« ZurückWeiter »
us to a higher degree of happiness in another. The Psalmist said of old, that this was one of the comforts of God which refreshed his soul : “ I should utterly have fainted, but that I believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” And surely it is no small alleviation of affliction to reflect, that let the multitude of our sorrows be as great and as heavy as they can, they cannot always last; that there is a time coming, when pain and sorrow shall be no more ; when we shall be far removed out of the reach of the strife of tongues and the treachery of false friends; that how troublesome soever our passage through this world has been, heaven will be at last a sure sanctuary and retreat from all our sorrows. But when we consider, that the same God, who for wise ends and purposes has made our condition in this world subject to a variety of changes and chances, has at the same time promised an endless happiness to those who bear them with patience and a hearty submission to his will, and has expressly declared that these light afflictions which are but for a moment, ' :
will purchase a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; how does the mind of man feel itself raised above the concerns of this lower world, prepared to receive the strokes of our heavenly Father with a filial reverence and dutiful submission, fully persuaded that he who made the world is best able to govern it, that the next life will make up all the rubs and inequalities of this, and that the more grievous have been our afflictions, or the more remarkable our patience and resignation, the brighter will be our crown in that kingdom, where every tear of sorrow shall be wiped away, and peace and joy shall reign for evermore.
For he is not a Jew that is one outwardly;
neither is that circumcisions which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men but of God.
THE Apostle having laid this down as
the foundation of his discourse to the Romans, that the gospel of Christ was the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; he procoeds in the next place to prove the proposition by shewing that neither Jew nor Gentile, by their several observations of the law of nature S 3
and the Mosaic dispensation, could lay claim to that righteousness whereby a man is justified, or stands just and righteous in the sight of God.
He begins with the Gentiles, and shews their incapacity of this justifying righteousness, which alone can find acceptance, from the abuse of those common principles concerning God. and his nature, which were manifested to them by the light of their own reason. By “ holding " the truth in unrighteousndss,” that is, by wickedly suppressing those natural notionis concerning God and their neighbour, they justly deserved the wrath of God to be revealed against their ungodly and unrighteous method of life.
-.“ By, thé: tliings that are made” they might easiby - have collected the eternal power and Godhead of him who is the invisible Creator, and thereby deduced their obligations to a dutiful obedience: so that upon tliat acoount they were witheut excuse in that they changed the truth of God into a lie, and, by a preposterous L