally, Brethren, farewel: bee perfect, bee of good comfort, bee of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall bee with you.

12. Greet one another with an holy kiss.

13. All the Saints salute you.

14. The Grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, bee with you all. Amen.

Hee concludes the Epistle with a very fit Exhortation, which is sixfold. Exhort. 1. That they may rejoyce in obeying my admonitions with real joy. 2. That they may bee perfect, or sound, and schisme being laid aside, may bee joyned together amongst themselves. 3 That they may have comfort by obeying him. 4 That in opinions they may agree amongst themselves. 5 That joyned in affections they follow peace. Which exhor­tations hee confirms by promising the divine presence in the fuller gifts of his Grace, which God, who delights in peace and love, is wont to give to those that indea­vour after peace and love.

Greet] 6. Hee exhorts, that they would shew to­wards one another the signs of mutual love without dissi­mulation, as it becommeth Saints.

The Grace of our Lord] After his salutation in the name of the Saints, in the end hee applies himself to them by an Apostolical benediction, and wishes further­more, that there might not onely bee granted a right to all the comfortable benefits of Christ, but also an ac­knowledgement, a sense and more full fruition; first, of the Grace of Reconciliation made by Christ; further of his divine Love, which by Christ descends upon us: and thirdly, all sorts of gifts of the Holy Ghost, sealing, even as with his Seal, his desire and hope.

Amen.

The Epistle of Paul to the GALATIANS Analytically expounded.

The Contents of the Epistle.

GAlatia is a Region of Lesser Asia, in which the Apostle had laboriously planted Churches, Act. 16. & 18. certain Pharisees being come hither from Judea, who had embraced the Faith of Christ in profession, taught the observation of the Mosaical Law, together with the Faith of the Gos­pel, as necessary to bee conjoyned to our salvation, and had corrupted many, if not all the Churches of that Region, by their errour, in the mean while those Impostors did pretend that they were sent by the Apostles, Peter, James, and John, and di [...] falsely affirm, that hee (ac­cording to their Opinion) had taught all their Doctrines. Wherefore they highly extolled those three Apostles, but did take away the name and right of an Apostle from Paul, as if hee was not chosen into the society of the Apostles by Christ, neither acknowledged for an Apostle, by the rest of th [...] Apostles. [Page 93] Wherefore in this Epistle (the accusation of the false Apostles being refuted) The Apostle deals with the Galatians, that they may return to the soundness of Faith.

Of the Epistle (besides the Preface and the Conclusion) there are three chief parts. In the first hee deals with the Ga­latians, that they would renounce the errours which they had drunk in; but by the way, that hee might prevent those that accuse him, hee couragiously asserts his Apostleship, lest hee should give place to those three chief Apostles, in his Apostolical authority. In the first Chapter, and the first part of the second.

In the second part hee purposely disputes of Iustification by Faith, and of the temporary use and abrogation of the Mosai­cal Law, in the latter part of the second Chapter, also in the third and fourth.

Lastly, In the third part his Exhortation for perseverance in Christian Liberty being premised, hee counsels them to use it well, and shews which are the true exercises of Christians, lest, either by a dissolute licentiousness, or the supersti­tious observation of Ceremonies, they should neglect the chief Christian duties. In the fift and sixt Chapter.

CHAP. I.

THere are three parts of the Chapter: In the first is a Preface to vers. 6. In the second hee begins to deal with the Galatians, that they return into the way from their errour in observing the Levitical Law, and that imaginary conjunction of Iustification by Works, with Iustification by Faith, as if this had been possible; some Arguments to this end being propounded, to vers. 13. In the third part the Apostle confirms the last Argument from signs concerning the divinity of his Do­ctrine, to the end.

Vers. 1. Paul an Apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Iesus Christ, and God the Father who raised him f [...]om the dead:

The whole Preface is ordered for the preparing the mind of the Galatians to obey his Doctrine concerning the Grace of Christ. The scope may bee perceived in this or the like Proposition to the same sense: Yee ought to beleeve and obey mee, admonishing you of the true cause of Justification and Sanctification: Eight Argu­ments are intimated to this end, whereof some are con­tained in the inscription, vers. 1, 2. Some in the saluta­tion, vers. 3. Some in the description of Christ, vers. 4. Some in the doxology, vers. 5.

An Apostle] Argum. 1. I Paul which write these things unto you am an Apostle of supream authority in the ministery of the Church: Therefore you must be­leeve and obey mee.

Neither of men] Argum. 2. My office is not of hu­mane invention, or is not founded in humane authority, but God is the Author of it, so that my Doctrine cannot bee contemned without injury done to God: Therefore except you would reject God that sent mee, yee must hearken to mee.

Neither by man] Argum. 3. I am not mediately, or by the Ministery of men called, but immediately by God, viz. Christ, by him now raised from the dead, and by God the Father who gave testimony to the Do­ctrine of his Son, by raising him from the dead: There­fore yee must beleeve and obey my Doctrine.

Vers. 2. And all the Brethren, which are with mee, unto the Churches of Galatia.

Argum. 4. I have called all the Brethren, which are with mee, to the society of this admonition written to you, all the Brethren with mee, which together with my self salute you, will sometimes bee witnesses against you, unless you obey my Doctrine: Therefore yee ought to beleeve and obey mee.

Churches] Argum. 5. Although yee bee infected with a dangerous errour, yet I think you are to bee accounted in the number of the Churches: Therefore recompence mee, and acknowledge mee as an Apostle sent to the Churches, to bee obeyed and believed.

Vers. 3. Grace bee to you and peace from God the Fa­ther, and from our Lord Iesus Christ.

Argum. 6. I according to the authority bestowed up­on mee by the providence of God do not doubt to give you right to the blessing of the Gospel, and to intreat Grace, i. e. a more plentious acknowledgment, sense, and fruit of Gods free mercy, reconciliation, and forgiveness of sins, and the other effects of the Grace of God condu­cing to sanctification: Together with peace or a sound tranquillity of heart, and other good things which ap­pertain to your happiness, that all things may bee deri­ved to you from the God of Peace, and from the Lord Christ the Mediatour, the onely Fountain of Grace and Peace: Therefore I ought to bee beleeved while I open to you the reason of this Grace and Peace communicated to you.

Vers. 4. Who gave himself for our sins, that hee might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the Will of God, and our Father,

Hee makes a description of Christ from the work of Redemption; that hee might shew, that our whole salva­tion by the Grace of God comes to us through his merit; from whence

Argum. 7. Our salvation or redemption (from that lost condition of the wicked, who are of this world with­out Christ) is obtained by the death of Christ alone, and that by the decree and institution of God the Father, who hath ordained this onely free cause of salvation: Therefore I ought to bee beleeved and obeyed admonish­ing you, that you would acknowledge this the alone cause of your salvation.

Vers. 5. To whom bee glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Argum. 8. God is worthy, and Christ also, to whom, for such a gift and ineffable Grace, Glory should bee given by all for ever: Therefore I ought to bee beleeved by you vindicating this glory of the Grace of Christ amongst you, lest it should bee obscured or taken away by the me­rit of humane works.

The second Part.

Vers. 6 I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you in the Grace of Christ, unto ano­ther Gospel.

The second part of the Chapter follows, wherein hee proves that the errour, concerning that imaginary and impossible conjunction of justification by works, and ju­stification by Grace, or by Faith in Christ, must bee re­nounced, in which errour now they were entangled by the false Apostles, who taught the observation of the Mo­saical Law to bee also necessary for the salvation and ju­stification of those that beleeve in Christ, The Argu­ments which hee urges, that they may renounce this er­rour are nine. Of whom some are used by way of repre­hension, others are openly brought in the disputation following.

I marvel] Argum. 2. Your revolting, O Galatians, from the Grace of Christ, to the merits of humane works, Is to bee wondred, that so soon as ever the Faith of Christ was admitted, and Grace for your conversion received, yee fell from it: Therefore yee must renounce this errour.

Removed] Argum. 2. By this your errour yee have forsaken God, who hath called you into the Grace of Christ, and have betaken your selves to humane works: Therefore you must renounce this errour.

Removed away] Argum. 3. By this errour yee are re­moved from the Gospel of Christ, into another, I know not what Gospel feigned by men; Therefore you must renounce this errour.

[Page 94] Vers. 7. Which is not another; but there bee some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ.

Arg. 4. There is no other Gospel besides that onely true Gospel preached by mee amongst you, but all other Doctrine of the Gospel is feigned and counterfeit, which doth not accord with my Doctrine: Therefore yee must renounce this errour.

Trouble] Arg. 5. Those Teachers which have seduced you, are enemies to your peace, because they take away from you that peace, which the justified by Faith have towards God: Therefore yee must renounce their Do­ctrine.

Pervert] Arg. 6. The supplantours and overthrowers of the Gospel of Christ, are those seducers, which would seem Teachers: For nothing, is more contrary to the Gospel concerning free Justification by Faith, than Justification by Works: Therefore you must renounce this errour.

Vers. 8. But though wee, or an Angel from Heaven preach any other Gospel unto you, than that which wee have preached unto you, let him bee accur­sed.

Arg. 7. If there bee any one who hath preached ano­ther Gospel besides that which I have preached unto you, hee is obnoxious to an eternal curse, I do not except my self, yea, neither the Angels, if it could bee, that if I should teach another Doctrine, or that if they should propound any other than that which is preached by mee: Therefore you must renounce this errour.

Vers. 9. As wee said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other Gospel unto you, than that yee have received, let him bee accursed.

Hee urges this Argument, that they might understand that hee spake not from any perturbation of mind, concer­ning the curse pronounced against them, who preached that any thing was to bee joyned with the Gospel, ei­ther contrary to, or besides the Doctrine which hee had preached.

Vers. 10. For do I now perswade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not bee the servant of Christ.

Arg. 8. From the comparing himself with the false Apostles: my Doctrine doth not perswade you that men are to bee heard, as the Doctrine of your seducers; who alwaies boast of the authority of so many Jews. But my Doctrine perswadeth, that God is to bee heard. I do not seek to please men, as your seducers, who by seducing you, indeavour to make themselves acceptable to the un­converted Jews, as to those that superstitiously are zea­lous of the Law: Therefore yee must renounce the er­rour, which they have taught you.

For] Hee confirms this Argument: Because if hee had as yet studied to please men, as hee did in times past when hee was a Pharisee, hee could not bee the servant of Christ, but of men, viz. of those which hee had endea­voured to please.

Vers. 11. But I certifie you Brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of mee is not after man.

12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Iesus Christ.

Arg. 9. My Doctrine is heavenly, from the immedi­ate revelation of God, not feigned by men, neither de­rived to mee from God by a meer man, after an ordinary manner, but immediately revealed by Jesus Christ: Therefore yee ought to persevere in that, and to renounce the contrary errour.

The third Part.

Vers. 13. For yee have heard of my conversation in time past, in the Iews Religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the Church of God, and wa­sted it.

In this Chapter hee gives six signs of this matter. Sign 1. Is the enmity of his mind, which hee bore a­gainst Christ and his Church, in times past when hee was a Pharisee, which mind hee had never changed, had not God from Heaven convinced and turned him to the Faith.

Vers. 14. And profited in the Iews Religion, above many my equals in my own Nation, being more ex­ceedingly zealous of the traditions of my Fathers.

Sign 2. That being bewitched by the knowledge of the Law, and zeal of the traditions of his Fathers, hee could neither see, nor bear the Truth of the Gospel, un­less hee had been taught by inspiration concerning the Truth, much less know and preach the hidden myste­ries of it.

Vers. 15. But when it pleased God, who separated mee from my Mothers womb, and called mee by his Grace,

16. To reveal his Son in mee, that I might preach him among the Heathen, immediately, I conferred not with flesh and blood.

Sign 3. His wonderful and free calling to the Faith and Apostleship (the history whereof is contained in Act. 9.) powerfully derived from the predestinating counsel of God, which Grace God most clearly manife­sted in his embassage to the Gentiles, and his providence prepared a way to the manifestation of grace in his nati­vity and education: That hee was born of such Parents, of such a temperament and constitution of body, that hee was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, that hee was a Pharisee, that the providence of God concerning him worthy of special observation was apparent in all things, and brought it so to pass, that hee may say, that hee was prepared from the womb, and ready to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles: so that all things by the counsel of God did make for the preparation of the Apostle to this bu­siness.

I conferred not] Sign 4. That being so manifestly convinced concerning the certainty of the voice from Heaven, and his immediate calling, and being sufficient­ly perswaded of this, hee durst not deliberate of a mat­ter so certain, neither hear humane reasons or counsels, which might with-draw him from the obedience of his calling.

Vers. 17. Neither went I up to Jerusalem, to them which were Apostles before mee, but I went into A­rabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

18. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen daies.

19. But other of the Apostles saw I none, save James the Lords Brother.

Sign 5. That being sufficiently by Christ himself im­mediately instructed in the mystery of salvation; hee went not to the Apostles called before him, but hee preached the Gospel, the three first years of his A­postleship in Arabia and Damascus. And after three years, comming to Ierusalem, hee visited Peter, and Iames onely, and tarryed with them a few daies, and that by reason of that intimacy betwixt them, and not for the confirmation of his knowledge.

Vers. 20. Now the things which I write unto you, be­hold, before God, I lie not.

For the confirmation of which history, besides those witnesses that now live, who could not bee ignorant of so notable a matter, hee uses an oath.

Vers. 21. Afterwards I came into the Regions of Sy­ria and Silicia,

22. And was unknown by face unto the Churches of Ju­dea, which were in Christ.

23. But they had heard onely, that hee which persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the Faith which once hee destroyed.

24. And they glorified God in mee.

Sign. 6. That hee had publickly taught, and that by his Apostolical authority in Syria and in Cilicia, all the [Page 95] Apostles, and all the Churches approving of it, and by name the beleeving Jews, who had never seen him, but being certified of his conversion from a Persecutor to a Preacher, did glorifie God. All which signs do assure you of the heavenly original of his Doctrine.

CHAP. II.

THere are two parts of the Chapter: In the first hee proceeds to write the history, which hee declared, and to add the other signs of his Apostleship, or his di­vine Doctrine, to vers. 15. In the remaining part of the Chapter hee confirms, that Righteousness is by Faith, and not by the works of the Law.

Vers. 1. Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with mee also;

2. And I went up by revelation, and communicated un­to them the Gospel, which I preach among the Gen­tiles, but privately to them which were of reputa­tion, lest by any means I should run, or had run in vain.

Six Signs of the heavenly and divine Doctrine of the Apostle went before, five others follow. Sign 1. That God directed the course of his Ministery by special reve­lation, that hee might know from whence and where­fore hee came; The example whereof hee shews in his ascending to Ierusalem by revelation: which revelation was a divine approbation of his Apostleship and Do­ctrine.

Communicated] Sign 2. That hee communicated to the Apostles the manner of his doctrine delivered a­mongst the Gentiles, that his consent with them might bee made manifest, and namely with Peter, Iames, and Iohn, lest hee should bee deprived of the fruit of his Mi­nistery amongst some by the calumnies of his Emulators, who falsely said, that the Doctrine of the Apostle Paul did disagree from the Doctrine of the rest of the A­postles.

Vers. 3. But neither Titus, who was with mee, being a Greek; was compelled to bee circumcised:

4. And that because of false Brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spie out our liberty, which wee have in Christ Iesus, that they might bring us into bondage.

5. To whom wee gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour, that the Truth of the Gospel might continue with you.

Sign 3. That in the presence of the Apostles, hee pleaded this very cause in the person of Titus, of freeing Christians from the yoak of Circumcision, and defended him lest hee should bee circumcised, against the false Bre­thren, who went about to take away Christian Liberty from Beleevers, that they might bring the Churches of Christ into bondage, to whom the Apostle does not in the least give place, that the sincerity of the Doctrine of the Gospel might remain pure amongst the Gentiles, and namely amongst the Galatians, which was an evident sign of his heavenly and divine Doctrine, wherein hee had instructed the Galatians.

Vers 6. But of these, who seemed to bee somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it makes no matter to mee, God accepteth no mans person) for they who seemed to bee somewhat, in conference added nothing to mee.

Sign 4. Whereof there are four Branches.

(1.) That the Apostles which were called chief, Pe­ter, Iames, and Iohn, having heard his Doctrine, cor­rected nothing, added nothing to his knowledge: In the mean while hee prevents an Objection concerning their personal prerogatives, of which hee will not speak, as of those that had seen Christ in the flesh, that were called to the Apostleship before him, that were nearer of kin to Christ, &c. Because these and such like did conduce no­thing to their doctrine, to their Apostolical authority, to the commendation of man before God, seeing that God doth not accept the persons of men.

Vers. 7. But contrariwise, when they saw that the Gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto mee, [...]s the Gospel of the Circumcision was to Peter.

8. (For hee that wrought effectually in Peter to the A­postleship of the Circumcision, the same was mighty in mee towards the Gentiles.)

(2) That those three Apostles acknowledged the A­postleship of Paul amongst the Gentiles, to have no less authority and efficacy from God, than the Apostleship of Peter amongst the Jews.

Vers. 9. And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to bee Pillars, perceived the Grace that was given unto mee, they gave to mee and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that wee should go unto the Heathen, and they unto the Circumcision.

(3) That those three Apostles perceiving the gifts and signs of Apostleship in Paul, gave to Paul and Bar­nabas the right hand of fellowship, that with the like au­thority they should execute their Apostolical charge a­mongst the Gentiles, as they amongst the Jews.

Vers. 10. Onely they would that wee should remember the poor, the same which I also was forward to do.

(4) Those three desired Paul and Barnabas, that they would procure a Collection to bee made by the Churches of the Gentiles, for the use of the poor Jews, that which Paul and Barnabas have faithfully performed.

Vers. 11. But when Peter was come to Antioch, I with-stood him to the face, because hee was to bee blamed.

Sign 5. Of his heavenly and divine Doctrine, name­ly, in the Article of shunning the Ceremonial Yoak of Moses, That Paul openly reprehends Peter himself tur­ning off from this Doctrine, and brings him into the way again, which that it may better appear, the things that follow are observeable.

By the decree of the Synod at Ierusalem, Act. 15. the necessity of the Ceremonial Law amongst the Jews is abro­gated, and liberty is left to the Jews of using ceremonies for a time, all observation of the Levitical ceremonies, amongst the Gentiles, is expelled from the Christian Churches, as from those to whom the Law of Ceremonies was never designed, nor given: They are onely comman­ded to abstain from some meats, le [...]t they use their liber­ty to the scandal of the weaker Jews, and that by force of the Moral Law, which in matters simply indifferent, doth circumscribe the use of liberty with the bounds of scandal. Peter the Apostle going down to Antioch, by the sentence of the Synod at Ierusalem, useth his liberty, and eats meat with his Brethren, the Gentiles; some who held the Ce­remonies of Moses went down in the mean while to An­tioch from Iames: Here Peter ought not to counterfeit his Christian Liberty, which the day before hee profes­sed, but to remain in fellowship with the Christian Gen­tiles, and to defend his fact by the authority of the Synod; But Peter fearing le [...]t hee should incurr the hatred of the Jews, which came down from Iames, with-draweth him­self from the Table of the Christian Gentiles, and eateth no more with them; others imitate the example of Peter: The evil spreads abroad to the drawing Barnabas into the same dissimulation: by this example scandal was given to the Jews to the confirming of them in Judaisme, and not put away the yoak of Moses (already broken and dissolved by the Authority of God in the Synod.) Scandal also is given to the Christian Gentiles, who are compel­led by the example of so great an Apostle, either to take upon them the yoak of Ceremonies, or renounce the so­ciety of the Apostle; what could Paul do in this case? certainly as it became him, hee resisted Peter to his face, and reproved him publickly.

Vers. 12. For before that certain came from James, he [Page 96] did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, hee with-drew, and separated himself, fearing them which were of the Circumcision.

The reasons of his reprehension are three. Reason 1. Because hee dissembled the freeing of Christians from the yoak of Moses, for fear of the hatred of some Jews, when hee ought rather to fear, lest hee should give scandal to the Jews or Gentiles.

Vers. 13. And the other Iews dissembled likewise with him, insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

Reason 2. Because by his example hee drew others with himself into the same dissimulation.

Vers. 14. But when I saw that they walked not upright­ly according to the Truth of the Gospel, I said unto Pe­ter before them all, If thou, being a Iew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Iews: why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Iews?

Reason 3. For which, Paul rightly reproves Peter, be­cause when hee had preached that a man is justified by Faith alone, without the works of the Law; by this hee confirms the false Doctrine of those, that taught Moses Law necessarily to bee observed to salvation: which was to halt in his course towards the mark of Evangelical Truth, or to take a very ill course, for the preservation of the Doctrine of Grace pure; which fact was a most manifest sign that his Doctrine, which hee had taught to the Churches of Galatia concerning justification by the Grace of Christ, and freedome from the yoak of Ce­remonies, was so heavenly and divine, that thereby hee had convinced Peter himself of errour, when hee did not do things consentaneous to his doctrine.

The Second Part.

Vers. 15. Wee who are Iews by nature, and not sin­ners of the Gentiles,

16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the Works of the Law, but by the Faith of Iesus Christ: even wee have beleeved in Iesus Christ, that wee might bee justified by the Faith of Christ, and not by the Works of the Law, for by the Works of the Law shall no flesh bee justified.

From the occasion of his contention with Peter, Paul commeth to the other part of the Chapter, wherein as in the Epistle to the Romans, hee confirms that Justification is not by Works of the Law, but onely by Faith; whilst hee affirms this Doctrine, hee repeats his discourse had with Peter, that all might know, that hee had taught no­thing else to the Galatians than that (many faithful both of the Jews and Gentiles hearing) speaking openly for the convincing of Peter, which hee had taught before and defended, viz. wee who are Iews by Nature, &c. The sense whereof is, if referred to Peter, wee who are Jews by Nature or propagation, wee are holy in Gods account by the Covenant, and not sinners, i. e. strangers from the Covenant, as the Gentiles; wee, (sayes hee) Jews and Apostles, knowing that man is not justified by the Works of the Law, but by Faith in Christ, flie by Faith to Christ to this end, that wee may bee justified by Faith, and not by the Works of the Law: Therefore the Gentiles are not to bee compelled to Judaize, and to undergo the yoak of the Law, as if they were any way under the Covenant of Works.

But if these words bee referred to the principal intent, it is a Proposition of the Doctrine, and of the same kind with that, which hee had taught the Galatians, and to which hee exhorted them to return, to this sense; wee Jews, who by the Covenant are born the holy people of God, and not strangers from the Covenant, as you Gen­tiles, wee are compelled to renounce the Works of the Law in point of Justification, and to seek Righteousness through Faith in Christ: Therefore much more to bee done by you gentile Galatians: Furthermore, hee con­firms this Doctrine in this Chapter with three Ar­guments, by the way answering Objections.

Argum. 1. No flesh is justified by the Works of the Law: Therefore the Jews nor Gentiles.

Vers. 17. But if, while wee seek to bee justified by Christ, wee our selves also are found sinners: is therefore Christ the Minister of sin? God forbid.

Turning his speech to the Galatians, hee solves the ad­versaries Objection; The adversaries might say, If whilst yee seek to be justified by Christ, and not by the Law or Works, yee are found sinners, as from your own confession, and your own mouth wee may judge of you, then it will be lawful for you Christians, justified by the Faith of Christ, to give your selves liberty to sin, and through you Christ will bee the Author and Minister, or the Teacher of sin, that you may sin by his authority.

Hee answers by abhorring the Objection, as blasphe­my: God forbid (sayes hee) confidently denying it to follow from the Doctrine of Justification that it is law­ful for him that is justified by Faith, to sin, or that Christ can bee said to bee the Minister or Teacher of sin.

Vers. 18. For if I build again the things which I de­stroyed, I make my self a transgressor.

Hee gives four reasons of his Answer; The first is this, I betaking my self to Justification by the Faith of Christ, have entred upon a sure course for the destroying of sin, because I betook my self to Christ, that hee might both forgive my sin, and administer grace to the mortification of sin: Therefore if I should again give my self up to sin, (as is objected) and build the work of the Devil in mee, I should bee contrary to my self, I should transgress the means which is now laid for the destroying of sin, and so I should bee foolish and mad, not following the Doctrine of Justification by Faith: Therefore from the Principles of Justification by Faith it is impossible, that I should abuse the Grace or Name of Christ to sin more free­ly.

Vers. 19. For I through the Law am dead to the Law, that I might live unto God.

Reas. 2. I by the strength of the Law, am slain in the death of Christ, and in respect of the Law or Legal Co­venant I am dead to the Law, and so set free from the Covenant of the Law, to that end, not that I should sin, but that I should live unto God, and should obey him: Therefore from the Principles of this Doctrine I cannot indulge my self to sin. The Argument is of force, for if through the Law or Covenant of Works, Christ is dead, in the place of those that are to bee justified, to this end, that they being justified should live unto God; It is im­possible, that the justified, who in Christ are dead to the Law, and would bee accounted free from the Covenant of Works, should not also acknowledge themselves bound to live unto God, and consequently, that they ought not to indulge themselves in sin.

Vers. 20. I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in mee, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the Faith of the Son of God, who loved mee, and gave him­self for mee.

Reas. 3. Confirming the former: I being justified by Faith, am judicially united unto Christ crucified, and in him I am judicially bound to dye unto sin, to crucifie the old man: Therefore I cannot consent to sin from the principles of the Doctrine of Justification by Faith. This is the Reason, Christ our Surety on the Cross, did not onely expiate the sins of the redeemed, but also for their sakes hee promised that they should dye to sin, and cruci­fie their corrupt nature: Therefore hee which by Faith apprehending his judicial union with Christ crucified, it is necessary also that hee acknowledge his obligation, to dye to sin, or to crucifie his old nature by the virtue of Christ.

Nevertheless I live] I justified by Faith, am a new Creature, by the Spirit of Christ living in mee, so that I [Page 97] live not, as to the old man, but Christ dwelling in mee useth this natural life as his Organ and Member, and Effects, that by Faith, in his strength, I may lead this life, taking care of all my affairs, that I may, as it were, bring the Spirit into obedience unto God, and that out of his same love, by which hee dyed for mee: Therefore I cannot consent to sin from the principles of justifying Faith. The force of the Argument in short is this; The Spirit quickens us that are justified by the Faith of Christ to live holily: Therefore Justification by Faith doth not give liberty to sin.

Vers. 21. I do not frustrate the Grace of God: for if Righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain.

The Objection is removed: The second Argument for Justification by Faith, and not by the Works of the Law followeth: If Justification bee by the Works of the Law, the Grace of God is in vain, and made of none ef­fect; for if Justification bee by Works, it cannot bee by Grace, as Rom. 11.6. But God forbid, that I should make the Grace of God of none effect: Therefore God forbid, that I should determine Justification to bee by Works.

For if] Argum. 3. If Justification bee by the Law, Christ is dead in vain, because then both otherwise, and more easily Justification might bee obtained, than by the death of Christ: But it is absurd to say that Christ is dead in vain: Therefore Justification is not by the Law, but by Faith.

CHAP. III.

Vers. 1. O Foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the Truth, be­fore whose eyes Iesus Christ hath been evi­dently set forth, crucified among you?

Because hee knew that the minds of the Galatians were prepossessed with a false opinion, Therefore lest they should faint upon the following disputation, he by a grave objurgation shaketh them out of their drowsiness, and pricks their consciences, as it were, with four stings. For first of all hee calls them foolish and unadvised, Because they suffer themselves foulely to bee deceived, although not out of malice, yet by their own imprudence. (2) He calls them bewitched, i. e. deluded by the delusions of Impostors. (3) Hee objects to them their defection from the saving Truth of the Gospel, concerning the Grace of Christ. (4) Hee amplifies their crime from this, that Christ was so evidently preached amongst them, and his sufferings with the causes of them so clearly ex­plained, as if the whole matter (as in a painted Table) had been set before their eyes. The Preface being pre­mised, hee goes on to confirm, that Justification is by Faith, and not by the Works of the Law; in four and twenty Arguments.

Vers. 2. This onely would I learn of you, Received yee the Spirit by the Works of the Law, or by the hearing of Faith?

Argum. 1. Yee have not received the Spirit of Rege­neration and other graces (by which the preaching of the Gospel is sealed amongst you) by Works, or by Do­ctrine received from the Covenant of Works, but by Faith, or by the Doctrine of the Covenant of Grace ap­plied by Faith: Therefore yee are not justified by Works, but by Faith.

Vers. 3. Are yee so foolish, having begun in the Spirit, are yee now made perfect by the flesh?

Argum. 2. Although some Impostors have perswaded you that the beginning of Justification is by Faith, but the accomplishment of it is to be had from Works, yet this o­pinion is to be condemned of folly, because it is impossible, that the spiritual way of justifying by Faith, should consist with that carnal way of justifying by Works, much less, that it should take its perfection from this: Therefore wee are not justified by Works, but by Faith. Righte­ousness by Works is called flesh. (1) Because although now this kind of Justification is impossible, yet it is a common and foolish surmise of corrupt nature, that wee are justified by Works, and by the pride and vaunting of the flesh, this is every where defended. (2) Because all the Works of the unregenerate, or a man not justified by Faith, all his Works, by which hee seeks Justification, are meer flesh, or the effects of corrupt flesh, as they come from those that are not justified: It is as absurd therefore to say that a man is justified by the continual violation of the Law, or can acquire Righteousness by sinning. But as touching Works which follow Justifi­cation, or the remission of sins, they cannot bee the cause of a thing already past before they were or could bee, ex­cept you take Justification for the declaration of Justifica­tion amongst men already passed and pronounced by God.

Vers. 4. Have yee suffered so many things in vain? if it bee yet in vain.

Argum. 3. If in your foolishness you proceed [...] seek for Justification by Works, or to bee justified partly by Faith, partly by Works▪ yee will lose all the fruit of your con­stancy hitherto, and afflictions, which yee have through Faith already suffered for the defence of Righteousness by Faith, but I hope better things: Therefore yee are not justified by Works, but by Faith alone.

Vers. 5. Hee therefore that ministreth to you the Spi­rit, and worketh miracles among you, doth hee it by the Works of the Law, or by the hearing of Faith?

Argum. 4. The Ministers by whom God gives his Spirit, and works miracles among you, are onely they, which teach Justification not by Works, but onely by Faith in Christ: Therefore Justification by Faith alone is approved by God, but not that which is feigned to bee by Works.

Vers. 6. Even as Abraham beleeved God, and it was accounted to him for Righteousness.

Argum. 5. Abraham although hee did very much a­bound in virtues, yet hee was justified by Faith alone; for hee beleeved God, and it was imputed to him for Righteousness. For God hath promised to bless all Na­tions in his seed, i. e. in Christ. Hee hath applied this blessing, (which containeth in it self Righteousness, and life eternal in Christ) to himself by beleeving: There­fore wee are justified not by Works, but by Faith.

Vers. 7. Know yee therefore that they which are of Faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Argum. 6. Those alone who are justified by Faith, or seek to bee justified by Faith, and not by Works, are the Sons of Abraham: Therefore the onely cause of Justifi­cation is by Faith.

Vers. 8. And the Scripture fore-seeing that God would justifie the Heathen through Faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all Nations bee blessed.

Argum. 7. The Spirit which is the Author of the Scriptures, hath known this to bee the Counsel of God; that the Gentiles should bee justified by Faith, and fore­seeing that this would come to pass, hee preached the Doctrine to Abraham, concerning the blessing of the Gentiles in him, as in the Father, the example and type of the faithful: in him in whom the blessed seed Christ was included, as being in his loyns, as it is said of Levi, Heb. 7.10. Therefore necessarily this way alone of Ju­stification is firm.

Vers. 9. So then, they which bee of Faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Argum. 8. The faithful alone, or they which by Faith seek Righteousness, do obtain a blessing with faithful Abraham: Therefore this way of Righteousness by Faith is onely solid.

Vers. 10. For as many as are of the Works of the Law, are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which [Page 98] are written in the book of the Law to do them.

Argum. 9. How many soever are justified by the Law, or seek justification by the works of the Law, are under a curse, because they adhere to the Covenant of Works, yet perform not the condition of this Covenant, that is, per­fect obedience to the Law. Therefore justification is not of Works, but of Faith.

It is written] Hee confirms the antecedent, because out of the Scripture, Deut. 27.26. Cursed is every one that fulfilleth not the whole Law: For they that seek justification by works, do not fulfill the whole Law: There­fore they are cursed.

Vers. 11. But that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident▪ for the just shall live by faith.

Argum. 10. The Scripture, Hab. 2.4. pronounces that the just one shall live by faith, therefore no man by the Law, or by Works shall be justified in the sight of God: Hee adds in the sight of God, because hee doth not deny but that wee are justified by Works in the sight of men. For justification before men is nothing else but the ac­knowledgement and declaration of justification already made by faith in the sight of God, by reason of the fruits of faith that are manifested.

Vers. 12. And the Law is not of faith: but the man that doth them, shall live in them.

Argum. 11. Proving the consequence of the former Argument: The Law or the cause of justifying by Works, doth not consist with faith, or with justification by faith, because the legal promise is of giving life to him that doth, and performeth the Law, or to him who hath per­fect inherent righteousness. For faith bringeth righteous­ness imputed to them that beleeve in him who justifies the ungodly, or bringeth righteousness to him, who is destitute of Righteousness from himself: Therefore if any righteousness bee given, it is given by Faith, and not by the Law, and consequently righteousness of faith is alone to bee acknowledged.

Vers. 13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.

Argum. 12. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us upon the Cross, under­going a cursed death upon the Cross for us, as it is manifest from Scripture, which declares that kinde of death, which Christ by the Counsel of God was to undergo (to wit, the hanging on a tree) cursed: Therefore justification is not by the Law, but by faith in Christ, who freed us from the curse of the Law.

Vers. 14. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Iesus Christ; that wee might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Argum. 13. For this end Christ was made a curse, that in Christ apprehended by faith, the blessing of Abraham, i. e. Righteousness, and life eternal in the blessed seed, might appear to the Gentiles, who are destitute of works to which they may pretend to trust: Therefore justifica­tion is by faith, and not by works.

That wee might receive] Hee changes the person, and joynes himself, and the other beleeving Jews to the be­leeving Gentiles, adding Arg. 14. Christ for this end, is made a curse, that all wee beleevers being Jews and Gentiles, becoming one seed of Abraham, might receive the promised Spirit of adoption by faith. Therefore the justification of all us Gentiles and Jews is by faith, un­less wee affirm that Christ was frustrated of his end.

Vers. 15. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; though it bee but a mans Covenant, yet if it bee con­firmed, no man disanulleth or addeth thereto.

16. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made: Hee saith not, And to thy seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.

17. And this I say, that the Covenant that was con­firmed before of Christ, the Law which was four hun­dred and thirty years after cannot disanul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

In these three verses is Argum. 15. confirming the for­mer: Covenants and Agreements justly performed, even amongst men, cannot bee made void, or bee changed by superaddition, vers. 15. But a Covenant is duely made betwixt God and Abraham for the uniting all the faithful, both Jews and Gentiles, into one seed, Christ, an incorpo­ration being made of Christ the head, and all his mem­bers, into one Christ mystical, by faith, vers. 16. There­fore this Covenant cannot bee made void, nor by the superaddition of the Law bee changed, and so justifica­tion by faith shall stand. That this Argument might bee understood, vers. 15. The Apostle prevents an Objection, some might say, That the way of justifying is changed, neither is there the same reason of justifying Abraham before the Law, and his posterity, with whom the Law was made. For latter things use to derogate from former. He answers, that in a ratified Covenant, and now con­firmed by Will and Testament, nothing even amongst men can bee made void or changed, much lesse in the di­vine Covenant, now established after the manner of a Will. Furthermore vers. 16. hee assumes, that so God co­venanted with Abraham concerning a blessing freely to be given to those that beleeve in Christ, that hee might take into one body his seed (which consists both of Gentiles and Jews) by the words of the Covenant: This hee proves from the words of the promise, because God said not to Seeds (as if there should bee more seeds, to wit, Gentiles asunder, and Jews asunder) but hee said to thy Seed, as of one, viz. meaning Christ, in whom the faithful both of Jews and Gentiles become one seed, i. e. one Christ mystical by faith.

Lastly, vers. 17. Hee concludes that this Covenant confirmed by a sacrifice after the manner of a Will, and established by God, with relation unto Christ, could not bee made void, or of none effect by the Law, which was given four hundred and thirty years after.

The Promise] Hee includes a reason why this Cove­nant could not bee changed by the Law, viz. because the Covenant is Gods absolute promise, which, as it were, ob­ligeth God promising, that he cannot change it: But the Law hath the nature of a commandement, which bindes not the Legislators, but the subject: For the Legislator can change Laws, but hee cannot change absolute pro­mises. Therefore the Law after so many years made, can­not disanull the Covenant, or the promise absolutely made to Abraham.

Vers. 18. For if the inheritance bee of the Law, it is no more of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Lest any one should object that the Law and the Pro­mise may be conjoyned: Hee answers, and adds, Arg. 16. If the inheritance be of the Law, or works, then not of the free promise, for the one of these takes away the other; but the inheritance is freely given to Abraham by a free promise: Therefore not of the Law, and conse­quently, because the inheritance, or life eternal is not of the Law, or any works, neither shall justification bee by the Law, but only by grace through faith.

Vers. 19. Wherefore then serveth the Law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come, to whom the promise was made, and it was ordained by Angels in the hand of a Mediator.

20. Now a Mediator is not a Mediator of one, but God is one.

Hee moves a question concerning the use of the Law, inquiring to what purpose the Law was made; Hee an­swers and adds, Arg. 17. The Law is given, that trans­gressions might bee manifest, and held in as it were with some bridle untill Christ should come, who is the seed to whom the promise of blessing is made. There­fore seeing that onely the manifestation of sin cometh by the Law, justification is not by the Law, but by Christ, or by faith: And it was necessary to the manifestation of [Page 99] sin, that the Law should bee renewed, because the Jews sinned, and yet did neither acknowledge the power of sin, nor their own impotency to obey the Law: Therefore the Law was urged, until that compleat seed arose, made up of Jews and Gentiles, united (the partition Wall be­tween the Jews and the Gentiles being thrown down) in­to one body with their head Christ by Faith.

Ordained] Argum. 18. A terrible manner of giving the Law, by the Ministery of Angels, and by the hand of a Messenger or Mediator, it was a sign rather of dis­cord, than of peace and concord betwixt God and men: Because a Mediatour or a Messenger useth not to bee one­ly of one party (seeing no man disagreeth with himself) but of parties, whereof one hath made a breach with the other; But God is one, and alwaies constant to himself: Therefore the dis-agreeing party is man, and the manner of making the Law did both signifie and argue that; This is the force of the Argument; which being granted, reconciliation is not made, but discord betwixt God and man remaineth, by that Justification is not: But the Law being given, reconciliation is not made, but dis­cord betwixt God and the people remaineth, as it ap­pears from the manner of giving the Law: Therefore Justification is not by the Law.

Vers. 21. Is the Law then against the Promises of God? God forbid: For if there had been a Law given, which could have given life, verily Righte­ousness should have been by the Law.

Hee propounds another question, whether the Law is contrary to the Promise, shewing to men the contrary waies of justifying.

Hee answers by denying, and adds Argum. 19. If a Law had been given, which could communicate life to sinners, and strength for the performing those things that were commanded, surely Justification had been by the Law; wee may assume; But such a Law is nei­ther given to sinners, nor can bee, Rom. 8.3. Therefore Justification is not by the Law.

Vers. 22. But the Scripture hath concluded all un­der sin, that the Promise by Faith of Iesus Christ might bee given to them that beleeve.

Argum. 20. The Law of God, and the whole Scrip­ture hath concluded all men, and whatsoever commeth from man, under sin, and renders all men guilty of sin, that now nothing else can remain to man, but Faith in Jesus Christ: by which the Promise of free blessing be­longs to all that beleeve: Therefore Justification is not by the Law, but by Faith: For if all are sinners, no man by Works, no man, but by Faith can bee saved.

Vers. 23. But before Faith came, wee were kept un­der the Law, shut unto the Faith, which should af­terwards bee revealed.

Argum. 21. From the end and use of external Dis­cipline, before the comming of Christ in the Church of the Jews, who were daily urged under a curse to perform Obedience to the Law, according to the Covenant. They were daily instructed by the yoak and observance of Ce­remonies imposed touching due Obedience to the com­mands, of their impotency to obey the Law, and of their manifold sins; they were also daily taught that they should flie to the Altar, to sacrifice, to washings, that by this Discipline they might acknowledge themselves to be sinners, and not to bee freed, but by the oblation of the Lamb of God that was to come, and by expiation in his blood, or by Faith in the promised Messias.

From hence is the Argument, wee Jews before the comming of Christ, or before the full revelation of the Doctrine of Faith come, were kept under the external Discipline of the Legal Covenant, as under a Garrison circumscribed with boundaries, that wee might not by any way turn our selves from the curse▪ unless unto that Faith alone which was to bee revealed, i. e to seek Righ­teousness, and a blessing in the promised Messias: There­fore wee are so far from Justification by the Law, that on the otherside, by the Discipline of the Law, the ancient Church was shut up in streights, and compelled to look unto Justification alone by Faith. But the Dis­cipline of the Law is abused by many to a contrary end; yet this was the end of the Legal Discipline instituted by God.

Vers. 24. Wherefore the Law was our School-Master, to bring us unto Christ, that wee might bee justified by Faith.

Argum. 22. Illustrating and confirming the former, The Law or the external form of the Legal Covenant like a School-Master sent to us by God, did instruct our childish Church, and lead it by the hand to Christ, that wee might bee justified by Faith: Therefore wee are so far from Justification by the Law, that on the o­ther side, unless wee bee justified by Faith, the Law is frustrated in its end. For what else did the Law do by propounding moral Precepts, than that, (as in a Glass) it might shew to the Church how far men are distant from Righteousness? what else did Legal Promises and Threatnings speak, if thou canst not perform these con­ditions; if now thou dost shamefully violate all those, thou art undone, and utterly lost, unless thou takest ano­ther course for salvation? Lastly, To the same end did the Ceremonies tend. For what purpose were Sacrifices and Washings, but that they should bee exercised in the daily meditation of their filthinesses, and deserved dam­nation, and should behold in the image of an innocent Creature killed before their eyes, the necessity of their Redemption by a Messias (who is that immaculate Lamb of God) and beleeving in him to Justifica­tion.

Vers. 25. But after that Faith is come, wee are no longer under a School-Master.

Argum. 23. From the abolition of the external Disci­pline of the Legal Covenant, which hee intimates, vers. 23. when hee determined that the use of his Disci­pline was before the time of the Gospel, and until the time of Faith; and vers. 24. when hee compared this Discipline to a School-Master (whose office is onely ap­pointed for our childish age.) The Argument is propoun­ded; After Christ was manifested, and the time of the Gospel, the time of manifesting the free Covenant, [...]or the time of Faith is now come, wee are no more under the pedagogie of the Legal Covenant, or the external Discipline wherewith the Church was exercised, onely until the comming of Christ, i. e. until, and not beyond the time of Faith: Therefore wee are so far from being justified by the Law, that the whole of the external Le­gal Discipline is now abolished under the Gospel. Hee doth not say that the Moral Law is abolished, but hee saith that that pedagogical manner of urging the Legal Covenant, together with the appendages of Ceremonies, is abolished. For although the faithful are freed from the Law, as a Covenant, or as it imports the Covenant of Works; yet they are not freed from the Law comman­ding, or as it is the rule of manners, but rather they are obliged with a nearer and sweeter tye by the Covenant of Grace to obey the Law.

Vers. 26. For yee are all the Children of God by Faith in Christ Iesus.

Hee applies the former Argument to the faithful Gala­tians, and proves them not to bee under the Legal Pe­dagogie, but to bee exempted from the yoak of Leviti­cal Ceremonies, by three Reasons.

Reason 1. All yee faithful Galatians are in the num­ber of Children, i. e. of those that are grown to full age, by reason of your Faith in Christ now manifested: Therefore yee are not under the childish Pedagogie of Ceremonies or Legal Discipline.

Vers. 27. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.

Reason 2. Confirming the former. Now Circumci­sion being made void, yee by the Sacrament of Baptism, [Page 100] have so put on Christ the Son of God, and in the presence of God, you carry the name and person of Christ, that yee may bee esteemed to bee in him, and not in your selves: Therefore yee being the Children of God grown up, are exempted from the Pedagogie of the Law.

Vers. 28. There is neither Iew nor Greek, there is neither Bond nor Free, there is neither Male no Fe­male: for yee are all one in Christ Iesus.

Reason 3. Preventing a tacit Objection, and shew­ing that the Gentiles have no need of Legal Ceremonies, that by those they may bee joyned, after the manner of Proselytes with the People of God. Because in the busi­ness of Faith there is no difference of Nation, whether thou bee Jew or Greek; nor of condition, whether thou bee a Servant, or Free; neither whether thou bee the Male, or the Female. For all you, whosoever are indued with true Faith, do constitute, and as it were, make up one person in Christ: Therefore yee Galatians are no less children grown up, than wee Apostles, or some o­ther faithful Jews: Therefore yee are exempted by Christ from the childish Pedagogie of Ceremonies, Vers. 29. And if yee bee Christs, then are yee Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the Promise.’

Hee prevents another tacit Objection, intimating as if they could not bee the seed of Abraham any otherwise, than by a being united to the People of God by Circum­cision, and the observation of Ceremonies, and withall, hee brings Argument 24. to prove that Justification is not by the Law, but by Faith, which may bee thus for­med: They that are united by Faith to Christ, and so made that blessed seed of Abraham, and heirs according to the Promise, and not according to the Law, or Cove­nant of Works, they are not justified by the Works of the Law, but by the Faith of the Promise. But yee are united to Christ, and made Abrahams seed according to the Promise, and not Heirs hereafter according to the Law: Therefore yee are not justified by the Worke of the Law, but through the Faith of the Promise.

CHAP. IV.

THere are three parts of the Chapter: In the first the Apostle doth exhort them to renounce the yoak of Ceremonies, to vers. 12. In the second there is a cour­teous invitation, moving them to return to a sound mind, and to the Doctrine which hee had taught them in the beginning concerning Righteousness by Faith, to vers. 21. In the third hee confirms the whole disputation, and illustrates it by a signal allegory, to the end. As to the first part of the Chapter, bee converts his disputation in­to an Exhortation to the Galatians, that they renoun­cing the servile yoak of the Law, should carry themselves as the Free-men of Christ. The hortatory Proposition is this, yee ought to renounce the yoak of Ceremonies. The Arguments for confirmation are ten.

Vers. 1. Now I say, that the Heir, as long as hee is a Child, differeth nothing from a servant, though hee bee Lord of all,

2. But is under Tutors and Governours, until the time appointed of the Father.

3. Even so wee, when wee were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.

Argum. 1. From the servile and childish external condition in which the Church before the comming of Christ was constituted, which hee illustrates by this si­militude. As an Heir so long as hee is an Infant, or under age, although hee bee Lord of all his Fathers goods according to the Law, yet in respect of possession and exercise of the Law, or as to external liberty, hee dif­fereth nothing from a servant, vers. 1. but remaineth in subjection to Tutors and Guardians until the time ap­pointed by his Father, vers. 2, so the Church of God, whereof wee are members, as to its external state under torrene figures and worldly elements, or the rudiments of legal Ceremonies, as an Abe [...]edarian, sticking in the rudi­ments of A B C, did undergo a hard bondage until Christ.

Hence the Argument; Childish and servile is the yoak of Legal Ceremonies, onely appointed to the In­fant and under-age-Church before the comming of Christ: Therefore yee Galatians who are under the Gospel ought to renounce that yoak.

Vers. 4. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a Woman, made un­der the Law.

5. To redeem them that were under the Law, that wee might receive the Adoption of Sons.

Having spoken of the servile and childish condition of the Church before the comming of Christ, as to the outward man (for as to the Spirit and inward man, the faithful that saw the day of Christ were freed, and re­joyced in the Lord;) now follows the manner of delive­ring the Church by the comming of Christ.

The fulness of time] Argum. 2. Now the fulness of time is come, which the Father had fore-appointed to the Legal Pedagogie, and that Guardianship of Legal Cere­monies is finished: Therefore you Christians must re­nounce the yoak of Ceremonies.

Sent forth his Son] Argum. 3. The Son of God is sent into the world, takes upon him flesh, and is born of the Virgin Mary, and subjected to the Covenant of Works, and the yoak of Legal Ceremonies, that hee might redeem those that were subject to the Law: Therefore yee Christians redeemed from the yoak, ought to renounce it.

That the Adoption] Argum. 4. For that end Christ is made subject to the Law, that wee might clearly attain to the Adoption, or to the Priviledge of Sons grown up, held forth under the Gospel: Therefore wee being un­der the Gospel, ought to renounce the servile and child­ish yoak of Ceremonies, unless wee would render the be­nefit of Redemption of none effect to us.

Vers. 6. And because yee are Sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Argum. 5. For a testimony of your Adoption and advancement to the priviledge of Sons now grown up, God hath given you the holy Spirit, by which toge­ther with other Sons of God out of Jews and Gentiles, yee may call God confidently in every tongue your Father: Therefore except yee would carry your selves as unworthy of this priviledge, yee must renounce the childish and servile yoak of Ceremonies.

Vers. 7. Wherefore thou art no more a Servant, but a Son, and if a Son, then an Heir of God through Christ.

Argum. 6. Yee are no more in that servile condition, under the yoak of Ceremonies, but in a free state, as Sons grown up, and Heirs actually partakers of their Fa­thers goods, or spiritual graces, in a larger measure, than the ancient Church, and that by Christ manifested in the flesh: Therefore now you must renounce that servi [...]e and childish yoak.

Vers. 8. Howbeit, then when yee knew not God, yee did service unto them which by nature are no gods:

9. But now, after that yee have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn yee again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto yee desire again to bee in bondage?

Hee upbraids them with their ingratitude, reprehending them for their observance of Legal Ceremonies, as of daies and months, &c. in which they were neither born nor educated.

Howbeit] Argum. 7. Before yee were Sons, you were in a worser condition, than the Jews, to wit, you were Idolatrous, knowing not the true God, and serving feigned Idols, but now converted from that ignorance, [Page 101] yee have known God, or rather by the preventing Grace of God known and beloved, yee are drawn to God that you might know him, and are invested with the li­berty of Sons. How is it, that a fresh, as if you had been under no bondage, do you turn again to the yoak of abo­lished ceremonial bondage? Therefore this yoak you must renounce. The force of this Argument is this, yee bear the yoak of Ceremonies, having less to pretend for your excuse, and with a more signal note of ingratitude than the Jews born and brought up under the yoak: Therefore you must renounce this yoak.

Again] Argum. 8. Yee being advanced to the liber­ty of Sons grown up, it is an unworthy thing willingly to return again to the yoak of slavery, and to bee willing to bee in bondage: Therefore you must renounce this yoak.

Beggerly] Argum. 9. Those Legal Ceremonies, the yoak whereof now yee affect, although they had their pedagogical use before Christ came, yet now Christ is come, they have no use, but are weak and beggerly ru­diments, which neither have virtue to justifie, nor power to bring consolation, nor their old use to prefigure Christ: Therefore yee ought to renounce this so un­profitable a yoak.

Vers. 10. Yee observe daies, and months, and times, and years.

11. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Argum. 10. Your bondage begun again in the ob­servation of Legal Ceremonies, as for example, of daies, Sabbaths, New Moons, set Feasts, and Sabbatical years, &c. hath given mee just cause of fear, left I have preached to you the Gospel of free Justification in vain; Because this is a sign that you are revolted from Justification by Faith, or from the Grace of Christ, to seek Justification▪ by Works of the Law: Therefore unless yee will renounce the Gospel, yee must renounce this yoak.

The second Part.

Vers. 12. Brethren, I beseech you, bee as I am: for I am as yee are; yee have not injured mee at all.

The second part of the Chapter follows, wherein is contained a loving Exhortation to return into the way, and the wholesome opinion of Justification by Grace, through Faith, without the Works of the Law.

This Proposition of the Exhortation may bee laid down. You must return to my Doctrine of Righteous­ness by Faith, without the Works of the Law, bee yee (saies hee) as I am, or bee yee in the same opinion with mee. The Arguments of the Exhortation are twelve.

Furthermore] Argum. 1. Because I, though in times past, a Pharisee, have been very stiffe for Righteous­ness by the Law, but now being made a Christian, I am as you, and I seek with you your salvation, no less than you your selves seek it: Therefore yee must return to my opinion.

Brethren I beseech] Argum. 2. My fear concerning you, hath neither alienated my mind from you, neither hath it caused a doubtful judgement of charity concerning you, but as Brethren let mee friendly bespeak you, and as Brethren let mee beseech you to return: Therefore re­turn yee.

No] Argum. 3. My severe reproof ariseth not against you, either from anger or hatred, who have not private­ly injured mee at all, but out of an earnest desire of your salvation: Therefore return yee.

Vers. 13. Yee know how through infirmity of the flesh, I preached the Gospel unto you at first.

Argum. 4. I have suffered many things for preaching the Gospel unto you, for yee know that I have preached the Gospel to you constantly, through infirmities, and a contemptible condition, as to the outward-man, where­unto through afflictions I am driven: Therefore return yee to sound Doctrine sealed by my sufferings.

Vers. 14. And my temptation which was in the flesh, yee despised not, nor rejected, but received mee as an Angel of God, even as Christ Iesus.

Argum. 5. In times past you have allowed the causes of my afflictions, neither have yee contemned mee, whilst I was exercised with temptations in my flesh, but yee have received mee as an Angel, as bearing the person of Christ: Therefore now do both the same thing, and re­turn unto the same mind.

Vers. 15. Where is then the blessedness you speak of? for I bear you record, that if it had been possible, yee would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to mee.

Argum. 6. In times past you did account your selves blessed in my Ministery: Therefore if you would bee blessed, it behoveth you to adhere constantly to my Do­ctrine: Hee minds them the more earnestly of this bles­sedness by an interrogation, because they seemed to have forgotten it.

Record] Argum. 7. In time past that you might eve­ry way gratifie mee, yee spared not your most dear injoy­ments: Therefore return yee, and by my example cast off the Legal yoak; If you will do that which is accep­table unto mee.

Vers. 16. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the Truth?

Argum. 8. So far as yee are offended by this sharper reprehension, yee ought to esteem mee an enemy, whom therefore you would not imitate, that on the otherside, be­cause I speak the Truth for your good, yee are bound to make more of mee and my Exhortation.

Vers. 17. They zealously affect you, but not well: yea, they would exclude you, that you might affect them.

Argum. 9. From his unlikeness to the seducers: The false Apostles (saith hee) who earnestly contend that you may bee brought under, and submit to the Legal yoak, they little regard you, and with a preposterous zeal, are carried out towards you, and in very deed they go about to destroy you, desiring to exclude you from mee and my Doctrine, and consequently from the socie­ty of Christ, that yee might follow them, and become their Disciples: Therefore return yee to my Do­ctrine.

Vers. 18. But it is good alwaies to bee zealously af­fected in a good thing, and not onely when I am pre­sent with you.

Argum. 10. My zeal for you is good, and in a good thing, and constant, when I am absent, as well as pre­sent: The zealousie of my Emulators concerning you is perverse and counterfeit: Therefore return yee to my Doctrine.

Vers. 19. My little children, of whom I travel in birth again until Christ bee formed in you:

Argum. 11. The Image of Christ consisting in the Knowledge and true Faith concerning Christ, is de­formed in you by your falling to the yoak of the Law, and Justification by Works: Therefore return yee to my Doctrine.

I travel in birth] I am no less seriously anxious concerning your repentance, nor less solicitously do I labour concerning the reparation of your Faith, and the Image of Christ in you, than one labouring in birth for the bringing forth of a child, or than I my­self did labour for the conversion of you to the Faith: Therefore return yee to my Doctrine.

Vers. 20. I desire to bee present with you now, and to change my voice, for I stand in doubt of you.

Hee confirms this perplext anxiety of minde by a sign, to wit, from his desire of seeing their faces, and in­structing them, and accommodating himself to their ne­cessity: [Page 102] Lastly, from the cause of this anxiety, to wit, that hee was uncertain and dubious about them, whe­ther gently or severely, or what course hee should take with them: For how deeply this errour was rooted in them, how many infected, how every one was affected in his business, unless hee had been present, it could not easily bee known to him.

The Third Part.

Vers. 21. Tell mee, yee that desire to bee under the Law, do yee not bear the Law?

The Third Part of the Chapter follows, in which hee confirms and illustrates the whole disputation from the history of the condition of Abrahams family, in which by a typical Allegory, God hath prefigured the whole matter now disputed. The summe of which is this. God in times past prefigured, that they who seek justification by Works, or a Covenant of works, are in a servile, mi­serable, and cursed condition, and at length shall bee cast from the face of God, and society of the Saints, they that seek justification by grace through faith in Christ, are free Sons of the family of God, and bles­sed, and at length shall certainly come to an inheritance of life eternal, why therefore are you so foolish, O Ga­latians, that yee willingly affect this servile, miserable, and cursed way of justification sought by the works of the Law?

For this end, the Apostle in this last part of the Chapter, First of all provokes them to the Law, or to the books of Moses, that the whole question may bee decided, vers. 21. Furthermore he propounds a typical history of the condition of Abrahams family, ver. 22, 23. Thirdly, he propounds the type, and opens the mystery, vers. 24, 25, 26. Fourthly, hee confirms the exposition out of Isaiah, vers. 27. Fifthly, hee applies the allegory or type to the truly faithfull Christians, and hee comforts himself and the rest against the persecution of the false brethren, strangers to the grace of God, vers. 28, 29, 30, 31.

Tell] That which appertaines to the first, hee re­proves the Galatians of a double errour. The first errour is, that willingly they had affected to bee under the Law, i. e. under the legal Covenant, or the Covenant of works, whose condition is this, that thou binde thy self to the perfect fulfilling the Law, and God deals with thee according to the Covenant of the Law, that is, hee saves thee if thou offend in nothing, but doth curse and destroy thee, if thou become guilty in the least tittle of that which is written in the book of the Law, or art found in the least to turn aside from the Rule: For o­therwise all the faithful are under the Law, as a rule and direction of life, and they are to endeavour obedi­ence to it sincerely in all things, through grace admini­stred by Christ. The second errour is, That they were very ignorant both of the sense and scope of the Law, or of books that were written by Moses.

Vers. 22. For it is written, that Abraham had two Sons, the one by a bond-maid, the other by a free-woman.

23. But hee who was of the bond-woman, was born after the flesh, but hee of the free-woman, was by promise.

In the second place hee propounds from Gen. 16. & 21. the typical history of Abrahams family, wherein there were two wives that were mothers, Hagar, and Sarah. The conditions of the mothers twofold, Hagar was a servant, Sarah free-born: Two Sons, Ishmael a servant of his mother a servant, Isaac free of his mother free-born; a twofold principle of their Nativity, viz. The power of nature according to the flesh eminent in the nativity of Ishmael of a young woman, and the vertue of the pro­mise, or divine supernatural vertue, in the nativity of Isaac of Sarah an old woman and conspicuously barren. From hence arose the unlike disposition of Ishmael and Isaac, so great a discord, that Ishmael persecuted Isaac, and the dissimilitude of both their conditions in the up­shot: Ishmael is cast out of the family, but Isaac obtains the Inheritance, by which type God did figure out the di­vers conditions of the visible Church sprung from di­vers principles and causes. For (1.) As there are two wives Hagar and Sarah, so there are two Covenants of God with men, the Covenant of works or legal, the Co­venant of grace, or the Evangelical. (2.) Both the wives had off-spring, so both the Covenants had their worshippers and professors as born of the Covenant. (3.) As Hagar a young woman according to nature and the flesh brought forth; but Sarah barren, and an old woman according to the power of the divine promise. So the Law or Covenant of works hath the ordinary strength of nature, or the powers of free will for its foun­dation; But the Gospel, or Covenant of grace, hath for its foundation, the special grace of God. (4.) As Ishmael was of a servile and malicious disposition that hee would per­secute his brother, but Isaac indued with an ingenuous and godly disposition patiently indured persecution, so how many justiciaries so ever, seeking righteousness by works, are of a servile and perverse disposition, and they do vexe the true faithful of God. But the truly faithful, and Sons of the promise worship God with an in­genuous piety, and do suffer persecutions as it behoves them.

Vers. 24. Which things are an allegory, for these are the two Covenants, the one from the Mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar.

In the third place the Apostle expounds the significa­tion of the type, as much as belongs to the present pur­pose; and first hee shews that the two Wives are figures of the two Covenants, whereof one is the Covenant of Works represented by Hagar: The other is the Covenant Grace, or faith, represented by Sarah: As to Hagar and the Covenant of Works, the Apostle teacheth, First, That Covenant had its rise from Mount Sinai, because in that mountain the Law was given, and this Covenant was established betwixt God and his people. Secondly, hee teaches that this Covenant generated an off-spring to bondage, or did render the Disciples and professours of it, onely servants, i. e. Mercenary worshippers of God, who do nothing but the external work, and brought to that either by fear, or hope of a reward, and they heing ignorant that this was the end of the Law (that being sensible of our sins we might flye to Christ) do abuse the Law, being meer hypocrites, seeking by it righteous­ness, which they never obtain, but being not freed re­main in their sins.

Vers. 25. For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Ierusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

Hee shews the convenience of the exposition: (1.) From this, because Mount Sinai situated in Arabia, and far removed from the promised Land, was called by the Arabians and Caldeans Hagar, by the special provi­dence of God. (2.) That it had affinity with the earthly Ierusalem (as it was in the Apostles time) or with the Jewish Synagogue, which is said to bee in bondage with her children, because shee was tenacious of the Covenant of works, and continued with her Dis­ciples in a servile condition, strangers to the Redeemer, and free deliverance by him.

Vers. 26. But Ierusalem which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all.

Hee expounds what is figured by Sarah the free-woman, viz. The Covenant of Faith or Grace, whereof the Church of the truly faithful is very tenacious, which is the heavenly Ierusalem that is above, created by God, and studious of heavenly things, the mother of all the faithful, called both of Iews and Gentiles.

Vers. 27. For it is written, Rejoyce thou barren that bearest not, break forth and cry, thou that travellest [Page 103] not, for the desolate hath many more Children than she which hath an husband.

In the fourth place, The Apostle proves the Exposition give [...] out of Isaiah 54.1. where the Church of the faith­ful, the upper Ierusalem, our Mother, is represented by Sarah, barren, as if shee had been a Widow. And the Synagogue of the Jews, unfaithful and tenacious of the Covenant of Works, is represented by fruitful Hagar dwelling with her Husband. But the Church of the faithful before the comming of Christ was compared, as it were to a barren Widow, because her Husband, the Covenant of Grace, was unknown almost to all, except a few, who dispersed hither and thither, did not make a company, neither did Grace appear, but lay hid, like an Husband absent or dead under the covers of Ceremonies. The Synagogue of unbeleeving Justiciaries is compared to a fruitful Wife, dwelling with her Husband, viz. the Covenant of Works conspicuous in the external dispen­sation of the Law. And it is fore-told by the Prophet that it should come to pass, that the Church of the faith­ful, made fruitful by the Promises of God, shall bring forth more children under the Gospel, than the Synagogue hath brought Servants under the Law; and therefore is commanded to rejoyce and praise God.

Vers. 28. Now wee, Brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of Promise.

In the last place hee applies this typical history, and partly admonishes the truly faithful Christians, and partly comforts them, by four Arguments.

Argum. 1. That wee are redeemed children justified by Faith, and truly free born, and regenerated by vir­tue of Evangelical Promises to the similitude of Isaac, who is elder than those other Citizens of the heavenly Ierusalem that were after him.

Vers. 29. But as then hee hat was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the Spirit.

Argum. 2. Of consolation, That suffering persecution by false Brethren, Patrons of free will and Righteousness by Works; were finde nothing unlike to Isaacs condi­tion: For when in Abrahams Family, hee who is onely begotten by the ordinary strength of nature persecuted him, who is begotten by a divine and spiritual way; what wonder then, if the same now bee usual amongst us?

Vers. 30. Nevertheless, what saith the Scripture? cast out the bond-woman and her Son: for the Son of the bond-woman, shall not bee heir with the Son of the free-woman.

Argum. 3. That the persecutors of the faithful, and Patrons of Righteousness by Works, seeing they are not set at liberty by the Son, are to bee cast out of the socie­ty of the Saints, and the inheritance of life eternal; as it was figured by the sentence of God, concerning the ca­sting Ishmael with his Mother out of the family, and ex­cluding him from the inheritance that was to bee en­joyed with Isaac.

Vers. 31. So then, Brethren, wee are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free.

Argum. 4. From the comparing of this verse with the former, that seeing wee are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free, certainly wee shall obtain an in­heritance of life eternal: which Argument with the for­mer, as it hath the virtue of consolation, so also of ad­monition, that they would not adhere to their errour in seeking Righteousness by the Works of the Law, and moreover of an exhortation, that they hold fast Righte­ousness by Grace through Faith in Christ, unless they would exclude themselves from the inheritance.

CHAP. V.

THere are two parts of the Chapter: In the first hee goes on to urge, that shaking off the yoak of the Covenant of [...]orks, and Legal Ceremonies, they may defend their Christian Liberty, to vers. 13. In the other hee gives Precepts concerning the right use of Christian Liberty, to the end.

Vers. 1. Stand fast therefore in the Liberty where­with Christ hath made us free, and bee not entangled again with the yoak of bondage.

The Proposition to bee confirmed in the former part, is plainly proposed under the form of an Exhortation. Yee must stand fast in the Christian Liberty, which is the scope of the former Doctrine and disputation, and it is drawn from that as the conclusion. The Arguments for the proving this Proposition are thirteen.

Argum. 1. Liberty from the servile yoak of the Legal Covenant or Ceremonies thereof, is obtained by the blood of Christ: Therefore you must stand stedfast in that.

Vers. 2. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if yee bee circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

Argum. 2. Is established by an Apostolical obtesta­tion. If you bee circumcised according to the Ceremo­nial Law, now abolished, and add but this one Cere­mony to free Justification by Christ; Christ, whom you declare by this fact an imperfect Saviour, will not ad­vantage you to salvation: Therefore you must stand fast. For if they could not be justified except they joyned Cir­cumcision together with the Grace of Christ, making Christ the half of their Righteousness, they destroy the whole; making him an imperfect Saviour, they made him none at all.

Vers. 3. For I testifie again to every man that is circumcised, that hee is a debter to do the whole Law▪

Argum. 3. Is established by the same obtestation. The Covenant of Works being abrogated, and the Ce­remonial Law now abolished, if any one returns to Circumcision, the Sacrament of initiation to this Legal Covenant, hee by this means makes himself a debtor to the whole Law, and consequently obliges himself to the curse, unless hee perfectly with his whole strength ful­fil the Law, which is the condition of the Covenant of Works. The matter is clear. Because, although Circum­cision by the purpose of God to the faithful, expecting the Messias, until Christ, was a Sacrament of the Righ­teousness of Faith (as Abraham was circumcised) and although in the time of toleration till the clear manife­station of Christian Liberty to them that were born Jews, Circumcision was accounted amongst things in­different (so Timothy born of a Jewish Mother is circum­cised, and Titus is not) yet to all the Jews and Proselytes of the Gentiles seeking Righteousness by Works, or by the Law, Circumcision is made part of the Legal Righ­teousness, or of the Obedience of the Covenant of Works, yea, and the Sacrament of that Covenant. And after this manner the false Apostles did urge Cir­cumcision amongst the Galatians, to whom religious Circumcision was every way unlawful. No wonder then if hee said Christ will not profit them, if they bee cir­cumcised, because they that were circumcised, by that very fact did imbrace the Covenant of Works.

Vers. 4. Christ is become of no effect unto you, who­soever of you are justified by the Law: yee are fallen from Grace.

Argum. 4. Confirming the former, whosoever of you return to Circumcision, and Legal Customes abolished, seeking Justification by the Law, ye [...] by that same fact renounce Christ, and the Covenant of Grace, because the Covenant of Works, and the Covenant of Grace in Christ, do mutually exclude one another, neither can they consist. For if Justification is by Works, it is not by Grace, and on the contrary: Therefore yee must stand in your liberty, except you would be separated from Grace and Christ.

Vers. 5. For wee through the Spirit wait for the hope of Righteousness by Faith.

[Page 104] Argum. 5. Wee Jews and Apostles that are circumci­sed, after our conversion to the faith, being taught by the Spirit, renounce the Covenant of works, and legal customes, and do expect life eternal, as the fruit of justi­fication by Faith: you that are Gentiles by nature can­not otherwise be justified or saved, either by the Law or Circumcision: Therefore you must stand fast in your Christian liberty.

Vers. 6. For in Iesus Christ, neither Circumcision, availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love.

Argum. 6. Confirming the former. In the Kingdome of Christ, or the new state of the Church under the Covenant of Grace, the difference of circumcision and uncircumcision is taken away; that neither helps, nor hinders any thing to justification: Therefore you must stand fast in your liberty from the yoak of the Law.

But faith] Arg. 7. True faith alone, or that which worketh by love, without respect to circumcision or un­circumcision, availeth to the act of justification: There­fore in this way of justification, yee that are in the Kingdome of Christ must necessarily stand fast.

Vers. 7. Yee did run well, who did hinder you, that yee should not obey the truth?

Argum. 8. Not long since yee ran well in the course of the truth of this Doctrine, neither can any account bee given of your falling from the truth: Therefore you must as yet go forward, and stand fast in that course.

Vers. 8. This perswasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

Argum. 9. By answering an Objection. Although perhaps yee are perswaded, that yee continue in a right way, yet that credulity and perswasion to depart from that which you have received from mee, is not from God calling you, but some other way, viz. from impostors, from your inconstancy, and from the Devil: Therefore this perswasion is to bee rejected, and yee must stand fast in the liberty.

Vers. 9. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

Argum. 10. By answering an Objection. Although it may seem that wee mu [...] not contend about the intro­duction of some few customes, for peace sake, and that the Jews might the more easily bee won, yet this little legal leaven, or Judaism, doth corrupt the whole since­rity of the Doctrine of faith. Therefore yee must have a care of that, and stand fast in the liberty.

Vers. 10. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that you will bee none otherwise minded, but hee that troubleth you, shall bear his judgement, whosoever he bee.

Argum. 11. Although the danger of your errour, and inconstancy, make mee suspect the event, yet love, and the constancy of Divine grace commands mee to hope better things, which whilst I behold, I am perswaded that you will return into that opinion with mee concern­ing the casting away the yoak of the Law, and defend­ing your liberty by faith in Christ: Therefore it is meet to satisfie my expectation.

Troubleth] Argum. 12. Your seducers, who trouble your faith, at length, howsoever they are esteemed a­mongst you, shall bee punished by God: Therefore bee yee not intangled in the same snares, but repent, and stand fast in the liberty.

Vers. 11. And I, brethren, if I yet preach Circumci­sion, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the Cross ceased.

Hee refutes the calumny of his Adversaries, and pro­duces Arg. 13. Thou thy self dost teach Circumcision, because thou hast circumcised Timothy: Therefore unde­servedly thou dost accuse us. Hee answers by denying that hee taught Circumcision, because although hee cir­cumcised Timothy born of a Jewish mother (for the use of Ceremonies with the Jews after the yoak of neces­sity was broken by the Decree of the Synod, for a time it was left free) yet hee never preached that Circumcision was to bee observed, but hee both admonished the Jews concerning the abolition of Ceremonies, and taught that legal Ceremonies upon no account should bee re­ceived amongst the Gentiles; which hee proves, because upon this ground hee suffered persecution by the Jews; and because the Jews were not offended at the preaching of the Gospel, or the Cross of Christ, but freely tolera­rated the Apostle, if withall hee would promote the re­ception of Jewish customes amongst the Gentiles.

The strength of the Argument is this, I had rather suffer persecution, than preach that Circumcision is to bee joyned with the Gospel; for if I should conjoyn them, the offence of the Cross would cease, the Jews would tolerate my preaching of Christ crucified: But I dare not in the least depart from the purity of the Gospel: Therefore yee must also stand fast in that.

Vers. 12. I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

At length shutting up the whole Disputation, with an Apostolical Spirit, hee both imprecates and denounces destruction to the Impostors, by whom the Galatians were deceived.

The Second Part.

Vers. 13. For, Brethren, yee have been called unto li­berty, onely use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

The second part of the Chapter follows, wherein the reason of his imprecation is given, viz. because the se­ducers called them back, and drew them again under the yoak, whom God called to liberty; under the form of an exhortation, hee gives three Precepts concerning the right use of Christian liberty.

Onely] 1. That bridleing the flesh, or the sinful lusts of corrupt nature (lest that being unsubdued it should draw Christian liberty into a licentiousness to sin) they may serve one another in the duties of love.

Vers. 14. For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self.

Hee gives two reasons of this Precept, (1.) Be­cause the Law is fulfilled in love, and not in bare cere­monies.

Vers. 15. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed yee bee not consumed one of another.

(2.) Because unless they follow after love, they will mutually devour and destroy one another by con­tentions.

Vers. 16. This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and yee shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

The second Precept is for the confirmation of the former, that they follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost walking as hee himself out of the Scripture hath sug­gested to their hearts.

And that which] The reasons of the Precept are six, Reas. 1. Because so the lusts of the flesh shall not rule over you, that yee may as servants obey its commands: Therefore follow yee the guidance of the Spirit.

Vers. 17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other.

Reas. 2. Confirming the former, because hee that fol­lows the guidance of the Spirit, will become victorious in the contest betwixt the flesh, and the Spirit. That this reason might bee plain, the Apostle presupposes three things: (1.) Hee that is lead by the Spirit hath his na­ture partly renewed, which is called the Spirit, and partly corrupt, which is called the Flesh. (2.) Hee pre­supposes these two contrary principles with contrary en­deavours to fight with one another, that neither good, nor evill without opposition, and a mutual impediment can [Page 105] bee put in execution. (3.) Hee presupposes that the Holy Ghost doth help Beleevers in their striving by the Word and Grace. From whence it is concluded, that hee which hearkeneth to the Spirit, will become victo­rious in striving.

Vers. 18. But if yee bee led by the Spirit, yee are not under the Law.

Reason 3. Confirming the former. Because they that are led by the Spirit, are not servants to sin under the ser­vile Covenant of the Law, to whom onely the knowledge of sin is vouchsafed, but not the victory or strength a­gainst sin: but Gods Free-men are they, who under the Covenant of Grace obtain strength of God for the re­sisting of sin.

Vers. 19. Now the Works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, Fornication, Unclean­ness, Lasciviousness,

20. Idolatry, Witchcraft, Hatred, Variance, Emula­tions, [...]rath, Strife, Seditions, Heresies,

21. Envyings, Murders, Drunkenness, Revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things, shall not inherit the Kingdome of God.

Reason 4. Because if they do not follow the Spirit, but rather the flesh, doing the Works of the flesh (of which sort hee reckons seventeen) they shall not bee heirs of the Kingdome of God.

Vers. 22. But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Ioy, Peace, Long-suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith,

23. Meekness, Temperance: against such there is no Law.

Reason 5. Because if they follow the Spirit, and bring forth such fruit (of whith sort hee reckons nine) they will not have the Law against them, i. e. cursing them, and condemning them; but for Reconciliation sake to­wards God they shall finde the Law their friend: There­fore it behoved you to follow the Spirit.

Vers. 24. And they that are Christs have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Hee proves that they shall not have the Law against them, because they that are Christs, and judicially cru­cified in Christ, for satisfaction to the Law, they are al­so judicially obliged to crucifie the body of sin, i. e. cor­rupt nature, with the affections and lusts. Wherefore they that actually indeavour to peform that, and to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit, they cannot have the Law against them, as they that now seriously indeavour to pro­mote the scope and end of the Law.

Vers. 25. If wee live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Reason 6. Because by the Spirit wee have Consolation, Peace, and Joy, wherein life consists: Therefore wee ought to follow the guidance of the Spirit.

Vers. 26. Let us not bee desirous of vain-glory, pro­voking one another, envying one another.

The third Precept is especially concerning the shun­ning Ambition, with the attendants of that vice, viz. backbiting and envy, with which evils the Churches used to bee infected. But because the Doctors of the Church were chiefly obnoxious to these vices: Therefore hee in­cludes himself in this Exhortation with the rest, that the Galatians may more easily receive this Exhortation.

CHAP. VI.

HEE proceeds to prescribe Christian duties to the Galatians, much more excellent than those Legal Ceremonies, and more worthy of their practice. There are two parts of the Chapter; in the first hee adds to the former Precepts, two other, to vers. 11. In the other hee compares himself with the false Apostles, and deserved­ly prefers himself before them, lest the Galatians by the admiration of those should bee deceived.

Vers. 1. Brethren, if a man bee overtaken in a fault▪ yee which are spiritual, restore such a one in the Spi­rit of meekness, considering thy self, lest thou also bee tempted.

The first Precept concerning dealing gently with the Brethren, who fall through infirmity, that they bee re­stored in the Spirit of meekness by those, who seem more confirmed in the Spirit, but hee speaks especially to the Presbyters, upon whom it lyes by duty to recall those again to repentance that are fallen into scandalls, by ec­clesiastical censures, and to restore again the dis-joynted members of the Church into their place. Hee com­mandeth those to use me [...]kness towards them, that through infirmity are fallen back, and not to deal severe­ly with them, which without doubt belongs to those, who have the power of punishing sinners. There are six reasons of the Precept.

Reason 1. Because the same may happen through a temptation to any one, even to the spiritual them­selves.

Vers. 2. Bear yee one anothers burdens, and so fulfil the Law of Christ.

Reason 2. Because seeing that it may bee presupposed, that sinning Brethren are sorrowful and grieved for their backslidings and sins: Therefore it is fitting that sinners which are dejected and cast down, in all moderation and sympathy, should bee succoured and relieved under their burden.

And so] Reason 3. Because the Law of Love renew­ed by Christ, requireth that from us.

Vers. 3. For if a man think himself to bee something, when hee is nothing, hee deceiveth himself.

Reason 4. Hee that despiseth others that backslide through infirmity, and thinks himself more strong, de­ceiveth himself, is amongst the weakest, yea, hee is a man of no strength at all.

Vers. 4. But let every man prove his own Works, and then shall hee have rejoycing in himself alone, and not in another,

Reason 5. Propounded after the manner of a Precept making for the quelling of self admiration, and shunning the casting contempt upon a backsliden Brother, Be­cause if every one would try himself, and examine his actions according to the rule of the divine Law, no man would arrogate to himself the praise of holiness from o­ther mens sins, but onely from their good actions, if hee found any of them worthy of praise. This was said a­gainst them, who never cease to aggravate another mans sin, that they may seem more holy themselves.

Vers. 5. For every man shall bear his own burden.

Reason 6. Confirming the reason fore-going. Be­cause every one shall give an account of his Works to God, not compared with others, but considered with him­self: Therefore it is not safe to despise those that are fal­len into sin, and to bee lifted up against them, because in like manner thou art not fallen thy self.

Vers. 6. Let him that is taught in the Word, commu­nicate unto him that teacheth, in all good things.

The second Precept belongeth to the people, concer­ning liberality to bee exercised towards the Ministers of the Word, that wee communicate coporal goods to them, who communicate unto us by their office spiritual things, and give themselves to this Work.

Vers. 7. Bee not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall hee also reap.

Hee gives six reasons of the Precept, which are all ex­tended to liberality in general, and do confirm the Pre­cept of Liberality to Pastors the more strongly.

Reas. 1. Supposing these, who are ingrateful towards their Teachers, to bee also niggardly and slow to every good Work, because the excuses of niggardliness, are the delusions of covetous men, with which God will not suf­fer them to delude themselves▪

[Page 106] Whatsoever] Reas. 2. Because every one shall receive fruit according to his deeds, hee that hath onely re­ceived, and refuseth to bee thankful, shall bee re­warded according to his ingratitude, and on the con­trary.

Vers. 8. For hee that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption: But hee that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Hee expounds this Argument in particular: Hee that bestows his goods or substance, and his actions to the fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, hee shall of his doing reap corruption: But hee that on the contrary layeth out himself, and all for the glory of God, and pro­moting the works of the Spirit, hee shall bee graciously rewarded with eternal life.

Vers. 9. As let us not bee weary in well-doing, for in due season wee shall reap, if wee faint not.

Reas. 3. Because whatsoever may bee said concerning liberality shewed by any one already, as if enough was done by him, yet hee must know, that good things past are not sufficient, unless wee persevere in well-doing.

Due] Reas. 4. Illustrating and confirming the for­mer. Because an harvest of rewards shall certainly in due time bee to those alone that persevere in well-doing, and faint not, or bee weary.

Vers. 10. As wee have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the houshold of faith.

Reas. 5. Because the time of exercising well-doing is short, therefore opportunity is to bee observed, whilst life and abilities last, and to reward them when they are dy­ing is somewhat late.

Especially] Reas. 6. The common bond of nature re­quireth that wee should bee liberal to all that are in want: The bond of brother-hood requires charity to­wards the houshold of faith, therefore how much more doth the bond of a flock towards their Pastor require that hee bee nourished by the milk and the fleece of the flock?

The Second Part.

Vers. 11. [...]ee see how large a letter I have written un­to you with mine own hand.

The second part of the Chapter follows, wherein af­ter his Doctrine compared with the errour of his Ad­versaries, now hee compares the Teacher with the Teachers, i. e. Himself, with the Seducers of the Gala­tians, and that for their own edification, who admired those glorious Doctors, their Seducers.

Before hee compares himself, hee premises the com­mendation of his sincere love towards the Galatians, that hee writ this so large an Epistle with his own hand, without the help of any Scribe, as a most ample testimony of his solicitousness for their salvation.

Vers. 12. As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to bee circumcised: onely lest they should suffer persecution for the Cross of Christ.

Hee begins his comparison, and proves the hypocrisie of his Emulators by four signs.

A fair shew] Sign 1. That they study nothing more, than to carry themselves fairly before men.

Onely] Sign 2. That they compel the Galatians to admit of Circumcision, not out of love, but onely lest they should suffer persecution by the Jews for the Do­ctrine of the Cross, or free justification by the death of Christ, and not by the works of the Law.

Vers. 13. For neither they themselves who are circum­cised, keep the Law, but desire to have you circum­cised, that they may glory in your flesh.

Sign 3. That although they were circumcised long since, yet they little care for the observance of the Law, which they required of others.

But desire] Sign 4. That they seek occasion from the circumcision of the Galatians to glory amongst the Jews, that they had converted many Proselytes to the Law.

Vers. 14. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Iesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto mee, and I unto the world.

In the other part of the comparison the sincerity of the Apostle is shewn, in these two things, (1.) That hee onely glories in his free Redemption by Christ crucified, and in his sufferings for the Doctrine. (2.) That hee doth not affect earthly pomp, but contemn the world (with all its pomp and glory) which persecuted and despised him, for the Doctrine of the Cross sake, and by the Cross learnt daily more and more to contemn the world.

Vers. 15. For in Christ Iesus neither Circumcision a­vaileth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Hee gives four Reasons of his endeavour, which are so many signs of his sincerity. Reason 1. I know that in the Kingdome of Christ, neither Circumcision nor Uncircumcision is respected by God, but a new creature, i. e. I know that it is necessary, when any one is admit­ted by faith into the Kingdome of Christ and justified, that hee should bee more and more renewed and sancti­fied, but other priviledges are of no value without new­ness of life: Therefore I will onely glory in the Cross of Christ.

Vers. 16. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace bee on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Reas. 2. The rule of my intention is the summe of the whole Canonical Scripture, to which as to one onely rule, or one onely Canon, the Doctrine and life of all is to bee conformable: Therefore I will only glory in the Cross of Christ, &c.

Peace] Reas. 3. I am perswaded, that whosoever shall order their faith and life by this rule, they shall also ob­tain peace, i. e. a sense of their reconciliation to God, all kinde of blessings, or an accumulation of good things, and mercy, or a remedy for the purging away all e­vills: Therefore I will onely glory in the Cross of Christ.

Israel] Reas. 4. They are alone the true Israel of God, that follow this Rule: Therefore all things laid aside, I will onely glory in the Cross of Christ, by, &c.

Vers. 17. From henceforth let no man trouble mee, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Iesus.

After the Comparison, as a Conquerour hee tri­umphs over his Emulators, forbidding them to make him any further work, either by gain-saying his Doctrine, or by detracting from his Autho­rity, because hee bare the ensign of his Felicity to­wards Christ, viz. the mark of a servant most de­voted to Christ, i. e. Hee hath all the signes of an Apostle, and a faithfull Witness, clearly to bee seen in him.

Vers. 18. Brethren, the Grace of our Lord Iesus Christ bee with your spirit. Amen.

Hee shuts up the Epistle with his accustomed seal, wishing that the Grace of Jesus Christ, manifested, beleeved, and effectual, might abide in their mindes, hearts, and whole life, that from thence they may draw consolation both in life and death, to which Amen is subjoyned as a testimony of his vote, and the faith of an Apostle, and for a seal of the truth of the precedent Doctrine.

The Epistle of Paul to the EPHESIANS Analytically expounded.

The Contents.

THe City of the Ephesians was the Metropolis of Lesser Asia, in which the Apostle two whole years preached the Gospel, Act. 19. And when lastly hee went up to Jerusalem, hee fore-told a change of the Church to the Ephesians, Act. 20. Against which hee fortifies them by this Epistle, when hee was now held captive at Rome, and plainly despaired of his return, hee endeavoureth diligently to confirm, their minds in Faith and Truth.

There are two principal parts of the Epistle, besides the Preface and the Conclusion. The first is, The Doctrine of Grace for the confirmation of their Faith, to Chap. 4. The other is the Doctrine of gratitude and thankfulness tending to holiness of life, to the end of the Epi­stle.

That which belongeth to the first part: First of all hee shews that the whole reason of our sal­vation is free, and solidly founded on Christ, in the first Chapter. Furthermore hee amplifies this Grace from the for­mer misery of the Ephesians, Chap. 2.

Thirdly, The scandal of the Cross lying upon him, being taken away, hee exhorts them to constancy and progress in the Faith, by the glorious commendation of his Ministery, and by manifesting the cause for which hee suffered, Chap. 3.

In the second part hee gives Precepts of keeping the unity of the Church, of holiness of life, as well in general, as in par­ticular, in the shunning of evil, and following after virtue, by which the life of every one is ordered in a Christian manner, Chap. 4. and in the former part of Chap. 5.

After these hee descends to houshold duties, to which and all other Christian duties that are to bee performed, hee arms the faithful, in the latter part of Chap. 5. and in the former part of Chap. 6.

CHAP. I.

THis Chapter; besides the Preface, contains two parts: In the first is a thanksgiving, tending to prove that the whole business of salvation, both of Iews and Gen­tiles, is meerly of Grace, and wholly built on Christ, to vers. 15. In the other is a commemoration of the A­postles continual thanksgiving and prayer, offered to God for the Ephesians, tending to the confirmation of Faith (the assurance of their salvation) and of the per­severance of all truly faithful, unto the end.

The Preface in the two first verses, contains a direction of the Epistle, and a salutation of the Ephesians: which is very short, because hee hath not to do here with en­vious persons, or enemies, but with conformable and obe­dient men, to whom it would bee sufficient briefly to inti­mate his divine authority in writing this Epistle, and the Apostles good will towards them, and opinion of them.

Vers. 1. Paul an Apostle of Iesus Christ by the Will of God, to the Saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Iesus:

In the direction of the Epistle, wee have the descrip­tion of the Writer, from his Name, Office and Authori­ty. And then of those to whom hee writes, from the condition in which they stood towards God, and from the place which they did inhabit on the earth. The Writer is Paul the Apostle, who according to the Will of God by Christ, speaking from heaven, was sent as an extraordi­nary Embassador to the Church, which should afterwards bee gathered to Christ: here is authority enough. Those to whom hee writes are the Saints and Faithful in Christ at Ephesus, who being planted into Christ by Faith, were consecrated to the service of God; here's praise e­nough.

Vers. 2. Grace bee to you, and Peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Iesus Christ.

In the Salutation is contained an Apostolical Benedi­ction, in which (1) Hee wisheth the Ephesians Grace, that is, all heavenly good things which are necessary to Sanctification and Salvation. (2) Hee wishes them the special fruit of this Grace, to wit, Peace, or all things which might conduce to their happiness, but especially quietness of mind, arising from the redemption of Christ; which Redemption applied to them by the Word and the Spirit of God, would assure them of reconciliation with God, and assure them of freedome from evil. (3) Hee opens to them the fountain and chanel of this Grace and Peace wished to them, viz. God from whom, and Christ the Mediatour by whom, and for whose sake, this Grace and Peace is conferred upon us. Here's good will enough towards the Ephesians. And Arguments also suf­ficient to prepare their minds to receive the following Doctrine with that submission and willingness of mind which became them.

Vers. 3. Blessed bee the God and Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

After the Preface follows the Thanksgiving, contain­ing a Proposition to bee proved in the first part of this Chapter, which is this; That the Grace of God in Christ ought to bee celebrated with an acknowledge­ment of Gods blessing towards us, in the whole business of the Salvation of Beleevers: For our blessing, as it hath relation to God, is nothing else but an acknowledgement that God is every way the Author of all blessing or Grace towards us.

In this Proposition hee puts a difference between God the Father, and Jesus Christ the Mediator God-man, that the person and office of the Mediatour might more manifestly appear. And hee calls God the Father the God of Christ, (1) Because of that Grace, whereby the humane nature of Christ was predestinated to the perso­nal union with the Word, his Son. (2) Because of the Covenant of Redemption made between God and Christ the Mediatour. And then hee calls him the Father of Jesus Christ, (1) Because of the eternal Generation of the Son, by which the Father hath from all eternity com­municated to him his whole infinite essence. (2) Because [Page 108] of the personal union of the assumed humane Nature, by which the Son of man is made the Son of God. The chief Arguments to prove the aforesaid Proposition are Thirteen.

Hath blessed] Arg. 1. The God and Father of Christ hath blessed us beleevers, or hath graciously hea [...]t upon us all spiritual and heavenly blessings in Christ. There­fore he is to be blessed, or his grace is to bee celebrated by us: To this purpose, that the grace of God might appear and bee celebrated, all the words of this Argu­ment tend, every one whereof breathes ou [...] grace. For (1.) The giver of these benefits is called God, and the Father of Jesus Christ, and by consequence the God and Father of all us which are in Christ, and that from the Covenant made between the Father and Christ concern­ing us; and consequently our Father, who with a fatherly affection gives us all things.

Hath blessed] 2. The giving of these benefits is actively called the blessing of God, that is, the actual or effectual demonstration of Gods grace (according to his word) in deed towards us.

Hath blessed us] (3.) And here is grace. For we whom God blesseth, are by nature the sons of wrath, and liable to the curse of God, in whom there is nothing, nor can be any thing, which can deserve any good.

With all blessing] (4.) The nature and matter of the benefits themselves includes grace; for a blessing taken passively, is nothing else but a benefit, taking its rise from meer grace.

Spiritual blessings] (5) Here is grace also; For the benefits which are bestowed on us before others are spiri­tual, such as have reference to the eternal salvation of the spirit or soul, which do far exceed all measure of proportion to any earthly and temporal works, which wee can perform in this body, and therefore they are of grace.

All blessing] (6.) This tends to grace too▪ Because every spiritual gift, which pertains to the salvation of souls, is bestowed upon us; of which gifts there is none, which flows not from the fountain of grace and blessing, and is freely given to us without any merit of ours, or respect to our works, whether they bee knowledge of God, or acknowledgement of our sin, or repentance, or faith, or any effect of faith, or any good work, or in­tention of a good work: all this is freely given by him, who blesseth us with all spiritual blessing: Therefore they are of grace.

In heaven] Hear is a beam of grace too, because these benefits, with which wee, above others, are blessed, are heavenly, that is, they are such as take their original from heaven, are conversant in heaven, and shall bee compleated in heaven; nor do they any wayes savour any thing of our flesh, but yet do season to us our condition on earth.

In Christ] Here the whole ocean of grace is opened for all these benefits are ours in Christ, who himself is ours, and all these are made ours in him, as in the root and fountain, as in our head and common parent, before they come to us, that so they may bee derived on us by him: in whom as wee are united together, wee possess those things wee have, and in whom wee have right to those things which as yet wee have not, and by whom wee shall hereafter receive those things which remain; and as hee hath obtained all things for us, so hee keeps both them in himself for our use, and us that wee may use and enjoy them. From all, and every one of which it fol­lows, that all our spiritual benefits are free and gracious, or effects of meer grace, and therefore wee ought to cele­brate the grace of God as the fountain and cause of them.

Vers. 4. According as hee hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that wee should bee holy, and without blame before him in love.

Argum. 1. Confirming the former. God actually in time, freely bestows all these spiritual blessings upon us in Christ, even as before time hee of his grace chose us in him, that at length wee might obain these benefits: Therefore wee ought to bles [...] him: All the wo [...]ds of this Argument also are proofs of his free and gracious electi­on: For,

(1.) Our election was of God unto life, before o­thers our companions, who were in the same condition, whom God leaving and passing by chose us: Therefore wee are chosen out of grace.

(2.) Hee chose us in Christ, as in the head who was first chosen, as in the common Parent, root and fountain of the elect. After whom wee in the consideration of dig­nity, and order, and in whom wee, as his body, members, and off-spring, are afterwards chosen in the order of na­ture: Therefore our election is free, there being no cause of it in us, which is to bee sought for in God a­lone.

(3.) Hee chose us before the foundation of the world, that is, from eternity, before the world was, much more before any works of ours were; Hee chose us be­fore any matter of the created world was existent, much more before any matter of our works or workings could bee existent: for hee elected us in order of nature be­fore hee decreed that the world should bee. For the de­cree of the creation of the world, was subservient as a means to bring to pass the already decreed salvation of the elect: Therefore hee chose us of grace, and not for fore-seen works.

Hee chose us that wee might bee holy] (4.) Hee did not choose us because wee were holy, or because hee fore-saw that wee would bee holy, but hee chose us without any consideration of any holiness at all in us, nay hee chose us as not having holiness; to the end, that being chosen, wee should bee made holy, and should become unblameable in his sight, that is, that being consecrated to God, wee should bee by degrees truly and sincerely sanctified, and should at last bee presented fully and perfectly holy in heaven: Yea further, that being un­blameable without spot, without wrinkle, not onely of sin, but also of all misery, wee should at length appear together before him blessed and glorious: Therefore our election is not from faith fore-seen, or works fore-seen, but of meer grace, which as it is the cause of electi­on, so of all holiness, and happiness, which follows election.

In love] Love or charity is meerly free, in which as hee hath chosen us, that wee should bee made holy and unblameable, so also that in that his love we should per­fect this our happiness; which love God will then fully put forth, when hee shall fully consummate our holiness and happiness. And so the charity or love of God is hoth the cause of election, and the completing or per­fecting of those good things which follow election, and by consequence election is not onely of grace, but is for the perfect possession of free happiness in the sight of God.

Vers. 5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Iesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

Arg. 3. Thus God of his grace hath blessed us in time, so also of grace hee hath predestinated us to the inheri­tance of Sons, which was to bee obtained by Christ in his own person, according to the good pleasure of his will: Therefore wee should celebrate his grace. The parts of this reason prove the same, that the whole reason it self doth.

Having predestinated us] (1.) As our election be­fore time was free, so is our predestination also before ages unto life eternal, and to fit means, which should bee effectual to bring us to that end: Therefore predestina­tion is free, in that it doth not onely assign the end and persons, but also appoints the means by which wee must attain that end.

Unto the adoption of children] (2.) Here also the Apostle manifests the grace of God. Wee are predesti­nated, [Page 109] not because wee are fore-seen as Sons, but that being not as yet Sons, wee should by Grace attain the A­doption of Sons. Now the Adoption of Sons includes these four things. (1) An effectual Calling, or Faith to imbrace the offered communion with Christ the onely begotten Son. (2) A towardliness and good disposition of Sons, or the renovation of our nature, that wee might love God as our Father. (3) The dignity and honour of Sons. (4) The Riches or Inheri [...]ance of Sons, even to the glorifying of our Bodies, Rom. 8.23. Therefore both our Predestination and Adoption is free, and not for a­ny work of ours.

By Christ] (3) And this doth make much for the ad­vancement of Grace: Wee are predestinated that wee may obtain the Adoption of Children by Iesus Christ, who is the first-begotten, and onely-begotten Son, that by his merit and efficacy wee might obtain all the fore-said degrees of Adoption: Therefore our predestination is from meer Grace.

To himself] (4) That Grace might appear, he shews the end of Adoption. God hath predestinated us that wee should obtain the Adoption of Children by Christ to himself, or to his use, viz. to the honour of him that pre­destinateth, or of Christ by whom hee communicates to us Grace, and the Glory of the Sons of God: Therefore our predestination is free, for otherwise honour would not accrew to God or Christ by our Adoption.

According to the good pleasure of his Will] (5) Here hee excludes all causes besides God, and makes the Grace of God the onely cause. For hee predestinated us according to the good pleasure of his Will: Therefore onely Gods Grace, onely his Will, onely his good pleasure is the cause of our predestination, and not any work of ours.

Vers. 6. To the praise of the glory of his Grace, where­in hee hath made us accepted in the Beloved.

Argum. 4. God to that end and purpose, that hee might bring praise to his glorious Grace, chose and pre­destinated us to the Adoption of Sons. It necessarily fol­lows, that God hath elected and predestinated us out of Grace: For else hee could never attain that end; and con­sequently ought wee to give praise to Gods Grace, and to bless God, who hath thus blessed us.

Of the Glory of] Words of this Nature have an Em­phasis; for (1) This Grace hath glory in it self, that is, it is every way glorious, and most worthy in it self that wee should highly esteem it, acknowledge and publish it, because who is most great and most good hath vouchsafed to advance us, who are most vile and most unworthy, unto the dignity of sons, & the riches of the inheritance of sons.

To the praise] (2) God doth both intend and expect from us the praise of this his glorious Grace, that wee should acknowledge the benefit in words and deeds, and that by all means possible wee should give praise to this wonderful Grace of God.

Wherein] Argum. 5. In this Grace whereby God hath chosen and predestinated us to holiness and happi­ness, I say, in this very Grace hee hath made us wel­come and acceptable to himself, in his beloved Son: Therefore wee should celebrate this Grace of God. In which reason hee intimates four things. (1) That God did of his Grace intend our salvation in election and pre­destination, and doth actually and in deed begin to put forth, and exercise Grace in our effectual Vocation to Faith. (2) That Christ not onely as Son, but as Me­diatour undertaking for us, and paying the price of our Redemption for us, is beloved and accepted with God, in whom the Father is fully satisfied and pleased, as one in our stead. (3) In him, and by him sin is removed, which might hinder the course of Grace towards us. (4) Hee intimates, that by Christ and in Christ, the cloud of sin being dissolved, the Grace of God shines up­on us, and wee are embraced and entertained, as reconci­led, as now pleasing and acceptable in Christ, who a [...] our Surety and common Parent comprehends us all in himself.

Vers. 7. In whom wee have Redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins; according to the riches of his Grace.

Argum. 6. In Christ by the rich Grace of God wee receive Redemption and pardon of sins: Therefore wee should give praise to the rich Grace of God onely in our salvation. And to this purpose all the parts of this rea­son tend.

Redemption] (1) Wee were in our selves lost, and held captives under the bonds of blindness, sin, wrath, and death, whence wee could by no means free our selves: whence there had been no comming forth, if Grace had not both opened the way, and led us out: Therefore our salvation is of Grace.

In whom] (2) Christ alone redeemed us without a­ny merit or help from us, the price of our salvation being both covenanted for, and paid by himself alone; lest a­ny praise should bee given to any thing besides his Grace.

Through his blood] (3] Wee are not redeemed with Silver or Gold, but with the Blood of Christ, that so the price might shew the danger wherein wee were, and ex­alt Gods Grace.

The forgiveness] (4) The Blood of Christ is that which procures for us in particular the pardon of our sins, in which wee lay polluted, and which was all the riches God saw in us, wee being void of every good work, that the Grace of God might bee more apparent in our sins and unworthiness.

In whom] (5) This Redemption and remission of sins wee (being once become Beleevers) have not in our selves without reference to Christ, but in Christ as our Surety, Redeemer and Head, wee being united and graf­fed into him by Faith.

The riches of] (6) The onely cause and measure of so great a benefit, is the rich Grace of God; according to the abundance whereof Christ and Redemption in Christ is bestowed upon us: Therefore Gods Grace onely may de­servedly bee praised, as the cause of our salvation.

Vers. 8. Wherein hee hath abounded toward us in all Wisdome and Prudence.

Argum. 7. From this abundant Grace, as from a fountain, Christ, or the Father in Christ, hath accor­ding to his great wisdome, communicated to us in our effectual Vocation all Wisdome and Prudence, that is, hath given us saving Faith, in the object whereof consists the summe and perfection of all Wisdome and Know­ledge; for though saving Faith bee in it self imperfect, yet by it wee apply a known Christ to our selves, who is the treasure of all saving Wisdome and Prudence, as a general medicine and remedy for all evils, which is an abbreviate of Wisdome and Prudence. In this Argu­ment the particulars prove the same also.

Towards us] (1) Wee who as well as the rest of the world, were ignorant, imprudent and foolish, erring in the blindness and vanity of our minds. It is of Grace therefore that wee are endowed with Wisdome.

Hee hath abounded] (2) Christ the Author first comes to us, and bestows Faith upon us, which consists in the Knowledge and Application of the saving Truth of God, which is true Wisdome and Prudence: Therefore it is of Grace.

Wherein, viz. In which Grace] (3) Here Grace is expresly mentioned, hee out of his Grace hath plentiful­ly bestowed upon us this Wisdome and Prudence.

Hath abounded] (4) Hee who was full of Grace, hath shewn himself to bee such in this, as if hee could not any longer restrain his Grace within himself, but it overflowing, brake forth upon us: Therefore Grace is the sole cause in effectual Vocation and Donation of Faith, and so deservedly to bee praised.

Vers. 9. Having made known unto us the mystery of [Page 108] [...] [Page 109] [...] [Page 110] his Will▪ according to his good pleasure, which hee hath purposed to himself.

Argum. 8. The manifestation of Gods secret Will, touching salvation to bee obtained by Christ, to the communicating of Faith, or Knowledge, and Prudence to his, is of the meer Will of God, according to his good pleasure, which hee had purposed in himself: There­fore the Grace of God is worthily to bee praised under the name of Gods revealed Will, and of Faith bestowed upon us. To this end all the parts of this Argument re­fer.

The Mystery] (1) The Will of God touching the bu­siness of Salvation to bee accomplished by Christ, was a secret Mystery sealed up from all eternity in the breast of God, which neither Angels nor men could ever have brought to light, but that God out of his Grace revea­led it.

Having made known] (2) God took care not onely that this Mystery should bee revealed, but out of his Grace, hee provided that the blindness, both of our minds and hearts being taken away, wee should understand it.

Unto us] (3) Hee hath manifested the Gospel of Grace to us rather than to others.

Good pleasure] (4) God freely brought this to pass, not being induced or excited thereunto by any external cause, but according to his good pleasure, or gracious pre­destination, and his eternal purpose in himself: There­fore wee ought deservedly to give praise to Gods Grace.

Vers. 10. That in the dispensation of the fulness of times hee might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are in Earth, even in him.

Argum. 9. It depends meerly upon Gods Will and pleasure to appoint a full and fit time, wherein this My­stery of his Will should come to mans knowledge; what, how much, and when, to what age, and to what parti­cular person this Mystery should bee dispensed: There­fore the Will of God prevails in assigning the time, in which Faith is to bee given, and in this respect also Gods Grace is praise-worthy. The several particulars in this Argument confirm the same also.

In the dispensation] (1) The Grace of God is to bee acknowledged, because here is an oeconomy, or, as the Ma­ster of a Family, a free disposing of his domestick things, whereby every one orders them as hee pleases; which li­berty, as it is by right to bee granted to every houshol­der, so to God also, that hee may act according to his own pleasure.

The fulness] (2) There is a mature and fit opportuni­ty of time, in which it is in Gods power alone to deter­mine, what and how much of his secret Will it is fitting to reveal to every age, and to each man. And therefore whatsoever and how much soever is revealed to us, it is of Grace. For the good pleasure of God which hee had purposed in himself, of which vers. 9. belongs to this ordering of the time: Therefore his Grace deserves here also to bee taken notice of.

That hee might gather] Argum. 10. The gathering, and manifestation of this gathering the elect and redeem­ed together, into Christ their Head, otherwise wandring and separated from God, is the summe and end of the revealed Mystery: Therefore wee ought to render praise to Gods Grace, by which wee are gathered together as well as others. It is true that by the sin of Angels and Men, the whole world, like a mangled and almost dead body (whose members are pulled asunder, and torn one from another) was almost brought to destruction: but Christ confirmed the Elect Angels, and stayed the perishing world; but here the Apostle chiefly respects the restoring of elect men, whereby Christ reconciled the men gathered to him, unto God, and compacted as it were into one Kingdome the elect Angels and spirits of just men in Heaven, the Jews and Gentiles in Earth; with a most strict union amongst themselves.

Vers. 11. In whom also wee have obtained an Inhe­ritance, being predestinated according to the pur­pose of him who worketh all things according to the counsel of his own Will.

Argum. 11. Applying it to the Jews. The Inheritance of eternal life in Christ is given to us elect Jews, not of works, or is it gotten by the power of our free will, but is bestowed by divine order and dispensation upon us, who are predestinated according to the purpose of God, who worketh all things according to the counsel of his will: Therefore wee Jews and all others ought to give praise to Gods Grace. These things make for the advance­ment of Grace.

Wee have obtained an Inheritance] (1) Eternal life, or glorification is an Inheritance, which wee have not procured to our selves, but have attained to it by di­vine appointment and dispensation.

(2) Wee are not able of our selves so much as to re­ceive this Inheritance, when offered to us; nor can wee so much as take possession of this Inheritance, though it bee setled on us; but wee are made possessors of it, by appointment, for [...] is a passive: What then is here which is ours, and is not of Grace?

Being predestinated] (3) Wee were predestinated by God, that wee should bee called to this Inheritance: God did not take us into counsel with him, when hee decreed our happiness.

Worketh] (4) God who predestinated us to this hap­piness, worketh all things, not alone by preparing this happiness for us, nor onely by framing and fitting us for it, but also by effectually ordering all those means which should conduce to the bringing of us into the pos­session of it.

After the counsel] (5) Nor doth God go out of himself, to seek causes of his purpose, or of his opera­tion, but hee works all things after his counsel, or after his free and most wise will: Therefore our glorification or salvation is of Grace, and not of Works, nor from the choice of our free will; for that our will is carryed to the choice of good and of life, and that wee perform any good works, is of the meer, free, good pleasure of God, who worketh all good things after the counsel of his Will: Therefore Grace is praise-worthy.

Vers. 12. That wee should be to the Praise of his Glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Argum. 12. From the last end of the Calling of the Predestinated Jews, unto the possession of this Inheri­tance. As God hath performed this Grace to us elected Jews, that first, or that before the Gentiles, wee should beleeve in Christ to come, and also that wee should first beleeve in him present or already come; so according to the prerogative which by grace is granted to our Na­tion, hee hath chosen us first into the right of the hea­venly Inheritance, to the end that hee might obtain the glory of his Grace in us and from us: Therefore wee Jews and all others deservedly ought to bless and adore God, and to give praise unto his Grace.

Vers. 13. In whom yee also trusted after that yee heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salva­tion: in whom also after that yee beleeved, yee were sealed with the holy Spirit of Promise.

Argum. 13. This is applied to the Gentils, and par­ticularly to the Ephesians. You Gentiles also, lately strangers to the Common-wealth of Israel, are now called and chosen into the right of this Inheritance, to the same end, viz. the praise of the glorious Grace of God: Therefore both you Gentiles, and wee, should joyn together to declare and set forth the Grace of God. Now hee proves that the Ephesians were made partakers of this Inheritance as well as the Jews, by six Reasons.

Yee trusted] Reason 1. Yee have beleeved in Christ, [Page 111] Therefore yee are made partakers of this inheri­tance.

Heard] Reas. 2. God hath sent the word of his truth, or saving Gospel to you, that hearing yee should be­leeve and obtain salvation: Therefore you are not now as of old, like Proselytes, but had in equal honour with the Jews, you do partake of the same inheritance.

Sealed] Reas. 3. Taken from the pledge and earnest of salvation, given them, and from its first use. After that yee had beleeved, yee were sealed as peculiar ones to God, by the gift of the Holy Ghost: Therefore you are partakers of the same inheritance.

Of promise] Reas. 4. From the other use of sealing. The promises of the inheritance are sealed to you by the promised Spirit, who confirms the promises to beleevers. Therefore you also, &c.

Vers. 14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance, untill the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Reas. 5. From the third use of sealing, or of the pledge of salvation given to us. The gift of the Holy Ghost is the earnest of our inheritance, to wit, the pledge and part of our happiness which shall bee consummate hereafter: Therefore, &c.

Untill the Redemption] Reas. 6. From the fourth use of sealing. The Spirit shall remain with you for your comfort, and not depart from you untill the covenanted Redemption bee fully perfected and compleated, in an absolute freedome of your souls and bodies from all the bonds of sin and misery: Therefore you have a right unto this inheritance.

To the praise] In the last place hee shews us that the end of all these benefits is the praise of Gods glorious grace, that God should bee blessed and acknowledged, and his grace have the praise in all the fore-mentioned particulars, viz. in our Election, Predestination, Re­demption, Vocation, Donation of Faith, remission of sins, Adoption, gathering unto Christ, and fellowship with his people, participation of the inheritance, and sealing by the holy Ghost.

Vers. 15. Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Iesus, and love unto all the Saints,

The Apostle proceeds to the second part of this Chap­ter, where hee endeavours to strengthen the Ephesians faith; the proposition to bee confirmed may bee taken into this sense, in this or the like Rule; you Ephesians ought to bee confirmed in the faith of the Gospel. The Arguments to prove this proposition are Fifteen.

Faith in] Argum. 1. Your faith in Jesus Christ is not that dead and hypocritical faith, but the lively faith effe­ctually working by charity towards all Saints, and openly manifested to mee an Apostle, and others: Therefore you Ephesians should bee confirmed in the faith.

Vers. 16. Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.

Arg. 2. You are esteemed worthy that thanks should bee daily given unto God for you, even as I do: There­fore you ought to bee strengthened in the faith of the Gospel.

Mention] Argum. 3. Because the sincerity of your faith is manifested in the love of the Saints, I continu­ally keep you in my memory, and make daily mention of you in my prayers, begging that the work of God may bee perfected in you, and your faith confirmed: There­fore unless you think the motion of the Spirit in mee, who pray for you, bee in vain, you ought to have your faith strengthened.

Vers. 17. That the God of our Lord Iesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of Wisdome and Revelation, in the knowledge of him.

Now hee comes to set down the summe of his prayers which hee put up for them, wherein are contained the other Arguments for the confirmation of their faith.

Give unto you] Arg. 4. In praying that God would give them the Spirit of Wisdome and Revelation, hee intimates that they have more and greater causes (viz. in the Scripture, which is the fountain of Wisdome, and the summe of saving Revelation) for the confirmation of their faith, than they did yet understand. You have such and so many Arguments in Scripture for your con­firmation in faith, that I cannot wish any thing more to the strengthening of faith, than a larger measure of the working of the Spirit of God, that having more wisdome given you, and the mysteries of the word being more clearly disclosed to you, you may know what is the mind of God and Christ towards you: Therefore even from this my evidence and prayer for you, you ought to bee confirmed in the faith.

The God of our Lord] Arg. 5. Drawn from the de­scription of God, of whom this gift is craved. God who bestows the Spirit of faith, or of wisdome on the Saints, is the glorious God and Father of our Lord, and of all us the servants of Christ, who both out of Covenant, as hee is our God, and out of fatherly affection, as hee is our Father, will give the Spirit of faith to you, upon our request for it: Therefore even from those relations which pass between God, Christ, and you, you should bee strengthened in faith.

Vers. 18. The eyes of your understanding being inlight­ned; that yee may know what is the hope of his cal­ling, and what the riches of the glory of his inhe­ritance in the Saints.

Argum. 6. It is not possible that I should express with tongue, what and how great those good things, which God by calling you to Christ hath commanded you to hope for, or how glorious the riches of that inheri­tance are, which is prepared for you in the sanctuary of heaven, I only beg, that your eyes may bee inlightned, that yee may apprehend them: Therefore, &c.

Vers. 19. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward; who beleeve, according to the working of his mighty power.

Argum. 7. That power of God is unspeakable, which hee hath put forth into act in the converting you to, and in thus long upholding you in the faith, and which hee hath in a manner bound himself that hee will put forth, that so by the infinite power and efficacy of his strength, beleevers may bee carried on to salvation, I onely pray for the illumination of your eyes, that yee may know it: Therefore, &c.

This Argument hee confirms by a threefold compari­son: (1.) Of the power of God with the adversaries power, and with the Ephesians weakness, in which re­spect hee calls the greatness of that power super-excellent, which was actually apparent in them, that they might know there was no power in Satan, the world, sin, death, or any other hindrance without them, which the greatness of the power of God doth not, and will not for ever overcome. (2.) Of the powerful work of God in their conversion, with the original of that work, that is, Gods Omnipotency, in which respect hee makes mention of the efficacy, or working of his mighty power, that they might know the work of God in converting them, and induing them with faith and holiness, was such a mani­festation of that working, which proceeds from the actual and exerted power of the Omnipotent God, as was suit­able to Omnipotency, and becoming an Omnipotent God, in a word, it was a work very well befitting God. (3.) Of the power of God, now actually declared in their conversion, with that power which God had shewn in raising Christ from the dead. (1.) That they might know that as a great power was required to a mans con­version, regeneration, and endowment with faith, and other saving graces, as to revive one dead and buried. (2.) That they might know the very same power was exercised in our conversion, as in Christs Resurrection. (3.) That they might understand, it was no less easie for [Page 112] God to bring to pass all other things which pertained to the perfecting of our salvation, than it was for him to perform the fore-mentioned particulars.

Vers. 20. Which hee wrought in Christ when hee raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in heavenly places,

Argum. 8. Taken from the raising up of Christ our Head. Christ our Head who was killed in our stead, God raised from the dead, in our stead, and for our good, un­to eternal life: Therefore you who are his members, e­ven in the midst of afflictions, and in death it self, should bee stedfast in Faith touching your deliverance.

And set him] Argum. 9. From Christs ascension and sitting at the right hand of the Father. Christ our Re­deemer is ascended into Heaven, and reigns with the Father, being partner in that great authority, that hee might take us into fellowship in that happiness, and make us partners of that condition in which hee is: Therefore you ought to bee confirmed in the Faith and hope of your future glorification in Heaven, unless you imagine Christs dominion is to no purpose.

Vers. 21. Far above all Principality and Power, and Might, and Dominion, and every name that is na­med, not onely in this world, but also in that which is to come.

Argum. 10. Christ even in his flesh is exalted far a­bove all, both Angels and Men, so that nothing should bee so high, so powerful, so excellent, either in the earth, this present world, or in Heaven, the world to come, as that Christ should not bee infinitely higher even as hee is man; and therefore there is not any thing wanting in him to the perfecting, nor can any thing oppose him to hinder him from perfecting our salvation: Therefore you should bee strengthened in the Faith of the Gos­pel.

Vers. 22. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to bee the Head over all things to the Church.

Argum. 11. All our enemies, the Devil, the wicked in the world, Persecutors, Hereticks and Impostors, the power of sin in us, prisons, banishments, all kinds of death are put under Christs feet, that hee may order them and dispose of them to our good, and put them un­der our feet: Therefore, &c.

The Head] Argum. 12. Christ is appointed Head o­ver all things in the Church, that is, the Father hath committed the full power and administration of all things unto him, that hee onely should bee the most near Head of the Catholick Church, for the illumination of the Church and all its members, for the vivification, exciting to all spiritual duties, and preservation of spiritual life in them, by the immediate presence and operation of his Spirit in the whole Church, and its several members: Therefore unless you will doubt of your Heads Wis­dome, Power, and Faithfulness in his office, you should bee strengthened in Faith.

Vers. 23. Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Argum. 13. The Church is the mystical body of Christ, and all beleevers are his members: Therefore you should not doubt but hee will look to, and have a care of your salvation, unless you will deny that Beleevers are his members.

The fulness] Argum. 14. The Church is the fulness of Christ, so far as hee is its mystical Head, so that hee doth not judge himself to bee perfected, and completed, till all and every of the Elect bee gathered into one, uni­ted to him, have attained that full encrease suitable to, and appointed for every member, and till at last they en­joy with him a plenary happiness: Therefore you should bee as sure of the perfecting of your salvation, as you are that Christ will not suffer himself to bee incompleat, im­perfect and maimed.

Filleth] Argum. 15. Christ filleth all in all, that is, according to every Creatures capacity, as hee is the God of Nature, hee works all things, as hee is the Head of the Church hee perfects all things which belong to the Spiri­tual Life, Sanctification and Salvation of Beleevers, filling all his members by degrees: Therefore it is not to bee questioned, but hee will accomplish the begun work of Faith, Sanctification and Salvation in you. This, that hee filleth all in all, is adjoyned by way of correction or exposition to the former phrase of the fulness of Christ, by the Church, lest wee should conceive that Christs or our perfection depends upon any besides himself, who of his own free love hath brought this necessity upon him­self, of communicating himself to us unworthy wretches, who stirred up this desire of us in himself; who himself hath the power to satisfie this his own desire, and who by degrees fulfills his desire of sanctifying us, and induing us with Faith, and will proceed to fulfil it, till hee hath performed all things necessary to the perfecting of salva­tion, and that in all the faithful, the greatest and least: To him bee the glory of his Grace, his power, and his con­stancy for ever and e