ft1. The former editions of this Exposition were published in three separate volumes of which the first volume included these five chapters. ft2. In the original, the words, ‘Jesus Christ our Lord, stand at the conclusion of verse 4th, and the words between them and ‘concerning His Son’ may be read as a parenthesis; but the sense remains the same. ft3. Oil was the instituted emblem of the grace of the Holy Spirit which was given to the Lord Jesus Christ without measure; and anointing oil was the outward visible sign of the Spirit’s inward and spiritual graces.
We meet with the institution, Exodus 30:22, to the end. The holy ointment was to be used in consecrating the tabernacle and all its vessels, and in setting apart certain persons for some great offices. It was unlawful to use it upon any other occasion; whosoever did so was to be cut off from the people. This consecrating unction was used on the tabernacle, which was a type of the body of Christ, and on all the vessels of the tabernacle to show that Christ and everything respecting Him, was under the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit; and it was used to set apart the prophets, the priests, and the kings, because He was to sustain these offices. ft4. In regard of His Divine subsistence, Jesus Christ was begotten, not made; in regard of His manhood, He was not begotten, but made of the seed of David, John 1:14; Galatians 4:4. ft5. In Dr. Carson’s triumphant Reply to Dr. Drummond’s Arian Essay on the Doctrine of the Trinity, published in Dublin, containing a masterly exposition of John 10:30-39, the above subject is fully discussed.
He closes a long dissertation on the import of the term, ‘the Son of God,’ by saying, ‘If I have not shown that it definitely expresses Deity, as applied to Jesus Christ, I would despair of proving that the name of Jesus Christ is in the Bible.’ ft6. The name Jehovah, derived from a root which signifies to be, is expressive of the most perfect and independent existence. It represents God as the Author of all being. Where the wordLORD is printed in the Old Testament in capitals, in the original it is Jehovah. ft7. In the Presbyterian Review, No. 30: p. 237, it is observed, ‘This idea of quotation by accommodation is as old as the time of Aarias Montanus;’ and, after remarking that in the above passage it is visited with merited castigation, the reviewer adds, ‘Professor Tholuck’s authority, indeed, in any matter in which the honor of inspiration is involved, is not very high; so at least we think all who have escaped the chilling influence of Socinianism must acknowledge respecting any writer, who in one place tells us that “Paul probably used certain words, without attaching to them any definite idea” (p. 156); in another, suggests the supposition that the Apostle “had forgotten what ought to have followed” (p. 157); and, in the present verse, informs us that, with the view of better adapting the declaration of the Prophet to his subject, he gave a “violent construction to the translation of the Septuagint;” and whatever Tholuck’s authority may be, Stuart’s is no greater; for water cannot rise higher than its source; and on this subject of accommodation, with the exception of the very obnoxious sentiment which we have just cited, the American critic is no more than the copyist of the German.” ft8. See the author’s book On the Evidences, etc., on the primary and secondary senses of prophecy, and its division into three branches, vol. 1: p. 445, 3rd edition. ft9. On the subject of Inspiration see the author’s work on The Authenticity and Inspiration of the Holy Scripture and Dr. Carson’s unanswered and unanswerable treatise on The Theories of Inspiration by the Rev.
Daniel Wilson (now Bishop of Calcutta), the Rev. Dr. Pye Smith, and th e Rev. Dr. Dick, proved to be erroneous, and his Refutation of Dr.
Henderson’s Doctrine on Divine Inspiration, with a Critical Discussion, on 2 Timothy 3:16. ft10. The words, not to approve, are frequently used in the sense of not liking. It is often said that a person does not approve of, i.e. does not like, a person. ft11. Hatred to God, and not dislike to mysteries, is remarkably verified in infidels. Hatred to God is the origin of Arianism and Socinianism. It is hatred to the sovereignty of God that influences the Arminian. Hatred to God manifests itself by an almost universal neglect of His laws. ft12. This most erroneous sentiment, in direct opposition to the word of God, is maintained by Dr. Macknight. See his note on verse 3rd of chapter 4 afterwards quoted. ft13. The name of Jew was in use before the return from the captivity, for we find it in the <243201> 32nd chapter of Jeremiah. It appears, then, that it took its rise even from the time of the separation of the ten tribes, for the ten tribes retained that of Israel, and the others that of Judah, the country was called Judea, Psalm 76, and the language Jewish, Kings 18:26, and Isaiah 36:11-13; and afterwards the inhabitants Jews, for this name is also found in Daniel 3:8. ft14. It is in this second view of circumcision being a part of the law, that the Apostle tells the Galatians that if they were circumcised, they were debtors to do the whole law. They had professed to receive Christ, who is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth; but their want of confidence in Christ’s righteousness, in which they professed to rest, was evident by their adding to it the observance of circumcision. ‘Thus they returned to the law, and were debtors to fulfill it,’ Galatians 5:3,4. The righteousness of the law and Christ’s righteousness cannot, even in the least degree, be united. ft15. ‘Here a question,’ it is observed in the Presbyterian Review, ‘arises, which materially affects the interpretation of the next two verses, — “whether Paul continues to devote himself to the inculcation of the Jews only, or of all mankind.” It is natural, of course, to refer the quotations from the Old Testament to the sentiment which is nearest them, that all, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under sin; and it is right to do so, unless some strong reason can be shown to the contrary.
Mr. Stuart imagines he has discovered such a reason, in the aged fact that “in the Old Testament, in the connection in which they stand, some of the passages have not an unlimited signification.” But this argument, if of any weight at all, proves a great deal too much. For, if their original meaning was so specific as not to comprehend all the world, it was likewise so specific as not to comprehend all the Jews.
On Mr. Stuart’s supposition, most of them refer primarily to the “impious part of the Jewish nation.” Would, then, those who made their boast of God submit to be marked as of this fraternity? No, not one of them would identify himself with the impious; and the arrows which the Apostle designed to pierce their hearts, would prove either pointless or misdirected. If, therefore, we must restrict the signification of these verses, according to our previous views of their force in the passages whence they have been transplanted, let us do so consistently, and affirm at once that the Apostle, wishing to bring home guilt to the Jewish people (for we go on Mr. Stuart’s own supposition), adduced authorities which bear only upon part of them, and were of no efficacy for the conviction of the whole. But if this is too appalling for our acceptance, let us renounce the argument which involves it; let us learn from Paul himself the object of his own citations, connect them (as is most natural) with the nearest context, and understand them as expressive of the most perfect and absolute universality.’ ft16. Not only has Mr. Tholuck failed in giving any distinct explanation of the term ‘the righteousness of God,’ he has, besides, entirely mistaken the meanest of that other great leading expression, ch. 6:2, ‘dead to sin.’ The former of these terms is laid as the foundation of the doctrine of justification, the latter of that of sanctification. After such interpretations as Mr. Tholuck has given of these declarations which form the groundwork of the grand subjects of discussion in this Epistle, is it surprising that he should so often mistake the meaning of the Apostle, and the train of his argument, or in points of high importance directly contradict him? What has been affirmed of the Commentary of Professor Stuart on this Epistle, applies with equal truth to that of Professor Tholuck. ‘The technicalities of his discussions are a very inadequate compensation for the errors he has broached; and the truth he has elicited may be put in a nutshell. The useful illustrations in his work on the Romans bear no proportion to his pernicious errors.’ ft17. The import of this word perfection ( Hebrews 6:1), which is the leading expression in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the key to the whole of it, Mr. Stuart has entirely misunderstood in his Commentary on that Epistle, as he has misunderstood the meaning of the phrase, the righteousness of God, the leading expression in this Epistle to the Romans. For the signification of the word perfection, which so often occurs in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and is also misunderstood by the other commentators, I refer to my Evidences, vol. 1: p. 438, third edition. ft18. To explain Christ’s being made and in this passage, with Dr.
Macknight, Mr. Stuart, and others, as signifying His being made a sin-offering, ought to be most strenuously rejected. It entirely perverts the meaning of the passage, which asserts the transference of the sin of the believer to Christ, and of Christ’s righteousness to the believer. He submitted not only to be treated as a sin-offering, but to be made sin for His people. It takes away the contrast, and obscures one of the strongest expressions of the vicarious nature of Christ’s sufferings that is to be found in the Bible. In the same way, when it is said ( Hebrews 9:28), He shall ‘appear the second time without sin unto salvation,’ the true meaning of the passage is lost by changing the phrase, ‘without sin,’ as in the common version, to ‘without a sin-offering,’ according to Dr. Macknight and Mr. Stuart. When Jesus Christ first appeared, He came covered over with the sin which was imputed to Him; but when He shall come the second time, not the smallest remainder of it shall be found either upon Him or His people. ft19. This passage makes clear the meaning of 1 John 2:2: — ‘He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world,’ — for all, the Jews and Gentiles, who have faith in His blood. In the end of that Epistle, ch. 5:19, the expression ‘the whole world’ is also used in a restricted sense, being distinguished from those who are ‘of God.’ ‘And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.’ ft20. Mr. Stuart’s explanation is, ‘exalted to a state of final reward.’ This is not the truth here; declared. The other commentators equally mistake the meaning, explaining it to signify exalted to a state of holiness and felicity. ft21. See on this subject the author’s work on Evidences, etc., vol. 2: p. 385, third edition. ft22. Here, as elsewhere, he misunderstands the meaning of the expression, the righteous of faith, imagining that it signifies the righteousness that belongs to faith, and not the righteousness which is received by faith. ft23. ‘These inferences, indeed,’ he adds, ‘the Apostle hath not drawn in this part of his letter.’ The Apostle never could draw such inferences. ft24. Some read the first part of this verse ending with the words ‘yet being uncircumcised,’ as a parenthesis, connecting the remaining part of it with the verse preceding. For this there is no occasion. ft25. Some place the point after believed. Who against hope believed, in hope that he might become, etc. That is, he believed the thing that was an object of hope. He believed the promise, and hoped for its accomplishment. ft26. Some prefer explaining this expression, the love of God, as God’s love to us rather than our love to God, because, they observe, while our love is variable, and liable to fail, God’s love is unchangeable. But as our love to God is produced and maintained in us by the Holy Spirit, and is the effect of God’s love to us, it can no more fail than God’s love to us. ft27. The Presbyterian Review, referring to Dr. Macknight, charges him with the most ‘audacious heterodoxy.’ ft28. It is objected that in these words the Lord refers specially to His Apostles; but He clearly excludes the world, which also He does afterwards, when He prays for none but for those who should believe in Him. ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.’ The whole of this sublime prayer is exclusively offered up by the Lord, first for Himself, next for the Apostles and, lastly, for all believers; and for this purpose He says He received power over all flesh, that He might give eternal life to as many as the Father had given Him and all that the Father giveth Him shall come to Him, John 6:37. No fewer than eight times does He refer to those who were given to Him, for whom alone He prays that they might be with Him to behold His glory. ft29. We may observe that eF’ w|= , which our translators have rendered ‘for that,’ has been by many, both of the fathers and of the moderns, rendered ‘in whom.’ Any one who wishes to see how much may be said for this meaning may consult Maresii Defensio Fidei Catholice, Dis. 2, sec. 6, p. 382, etc. It is not correct to say as Mr. Stuart does, that Augustine’s view of original sin was founded on this exegesis of eF’ w|= . That venerable writer took a much more enlarged view of the subject than such an insinuation suggests. ft30. No man will allege that it is by a separate act of creative power that each of Adam’s descendants come into this world. They were in the loins of Adam when he was created, Hebrews 7:10. ft31. If verse 12, as Mr. Stuart would have it, means simply, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have actually sinned, then the other member of the comparison may be expressed (strongly, indeed, but on this principle amply) in the words of the Socinian Curcelloeus: — ’So life passed upon all men who have been spiritually born again of Christ by faith, since they all, after their conversion, have kept the commands of God.’ But will Mr. Stuart accept this completion of the parallel? — a completion by which Christ is dishonored, and the glory of justifying sinners (for that is the opposite of condemnation) is parceled out between the perfect righteousness of the Son of God, and the poor performances of those whom he came to save. In the words of Maresius, ‘Certainly that is the sin of all on account of which death passed through upon all Therefore Adam’s sin is the sin of all.’ ft32. This division was announced by God in pronouncing sentence on the serpent, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, Genesis 3:15. ft33. Here it may be observed, that if all men had been saved, it would have given countenance to the supposition that fallen men had some claim upon God, that there was some hardship connected with their being brought under condemnation, not by their individual transgression, but by that of Adam, and thus the riches of grace would have been tarnished. ft34. From a memoir of the life of Mr. James Halley, which has lately been published it appears that he was the author of the above review. His learning and accomplishments as a scholar, but, above all, his solidity and spirituality of mind, promised had his life been spared, to have made him a workman eminently fitted rightly to divide the word of God. ft35. I do not recollect that I ever heard any one preach on this text, Romans 6:11, although it contains so important an injunction, and is of such practical importance. ft36. On the genuineness and authenticity of the Song of Solomon, see the author’s work on The Books of the Old and New Testament proved to be canonical, and their Verbal Inspiration maintained and established; with an Account of the Introduction and Character of the Apocrypha, Fifth edition, enlarged. And also his Work of Evidences, etc., vol. 1: p. 164. Fourth edition. ft37. A man of God so deeply acquainted with the human heart, and so advanced in the Divine life as this writer evidently was, is a much better Judge of the import of this chapter than a mere critic, however distinguished for talents and learning. To eminent godliness, Mr.
Frazer added profound penetration and remarkable discrimination, — qualities in which many critics, who attempt to expound the Scripture, are greatly deficient. ft38. The above explanation of the passage is not only false and irreverent, but absurd. It is worthy, however, of Mr. Tholuck’s Neological views of the inspiration of the Scriptures, of which I have given so full a specimen in a pamphlet entitled, Further Considerations for the Ministers of the Church of Scotland, occasioned by Dr. Tholuck’s Perversions of the Word of God, and his Attack on some of the most important Scriptural Doctrines . ft39. The work of the law, Romans 2:15. Here let us admire the accuracy with which the Scriptures are written. Speaking of the Gentiles, the Apostle does not say, ‘who have the law written in their hearts.’ This is the promise of the new covenant, and peculiar to those who belong to it; but he says, ‘the work of the law.’ ft40. Mr. Stuart explains the quickening of our mortal bodies as signifying — ’will make them active instruments.’ But we do not see any alteration made in this world on the bodies of believers. They are, indeed, made active instruments but this is not by any change on their bodies, but in the mind which governs them. Besides, any change that in this respect might be supposed to take place on the members of the body, would take place at the renewing of the mind. But the change here spoken of contemplates something future which has not yet taken place. Dr. Macknight paraphrases the words thus, ‘Will make even your dead bodies, your animal passions, together with the members of your moral bodies, alive, — that is, subservient to the spiritual life. But animal passions, under the figure of dead bodies, must mean the animal passions as they are sinful, and sin is never turned into holiness The flesh is not subject to the law of God, and never will be. ft41. Psalm 96:11,12, <19A808> 108:8, <19E803> 148:3, 10; Isaiah 55:12; Habakkuk 3:10. ft42. The 20th verse should be read in a parenthesis, except the two last words, which should be transferred to the 21st verse, and that substituted for because. In hope that the creature itself also shall be delivered . ft43. Among the Romans there was a twofold adoption, — the one private, the other public. ft44. This was signally demonstrated during the French Revolution, and more recently evidenced by some of the small republics in Switzerland. ft45. See, for example, the Sixth book of the Iliad, where the same word occurs, in the dialogue between Diomed and Glaucus, and could not be rendered otherwise. ft46. The distinguishing goodness and mercy of God to Israel is in a similar way illustrated in the <19D601> 136th Psalm, by contrasting them with the severity of His dispensations as exercised towards others. ft47. On ‘the types of the Old Testament, see the chapter on that subject in the Author’s work entitled Evidence and Authority of Divine Revelation, vol. 1, 3rd edition. ft48. See a very full and critical discussion on 2 Timothy 3:16, appended to Dr. Carson’s Refutation of Dr. Henderson’s Doctrine in his late Work on Divine Inspiration. ft49. Mr. Tholuck, in his Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans, has most fearfully perverted the meaning of this ninth chapter, as well as many other parts of the Epistle. ft50. These words imply that the existence of sin, and the eternal punishment of it in wicked men, was in the Divine contemplation in the creation of the world, and that God will be glorified in the punishment of the wicked, as well as in the happiness of the righteous. This is a depth which we ought not to pretend to fathom.
We receive it on God’s testimony. ft51. Many call themselves moderate Calvinists, a denomination to which it is not easy to affix a precise idea. To the system called Calvinism, there may be nearer or more distant approaches, but those who deny any of the peculiar doctrines of that system cannot in any sense be called Calvinists. To affix the term Calvinism to any system, from which the doctrine of predestination is excluded, or in which it is even modified, is entirely a misnomer. ft52. The whole tenor and purport of this chapter, and every declaration it contains, prove how greatly they err who interpret the expression, Esau have I hated , as signifying that he was only less loved than Jacob. This altogether neutralizes the purpose for which the quotation is made, and leaves it without any meaning or object whatever; while it proves that they who thus explain it entirely misunderstand the whole scope of the Apostle’s reasoning throughout the chapter. ft53. Whoever wishes to see this matter fully examined and explained, may consult Edwards On the Will, London edition, 1790, pp. 354-368. ft54. All the distinguished men among the heathens, without a single exception, conformed to the idolatry of their countrymen. It is asserted by many that we have nothing to do with the state of the heathens. But we have much to do with whatever is declared in the Scriptures, for ‘all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.’ ft55. The accuracy with which the Scriptures are written, is very observable in the passage above quoted, 2 Corinthians 5:21, and in the verse preceding it. The supplement you, twice repeated in verse 20, is erroneous. Those whom the Apostle was addressing had been reconciled to God, therefore he could not beseech them to be what they were already. Dr. Macknight has remarked this, but he has not noticed the change from men, the proper supplement in verse 20, to us and we in the following verse. This change was necessary; for though Paul could declare that Christ had been made sin for him and those to whom he wrote, he could not affirm this of any man, till, like the Corinthians, there was evidence of his having received the grace of God given him in Christ Jesus, 1 Corinthians 1:4. Dr. Macknight, like Mr. Stuart, by his translation, changing sin into sin-offering, destroys the contrast between sin and righteousness, and obscures, as has been remarked in a previous part of this work, one of the strongest expressions of the vicarious nature of Christ’s sufferings that is to be found in the bible, as well as the transference of the sin of His people to the Redeemer, and of His righteousness to them. ft56. The malignant nature of sin and its fatal consequences, are not only manifest in the effect of the first transgression, which brought ruin on the whole human race but likewise in the sin committed at the renewal of the world after the flood. The bitter effects of that sin are experienced to the present day by one of the branches of the descendants of Noah, on whom the curse he pronounced still rests. ‘Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.’ ft57. No man ever enjoyed peace till after he possessed that righteousness. ft58. That work should be carefully perused by those who have been accustomed to admire Mr. Moses Stuart as a sound biblical critic, or who are in danger of being misled by the works of German Neologians. ft59. Little attention is paid by many Christians entirely to abstain from improper expletives. Some are in the habit of pledging their word or honor, as ‘Upon my word,’ in common discourse, expressly contrary to these solemn injunctions in Matthew 5:33-37, and James 5:12, and of even irreverently pronouncing the name of God, as s Gracious God!’ ‘God knows!’ ‘My God!’ as in France, where there is almost in every sentence, ‘Mon Dieu !’ ft60. That ordained , or appointed, is here the proper rendering of the original word that a more faithful translation could not possibly be given, and that all the attempts which have been made to impose on it a different sense are unfounded, is fully established by Dr. Earson in his Review of Dr. John Brown on the law of Christ respecting Civil Obedience, especially on the Duty of paying Tribute, 1838. That review contains also a full and critical discussion on the whole of Romans 13:1-7.
Whoever wishes thoroughly to investigate the subject of which it treats, would do well to read this very able review, printed at Edinburgh by William Whyte & Co. ft61. Some feel it difficult to admit the plain and obvious doctrine contained in the preceding verses of this chapter, lest it should condemn what took place in bringing about the Revolution of 1688. But whatever may be thought of the manner in which that Revolution was produced, and however beneficial its effects have been, no such considerations ought to be allowed to interfere with, or in the smallest degree to modify or contravene, the authority of God, which is here so plainly expressed. In that Revolution there may have been much evil, and though God has in His holy providence overruled it so as to bring out of it much good, yet, like everything else, it must be judged of by the Scriptures, and not the Scriptures by it, or anything connected with it. ft62. The antecedent to which the words rendered, ‘this very thing,’ refers, is ministry of God taken out of ‘ministers of God.’ ft63. Dues. The same word in the original, as in Matthew 18:32, rendered debt . ft64. The same distinction between these expressions, truth and mercy, is made respecting Abraham and Jacob. What was truth to the one, was mercy to the other. ‘Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which Thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old,’ Micah 7:20.